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'To Commemorate the Arrival of the Australian Fleet Sydney, October 4th, 1913'

Date: 1913
Overall: 297 x 204 mm
Medium: Colour lithographic print, paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Program
Object No: 00016601
Place Manufactured:Sydney

User Terms

    A souvenir program titled 'To commemorate the Arrival of The Australian Fleet Sydney, October 4th, 1913'.This illustrated program lists the celebratory events of the fleet entry and was produced as both a record of the day and a souvenir of the grand occasion.
    SignificanceThe arrival of the first ships of the newly formed Royal Australian Navy was seen as a defining moment in Australia's nationhood. A symbol of both national independence and playing a significant role as part of the Empire.
    HistoryAustralia’s colonial navies joined together in 1901 and formed the Commonwealth Naval Forces, under direction from the new, federated Australian government. Britain’s King George V granted the title Royal Australian Navy (RAN) on 10 July 1911.

    The RAN was responsible for Australia’s coastal defence and the protection of British imperial interests in the Pacific region. Senior naval personnel transferred from the ranks of the Royal Navy and carried out the initial training of Australian sailors. This new navy replicated the Royal Navy in hierarchy, organization and structure but went on to create its own style.

    On Saturday 4 October 1913 crowds gathered on the foreshores of Sydney Harbour to view the ceremonial entry of the Australian Fleet Unit. This momentous event stirred Australian pride. The entry of the ships marked the start of week-long celebrations. City buildings were illuminated with coloured lights by night, visitors swarmed aboard ships, church services of thanksgiving were held, scool children staged a spectacular concert and thousands lined city streets to see the RAN sailors march in a special parade. It marked an important milestone in Australia's nationhood.

    Both the Prime Minister and Minister oif Defence recorded their feelings as:

    "The coming of our Australian Fleet marks a place in the naval history of the Empire. 'We enter upon it regretting the international necessities which make it urgent, yet feeling proud of our Australian public spirit which makes it possible. We face the future grateful for the protection of the Mother Fleet in the past while we have acquired the ability and resource to build our own. Our resolve is greater than ever to link our destinies with those of our brethren overseas, who are, day by day, using their naval strength to guarantee the peaceful development of the Christian civilisation of the Empire and the world. A definite place has already been assigned it in the scheme of Imperial Defence, It is the Australian section of the Imperial Fleet."

    - The Hon. JOSEPH COOK, M.P, Prime Minister

    "Since Captain Cook's arrival, no more memorable event has happened than the advent of the Australian Fleet. As the former marked the birth of Australia, so the latter announces its coming of age, its recognition of the growing responsibilities of nationhood,and its resolve to accept and discharge them as a duty both to itself and to the Empire.The Australian Fleet is not merely the embodiment of force. It is the expression of Australia's resolve to pursue, in freedom, its national ideals, and to hand down unimpaired and unsullied the heritage it has received, and which it holds and cherishes as an inviolable trust. It is in this spirit that Australia welcomes its Fleet, not as an instrument of war, but as the harbinger of peace."

    - The Hon.Senator EDWARD D.MILLEN
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Zur Erinnerung an die Ankunft der australischen Flotte Sydney, 4 Oktober 1913

    Assigned title: Ter herdenking van de aankomst van de Australische Vloot Sydney, 4 Oktober 1913

    Primary title: 'To Commemorate the Arrival of the Australian Fleet Sydney, October 4th, 1913'

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