City pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II
A seven-gun salute, illumination of the City Hall Clock Tower and a condolence book signing are among the events planned by the City of Newcastle to commemorate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Fort Scratchley Historical Society will fire a salute – one for each decade of the Queen's reign – at 10am on Thursday 22 September as part of the National Day of Mourning.
The clock tower at City Hall on King Street is also set to turn regal purple, while the City Administration Centre will open from 9am to 12pm for those wishing to sign the condolence book.
Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen encouraged the community to attend the events during the National Day of Mourning.
"Queen Elizabeth II has left an indelible mark on our city and throughout the world, which can be seen in the outpouring of emotion following her passing," Councillor Clausen said.
"We invite the community to pay tribute to the Queen at these events, and we will continue to fly the city's flags at half-mast until further notice as a sign of respect."
City of Newcastle will also host this month's Ordinary Council Meeting in the former chamber at City Hall in recognition of Queen Elizabeth II's first trip to Newcastle in 1954.
During that visit, she toured the city with the Duke of Edinburgh, arriving by train at Newcastle Station and being officially welcomed at City Hall before visiting No.1 Sportsground, BHP Steelworks, Stockton, and Newcastle Airport.
Queen Elizabeth II returned to Newcastle in 1970 to open the International Sports Centre and visited again seven years later to open Australia's first purpose-built regional gallery, the Newcastle Art Gallery, on 11 March 1977.
Her final visit occurred in May 1988 when she opened Queens Wharf, a project spearheaded by former Lord Mayor Joy Cummings.
City of Newcastle will close several of its facilities on the National Day of Mourning, including all libraries, apart from the City Administration Centre, which is open from 9am to 12pm for condolence book signings; the Newcastle Museum; and Beresfield Childcare Centre. Fort Scratchley is set to close for the remainder of the day following the seven-gun salute.
Elsewhere across the city, Port of Newcastle will support the commemorative efforts by lighting up Dyke Point from 5:30pm to midnight during the National Day of Mourning while the Crystalbrook Kingsley hotel will turn purple as a mark of respect.
The community can also attend a memorial service and lay floral tributes at Christ Church Cathedral from 7:30pm tonight (Wednesday 14 September).
For those unable to sign the condolence book on Thursday 22 September, the book will remain at the City Administration Centre until Friday 23 September and can be signed Monday to Friday between 8:30am to 5pm.