September 8

Royal Australian Regiment: Queens Colours

Only gloved hands may touch the fabric of the new  colours to be officially presented to the 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, by Governor-General Quentin Bryce at Torrens Parade Ground on Saturday, reports Belinda Willis in Adelaide’s journal of record, The Advertiser (7/9)

(Phillip Chilcott, a reader of then ACM Facebook page, drew out attention to this report.)

…big day for the battalion…

"It's a big day for the battalion, it's a big deal and it's a big honour carrying the colours," Queen's colour bearer Senior Ensign Lieutenant Andrew Marin told Ms.Willis.

She writes that the trooping the colours and presentation ceremony is a powerful symbol marking 7th Battalion's move from Darwin to Adelaide last year, and battalion Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Mick Garraway is expecting about 1000 people at the event.

"We would normally have a major ceremonial event each year but it's not often that new colours are presented so it's a fairly significant regimental occasion," he told Ms. Willis. 

She writes that about 250 troops will be marching as the old colours, first presented to the Battalion in 1968, are trooped for the last time.

They carry the unit's history through names stitched to the flag, Korea, Kapyong, Maryang-San, Vietnam, Long Tan and Coral Balmoral.

“Some of the Vietnam veterans who have served with the battalion will be there to farewell the old colours that will be laid up at St Peter's Cathedral on September 16.

…meaning…  

(Continued below)

“The Queen's colour is a reminder of members' duty to their sovereign and country, while the regimental colour reminds them of their regiment and their comrades.

“Lt-Col Garraway says colours were carried into battle in the days when armies would line up in formation but as the rules of engagement changed, the colours were kept for more formal parades.

“Warrant Officer Class 2 Barry Fawcett, who has been with 7 RAR for four years including serving in Afghanistan, will be the colour party's senior escort, and said the role "gives you a feeling of immense pride".

“ ‘No one is allowed to touch them with ungloved hands, only the Governor-General can,’ he said.The public is welcome to attend the parade starting at 10.45am.


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