From the Maitland Mercury report:
Maitland will take a step back to medieval times for an official ceremony this Saturday morning.
About 30 officers and sailors from HMAS Maitland will be in the Levee to exercise their right to Freedom of Entry to the City.
The concept goes back to the middle ages when there were disputes between land owning nobles, and armed bodies were rarely admitted into cities. However, in special cases, they were given freedom of entry and it signified true friendship and often the expectation that the armed body would assist in the defence of the city.
The granting of Freedom of Entry is the highest accolade a town or city can bestow upon a group or individual.
Full article available at Maitland Mercury, 19 Oct 2017.