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Royal Welcome For Queen’s Baton

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Rowena Dionysius, from Kingaroy, with Paige O’Connor, from Wyalla, who carried the Queen’s Baton into the Memorial Park Rotunda

The 19 runners that took the Queen’s Baton through the streets of Kingaroy

March 29, 2018

It’s just a simple loop made from macadamia wood and recycled plastic – bits and pieces collected off Gold Coast beaches – but the Queen’s Baton created some very special memories for a lot of people in Kingaroy this week.

The baton has passed through thousands of hands on its way from London to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, amazingly without being lost or damaged along the way.

There’s only one baton, and only one message from the Queen inside, which explains why there were so many police hovering when it arrived in Kingaroy on Tuesday.

The baton was carried – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly – via 19 runners on a winding route through Kingaroy from Baron Street to Memorial Park.

Along the way, small groups of friends and relatives waved on street corners, and hundreds of selfies were snapped.

The largest crowd seen in Memorial Park for many years greeted the baton on its arrival at the Rotunda.

After the official speeches ended, the crowd enjoyed an evening of family entertainment, including whip-cracking, dancing, junior karate on stage, and an array of food prepared by local community groups.

PS. If you don’t believe us about the recycled plastic … according to the Relay organisers the materials ground up to make the leading edge of the baton included buckets, chairs, bottle caps, washing baskets, takeaway food containers, pizza tripods and plastic toys.

Police escorted the Baton cavalcade on motorbikes, pushbikes and on foot

South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell and students from Cooyar State School wave to runners

Runner Janita Langton had a cheer squad on the footpath, including her father, Cherbourg councillor Tom Langton, centre

Residents waited outside their homes to wave to the runners

SES volunteers were stationed on street corners to control the traffic

Workmen fixing the roof of the Kingaroy Heritage Museum had a bird’s eye view of the Relay as it headed up Haly Street

Paul Clegg, right, passed over the Baton to his nephew Pacey in Glendon Street

Gayndah’s Zane Ratcliff stopped to perform an enthusiastic shake-a-leg dance

Small marquees were erected outside the Ambulance Station in Edward Street to provide some shade for spectators

Some of the spectators waving green-and-gold flags in Edwards Street

* * *

Official Ceremony

Paige O’Connor carries the Queen’s Baton triumphantly into Memorial Park
(Photo: Nancy Jayde Photography)

Somewhere in this crowd, runner Paige O’Connor is handing over the Baton to the official party

Kingaroy State High School choir sung the National Anthem in Yugambeh and English … Yugambeh is the language spoken by of the Ngarahgwal of the Gold Coast where the Commonwealth Games are being held  … Yugambeh Elders were present when the Baton left London and when it entered Australia, and the Games mascot “Borobi” is named after the Yugambeh word for “koala”

Kingaroy State High School students provided the musical accompaniment to the official ceremony

Part of the large crowd gathered in front of the Rotunda for the official ceremony

The last Kingaroy runner, Paige O’Connor, hands over the Queen’s Baton into the safe-keeping of police after the official ceremony

Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington, Cherbourg Mayor Arnold Murray, South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell and councillors  joined the runners for a group photo

* * *

Evening In The Park

Cr Ros Heit and Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff with Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington

There was a large police presence during the Baton Relay, with both visiting police and local officers, above, providing security and safety

Wondai SES members in Memorial Park … from left, Peter McKenzie, Nick Rodgers and Warren Allan

Some of the Council team making sure everything was running smoothly … from left, Tracey Williams, Kimberley Donohue, Michael Hunter, Fiona Kemp and Angela Hayes

Dancers from the Kingaroy Dance Academy after their evening performance in Memorial Park

Whipcrackers Peter Tidmarsh and Winston Liesegang, from St John’s Lutheran School

Alan and Pat Eagleson, from Mon-Dee Coffee 2 Go, are familiar faces at local events

Sista Sista, from Kingaroy State High School, performed some modern traditional-style dancing

Volunteers from the QCWA’s Kingaroy Twilight meeting were selling home-made cakes and slices

Kingaroy Rotary volunteers were busy with steak burgers

Other stalls were being manned by volunteers from Kingaroy State High School …

… and Coolabunia State School …

… and Kingaroy State School …

… and Crawford State School …

… and Kingaroy Lions, who were dishing out the hot chips

South Burnett First Aid volunteers were on hand, just in case … from left, Alicia Pidgeon, Cr Roz Frohloff, Brittany Williams and Grant Geddes

Kingaroy Visitor Information Centre volunteers Kay Clark, Donna Jones and Kevin Waldegrave were handing out free lucky numbers tickets

* * *

More Of The Runners

Nineteen runners carried the Queen’s Baton along a route winding from Baron Street to Memorial Park, via Kingaroy, Haly, Edward, Youngman, Haly, Glendon, Markwell and William streets.

Afterwards they gathered together in Memorial Park for the official welcoming ceremony.

Heather Litzow, from Kingaroy, with Brenna Prendergast, from Tingoora, who was the first runner in the Kingaroy leg of the Relay

Brenna Prendergast, Floyd “Cookie” Aubrey, from Murgon, and Gabrielle Duncombe, from Cooyar

Stephen Copas, Noel Edmonstone and Pacey Clegg

Alison Murray and Craig Lucas

Paul Clegg, Amanda Austin and Janita Langton

Ron Mitchell, Lex Petersen and Kerryn O’Brien

* * *

The Relay Run Begins

* * *

The runners in order were:

  • Brenna Prendergast – Tingoora
  • Alison Murray – Kingaroy
  • Gabrielle Duncombe – Cooyar
  • Krishna Stanton – Gordon Park
  • Kerryn O’Brien – Northgate
  • Ronald Mitchell – Gayndah
  • Floyd Aubrey – Murgon
  • Stephen Copas –  Wooroolin
  • Heather Litzow – Kingaroy
  • Noel Edmondstone – Kingaroy
  • Lex Petersen – Kingaroy
  • Zane Ratcliff – Gayndah
  • Paul Clegg – Taabinga
  • Pacey Clegg – Kingaroy
  • Amanda Austin – Wilsonton
  • Janita Langton – Cherbourg
  • Craig Lucas – Kingaroy
  • Rowena Dionysius – Kingaroy
  • Paige O’Connor – Wyalla

[UPDATED with correction]

Anderssons Fruit Market for quality fruits and vegetables

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