THE City of Clarence joined a historic celebration of unity, sport and passion when it played host to the XXI Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay.
Held on Friday 9 February, the Queen’s Baton Relay saw the baton carried from Howrah to Lindisfarne as residents lined the streets to cheer on those who had the honour of being batonbearers.
A highlight of the Relay’s tour of Clarence was a brief stop at Kangaroo Bay Parklands, where more than a hundred local primary school students gathered to get a closer look.
At the end of the journey through Clarence, a community celebration was held at Simmons Park, where local batonbarer and 2017 Clarence Citizen of the Year Melody Towns carried the baton onto the stage.
Residents of all ages were entertained with music, circus performances and a meet and greet with Borobi, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games mascot.
Clarence Deputy Mayor Alderman Jock Campbell, who welcomed the baton to Simmons Park, said it had been an honour to have the baton pass through so many of the municipality’s streets.
“This was really a special opportunity to be a part of something so huge – the relay has taken the baton to the far corners of the globe, not to mention all over Australia,” he said.
“It was a great opportunity to showcase our picturesque part of the world to the rest of Australia and also see members of our community be a part of the event and enjoy the atmosphere together.”
The Relay is the longest in history, travelling through the entire Commonwealth for 388 days and 230,000-kilometres.
After visiting Clarence, the baton journeyed on to Glenorchy and Hobart.
The Relay started on Commonwealth Day – Monday 13 March 2017 – at Buckingham Palace, when Her Majesty placed her message inside the baton.
The Queen’s Baton will arrive on the Gold Coast for the XXI Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on 4 April 2018, where His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, will remove Her Majesty’s message and read it aloud to declare the Games officially open.
Thirty-five people carried the baton in Clarence, many of whom are local residents.
Batonbearers included Kevin Alomes, Lynne Andrews, Susan Andrews, Cheryl Arnol, James Bentley, Todd Booth, Jack Direen, Bruce Englefield, Michael Figg, Ben Findley, Kaye Fox, Jarrod Gibson, Helen Harding, Steven Hay, Patricia Haydon, Luke Jackson, Marcia Lucas, Stephen Lunn, Christine McCormack, Zachary Millhouse, Curtis Miley, Yorke Mountford, Zoe Nolan, Joshua Oates, Cathy Ransom, Amanda Ross, Darren Sangwell, Bronilyn Smith, Daniel Sproule, Anne Steele, Melody Towns, Roger Viney, Cheryl Wilson and Alison Woolley.
Local residents Campbell Remess and Bethanie Kearney carried the baton at other locations in Tasmania.
Caption: Batonbearers, from left, Curtis Miley, Susan Andrews and Steven Hay with students from Bellerive Primary and Corpus Christi Primary School at Kangaroo Bay Parklands .