Queen’s Baton comes to town

Rachael Hyde, flanked by Queensland Police, bringing the baton into the Narrandera Sportsground.

The Queen’s Baton made its way through Narrandera on Sunday.

The baton was on its third day of its trip across Australia, having already made its way through the ACT.

Roads were closed and the town was out on the streets to see the baton carried by fourteen local legends. The baton is made of macadamia timber and recycled plastic, which was reclaimed from beaches on the Gold Coast. Inside is a message from Queen Elizabeth II, which will be read at the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games by HRH the Prince of Wales, Charles.

The baton was borne from the Marie Bashir Park to the Narrandera Sportsground, a route selected by the Queen’s Baton Relay Committee, which was apparently the same route chosen during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games torch relay.

The Narrandera leg of the Queen’s Baton relay kicked off with a Welcome to Country by Ronnie Williams, as well as Michael Lyons performing on the didgeridoo. A welcome addition was Neville Bamblett, leading a troupe of Wiradjuri Dancers, before the baton was carried out by Lilly Hewitt.

Bruce Waters, Jack Langley, Keith Shannon, Keira Pham, Rosemary Orr, Sharon Rowlands, Norm Harris, Keira Wynne, Gerry Daly, Trinity Murphy, Gary Roberts, and Simon Lee carried the baton across Narrandera, with Rachael Hyde bringing it home to the Sportsground.

The relay was attended by both Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley and State Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke.

The baton relay is a “logistical nightmare” as one staffer joked. A Queensland Police contingent has been assigned to escort the baton as it makes its way across the country, travelling through every State and Territory before it makes its way to the Gold Coast for the opening ceremony in April.

There is also a contingent of Police who escort the baton as it passes through each State, alongside a crew of hard workers who act as drivers, photographers, security and wranglers for the three month trip around Australia.

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