Freedom of the Township Parade and Ceremony June 7th

June 1, 2012

As part of the Esquimalt Centennial 2012 Celebrations, Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) has been invited by Barbara Desjardins, Mayor of Esquimalt to exercise its right to the Freedom of the Township of Esquimalt.  The Base Commander of CFB Esquimalt, Captain (N) Craig Baines, will lead a parade of 500 Navy, Army and Air Force MARPAC personnel with a guard under arms in the Township of Esquimalt on Thursday, June 7th 2012, starting at 12 noon.

The parade will commence at the intersection of Dominion and Viewfield, heading south to Esquimalt Road, then west to Esquimalt Municipal Hall at 1229 Esquimalt Road. At municipal hall a short ceremony will be held in which Chief Jamie Graham of the Victoria Police Department will escort the Base Commander to the front door of the hall, where he will knock three times on the door. Mayor Desjardins will open the door and invite the base commander inside. This will be followed by an inspection of the Guard of Honour and the Naden Band by Mayor Desjardins, and a reading of the proclamation by the Mayor giving MARPAC Freedom of the Township.

Freedom of the City is an ancient honour dating back to the laws of ancient Rome and is one of the most prized honours that a community can bestow upon a military unit. The ceremony signifies the respect and esteem held for the unit by the citizenry; and grants the privilege of marching through the community bearing arms with drums beating and Colours flying.  The last time MARPAC was granted Freedom of the Township of Esquimalt was in 1972.  

Traffic advisory:

Rolling road closures will be in effect while the parade makes its way from the marshalling point at the intersection of Dominion and Viewfield, then west along Esquimalt Road, and while the ceremony takes place at Municipal Hall. The parade will begin at noon, will stand at guard at the Municipal Hall from 12:30 to 12:45, and head west to the Dockyard, dispersing at 1:05 p.m. All times are approximate.


Sequence of Events:

11:15 a.m.

Military personnel gather on Old Esquimalt Road in the vicinity of Viewfield and Dominion Roads


Parade departs westbound on Esquimalt Road walking approximately 1.8 kilometres to Municipal Hall

12:25 p.m.

Location: in front of Municipal Hall on Esquimalt Road

Parade met and challenged by the Chief Constable (VicPD Chief of Police Jamie Graham).

12:30 p.m.

Location: Municipal Hall

Base Commander is escorted to the front door of Municipal Hall by Chief Graham. The Base Commander will knock three times on the door with the pommel of his sword. The door is opened by the Mayor of Esquimalt, Mayor Barbara Desjardins, who will invite the Base Commander inside. The Base Commander will escort Mayor Desjardins to the dais located in front of Municipal Hall and invite her to inspect the Guard of Honour and the Naden Band. At this point the Mayor says a few words welcoming Maritime Forces Pacific to the Township before reading the Freedom of the Township proclamation.

12:40 p.m.

Location: dais west of Municipal Hall

The Base Commander will escort the Mayor to the dais west of Municipal Hall at Sailor’s Walk where she will take the salute from the parade as it moves off.

12:45 p.m. 

Parade will continue west on Esquimalt Rd and enter the Dockyard finishing at "A" Jetty.

1:05 p.m. 

Parade disperses

For more information, please contact:

Ritchie Morrison, Communications and Centennial Coordinator

Tel: 250-414-7122