Warm welcome for Queen’s Baton Relay

NORTHERN suburb residents were out in force on Friday 9 February, lining the streets to welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay as it completed the Glenorchy leg of its 230,000-kilometre journey to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

In celebration of the historic event, Glenorchy City Council hosted a community event on its council lawns, featuring entertainment from the Dancing Divas, Games Boy and singers Doug and Codie Mansell.

The YMCA also held dance classes, with the Lions Club of Glenorchy keeping everyone fed with free sausages.

Glenorchy had 19 runners participate in the leg, with the baton starting off its tour at Glenorchy Primary School.

Alongside school students, Glenorchy Mayor Kristie Johnston launched the leg to a backdrop of students waving handmade flags.

The first Glenorchy runner to take up the baton was Jacob Welch.

A baton changeover then occurred near Glenorchy City Council between former Glenorchy Citizen of the Year John Ward, of Rosetta, and former Young Citizen of the Year Dakoda Leary, of Chigwell.

The Baton also visited Moonah and Bowen Road Primary Schools on its way to Hobart, where celebrations wrapped up for Tasmania.

Mayor Johnston said the atmosphere was “very jovial.”

“Everyone could feel the excitement in the air,” she said.

“This was a great opportunity for our community to come together and watch this auspicious occasion and be involved in something that so rarely comes our way.

“It was brilliant watching City of Glenorchy residents being part of the Baton Relay.

“Our older generation in John passing the baton to our younger generation in Dakoda was a very special moment and one I’m sure they will both remember for a long time.”

During their school stop, Moonah Primary School students delivered a welcome song in a number of different languages.

The students had been tracking the progress of the Baton since mid-2017.

“The whole school community was excited to be part of this special event and each teacher was encouraging the students to be curious about the Baton Relay,” Moonah Primary School principal Kathy Morgan said.

“The song the students sung was called Nihao, Jambo, Hola (Singing All the Way Home).”

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.

Caption: Moonah Primary School student leaders Nerida McCarthy, Lilly Carling and Connor Maguire farewelling baton bearer Lydia Bruford. Photo credit: Captured Moments Productions.