The West

Ken’s gun: Ken Boyland, of Mid West Fireworks, with the replica cannon, made in Perth, that was fired as the traditional Sunset Gun at the HMAS Sydney II commemoration.
Ken’s gun: Ken Boyland, of Mid West Fireworks, with the replica cannon, made in Perth, that was fired as the traditional Sunset Gun at the HMAS Sydney II commemoration.

Many people at the HMAS Sydney II commemoration on November 19 were surprised by the Sunset Gun.

This naval tradition of ending the day with a ceremonial cannon blast has in the past been enacted with a rifle shot, but this year it was done with a real cannon.

Recently acquired by Ken Boyland of Mid West Fireworks, little was known of its history, made even more mysterious by the City of Perth crest on its breech along with the letters VEEM PERTH.

Excited by a mystery, we began tracing the gun’s background, starting with the City of Perth — had the cannon been made for some special occasion, and was it as old as it appeared to be?

We drew a blank there, the City of Perth’s history department had no record of it, so we turned to VEEM Engineering, where managing director Mark Miocevich was able to fill in some substantial gaps.

Full story in today's print edition.

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