Carols make triumphant return to Victoria Barracks

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, Christmas carols returned to the lawns of Australian Army Headquarters, Forces Command, at Victoria Barracks, Sydney.

CAPTION: Australian Army musician Jade O’Halloran, from the Australian Army Band, performs at Carols at the Barracks. Story by Major Jesse Robilliard. Photo by Corporal Dustin Anderson.

Seven hundred free tickets were issued for Carols at the Barracks, to enable Headquarters Forces Command to thank the local community for its support.

The December 3 event featured performances by the Australian Army Band – Sydney and the Scots College Pipes and Drums band.

Local resident Vicky Skarlatos, who has been a regular attendee over the years, said it was a wonderful day.

“I was really excited when I heard the carols were on again. My husband quickly grabbed the tickets because I knew they would go quickly,” Mrs Skarlatos said.

Many attendees took the opportunity to enjoy a picnic during the sunny weather, including first-time attendee Alexander Collins, who enjoyed the family friendly nature of the event.

“We just came up for a long weekend with my dad, and it’s nice for the kids,” Mr Collins said.

“I have been to the barracks many times over the years but have never come to the carols before. The kids love it. Out in the sun dancing; it’s a perfect day.”

The children especially enjoyed a visit from Santa Claus, delivered in a military police vehicle.

Chief of Staff of Headquarters Forces Command, Brigadier Malcolm Wells, thanked the local community for attending.

“We’re very proud to have been part of the Paddington community since the 1840s, and it’s wonderful for us to be able to open the gates and share Christmas with our neighbours,” Brigadier Wells said.

Carols at the Barracks also featured an information stand from the 248 Army Cadet Unit City of Sydney (Gadigal) unit, the Victoria Barracks military museum, and served as a fundraiser for Legacy, which Brigadier Wells also thanked.

“I would also really like to thank our charity partners,” he said.

“Legacy was born from a promise on the battlefield, from a digger dying in his mate’s arms, who said, ‘Look after the missus and kids’.

“Thank you, Legacy, for everything that you do to continue to uphold that promise, given and accepted so long ago.”





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