Reserve Forces Day 2001
Reserve Forces Day Sun 1 Jul 2001 an endorsed Centenary of Federation National event.
Large parades, some with equipment, were held in all capital cities with regional area celebrations. RFD 2001 was listed in all Centenary of Federation publicity material distributed throughout Australia. This ensured that the parades were an outstanding success.
The Sydney Parade was unique and consisted of three phases.
In phase one the Reserve Forces past and present were presented the keys of the cities of South Sydney and the Municipality of Woolahra in phase one. From the assembly area and start point in Hyde Park a contingent made up of a tri-service guard of serving members and a tri-service guard of past members with the RANR Band marched up Oxford Street and holted infront of Tailor Square where the VIP's were seated and The Governor of New South Wales and LtGen Peter Cosgrove AC MC Chief of Army took the salute. The presentation of the serving members keys were presented to MajGen Neil Wilson AM RFD Commander 2nd Division on behalf of Reserve Forces by the two Mayor's with Sir Laurence Street AC KCMG QC Deputy National Chairman RFDC accepting the keys on behalf of the ex members of the Reserve Forces.
In phase two the main body consisting of approximately eight thousand serving and ex members marched up Oxford Street to join the advance party at Taylor Square together with the regimental Guidons Colours and Banners and past and present equipment. It was a sizeable parade and took one and a quarter hours the pass the saluting Dias.
In phase three the parade marched into the historical barracks to form a hollow square. Once in place the regimental colours and over-seas visitting reservists marched onto the parade ground through the famous arch-way. Appropriate speeches were made by VIP's. Once the formalities were completed, re-unions were held within the barracks while the masses reserve bands demonstrated their skills on the parade ground.
Invitations were sent by RFDC for reservists of all services and ranks from the UK, USA, NZ and Canada to join us in this centennary year. This was to recognise that many over-seas countries took part in the parade along Oxford Street to Centennial Park on 1 January 1901. The result was the USAFR flew a C-141 plane with ten Canadians, ten New Zealanders and ninety from the United States to Australia to join in the festivities. Ten had been requested from the United Kingdom however with donations and other fundraising 23 attended. Vice Admiral John Totushek Commander US Naval Reserve (of 88 000 members and ships and establishments valued at 3.1million) was the senior over-seas reservists to visit from the USA and Rear Admiral Zuliani was the senior visitor from Canada. The over-seas reservists along with their colours and national flags marched proudly in Canberra along Anzac Parade to the Australian War Memorial during their visit to Canberra and then took part in the Newcastle Parade on the 30th of June and the Sydney parade on the 1st of July. Many remarked "Why dont we have something like this to recognize reservists in our countries."