The Adelaide class guided missile frigate HMAS Sydney was decommissioned on November 7th 2015 after 33 years of service. On November 6th 2015 past and present crew gathered in Sydney to march in honour of the retiring vessel.
The Sydney IV was one of 6 Adelaide Class vessels used by the Royal Australian Navy and was built in Seattle Washington, launched in 1980 and commissioned in 1983. I just happened to be in Sydney at the time and witnessed this march taking time out with my camera to catch this series of images.
One thing that the military is known for is discipline and ceremony and there are elements of this on display in these images. Veterans of past and present conflicts showing their medals, immaculately pressed uniforms and a sense of mateship that often results in life long bonds.
One of my favourite images in this sequence is what I simply refer to as the civilian challenge. I don’t know if this is an official term however it shows local officials and the media officially halting the parade of armed and unarmed sailors and inspecting the official declaration carried at the head of the march.
I have friends and family who serve and have served in the military. I firmly believe that despite what we feel about the nature of conflict and the politics surrounding it, those who serve with honour and distinction deserve our utmost respect and support.
The march started at Martin Place in Sydney and ended at the Sydney Opera House at Bennelong point on Circular Quay.
As with all things time marches on and as it does the memories we have often fade with the time that passes.