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GC2018: Queen's Baton reaches Queensland for final stretch

Timoci Vula
Sunday, March 04, 2018

Update: 2:16PM THE Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Queen's Baton reached the Torres Strait Islands at the weekend, marking its arrival into Queensland to begin its final stretch to the opening ceremony.

Landing on Horn Island, the arrival also starts a 33-day journey through the host state, which will visit 83 Queensland communities and be carried by more than 1800 baton bearers. 

Carrying the Queen's Baton off the plane, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) CEO, Mark Peters, spoke of the moment: "It's a great honour for me to be here and acknowledge the traditional owners, past, present and future and pass on our best wishes from the Yugambeh language group who we are doing a lot of work with on the Gold Coast as part of our Reconciliation Action Plan." 

"The Queen's Baton Relay has been on a long journey, 288 days overseas engaging with all nations and territories of the Commonwealth, to visiting all states and territories of Australia, which is something special but it's very special to be back in Queensland," Mr Peters said.

ARIA Award winning artist and Torres Strait Island legend Uncle Seaman Dan was the first baton bearer to carry the Queen's Baton on Horn Island, welcoming it in song, singing 'Welcome to the Torres Strait'.

Over to Thursday Island by ferry, the Queen's Baton arrived at the wharf to the sweet sounds of Torres Strait Island song and dance.

The island was abuzz, with the community excited and proud by the opportunity to Relay Her Majesty's Message. Hundreds lined the route and were part of the celebrations at ANZAC Park, with Borobi and local dance groups entertaining the crowds. 

"I think it's pretty exciting, it's bringing the community together and giving them the chance to come and celebrate such an important event - the deliverance of the Queen's Baton. It's great it's been recognised to come up here and we get some spotlight to show where Australia starts and that's from up here in the Torres Strait!" said baton bearer and lyrical storyteller Patrick Mau. 

"After many years of planning, we are really excited that through this experience, it will also provide an opportunity to show Australia and the world that the Torres Strait is a beautiful place and it's a place we are very proud of, enriched with our culture," said Mayor of the Torres Shire Council, Vonda Malone. 

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