On 13th March 2017, The Queen sealed her message to the Commonwealth Games inside a specially designed baton created from Macadamia wood and reclaimed plastic from Gold Coast waterways. Then for 388 days it has been travelling the world visiting all Commonwealth nations and territories. A total of 230,000 kilometres. Everywhere it has been greeted by cheering and enthusiastic crowds. Periodically we would get a report on the TV as to where it had got to. Then in December it reached Australia. Non stop it was passed from hand to hand as it travelled the length and breadth of the country.
Then today it passed along the beach front at Burleigh, and I was there to cheer it on and, of course, take photos.
Well before the baton arrived a crowd had gathered and an Aboriginal artist entertained with stories and jokes then played the didgeridoo. It was very sunny and the atmosphere was happy and expectant.
As it neared time for the baton bearer to arrive the crowds moved to the road side
All ages from young to old were waiting.
First to appear was a large contingent of police on motorbikes, push bikes, on foot and in police cars. The security is very visible and strong
A ripple of cheering passed along the crowd as the Baton relay van came round the corner. A very patriotic couple were waving an oversized Aussie flag.
Then behind the relay bus we could see the runner with the baton. The cheering, flag waving and clapping intensified.Can you see him? He is behind the van, on a skate board, holding the baton on high I only had a few seconds to snatch a photo before the police running on each side blocked my view.
Unfortunately I missed the names of the baton bearers, but 3800 people, young and old, well know celebrities to unsung heroes and maybe even just the ordinary people next door, all have had the honour of carrying the baton around Australia. The baton changed hands and this very excited woman now has the honour of taking it on the next lap.She was only to happy to let people in the crowd take a “selfie” with her. The police were keeping a very close watch on all that went on.
Then with one last wave.She trotted off along the Esplanade with the ever present police escort heading for the hi-rises of Surfers Paradise.
One more day the baton will go around more Gold Coast suburbs then tomorrow evening is the opening ceremony and the Games will start. 6,600 athletes from 71 Nations and Territories are here to compete. Over one million visitors will arrive for the 11 days of the Games and 15000 friendly volunteers have joined in to share the dream and meet and greet the visitors. It is a massive undertaking.