2018 HAL World Cruise
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
“Kaya Kaya Choorrabinyi Minang Boodja.”
“Welcome to Minang Country. May the spirit of our ancient people of long ago guide your journey. Follow in their footsteps.”
And thus, we were welcomed to Albany, Western Australia. Before the Europeans settled here, the “Great Southern” was the traditional home of the Minang Noongar people. Their presence in this area dates back about 25,000 years. The first recorded European visit to this area was by Peter Nuyts in 1627. In 1791, George Vancouver claimed it as a British possession. On November 9, 1826, the Brig Amity sailed from Sydney with its crew, convicts and stock to form a settlement here. Albany is the oldest settlement in all Western Australia. Unlike the rest of Western Australia, Albany is cool and wet, with a Mediterranean climate. The average summer temperature is only 72 degrees. That was NOT the high during our visit! We exited the ship to fierce wind and bone-chilling cold! Fortunately, the day got grew warmer as we toured.
Albany is famous as the port of departure for the 41,000 Australian and New Zealand Army Corps troops who sailed in 1914 to Egypt and then landed in Gallipoli on April 25, 1915. Eight years later, on April 25, 1923 it was Albany that initiated the nation’s first Anzac Day dawn memorial service to commemorate their heroism. So, it is fitting that Albany would be the home of the new National Anzac Centre. The Center is unique in that it offers visitors a deeply personal connection with the Anzac experience. The story is told through the words of the soldiers themselves. Visitors assume the identity of one of 32 characters and follow their personal experience through training, embarkation, ship-board life on the convoys, the conflicts at Gallipoli or the Middle East or the Western Front, and even the homecoming for those who survived. We did not have the opportunity to visit the center on this trip, but will definitely do so whenever we might return!
And now, we’re on our way to Freemantle/Perth.