The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) has announced 16 local batonbearers to carry the Queen’s Baton through Ayr.
The baton will pass through Ayr on Monday 19 March, 2018 as part of the 100-day countdown to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018).
A community nomination process earlier this year saw members of the public called upon to nominate inspirational local legends to take part in the epic journey.
Long serving Home Hill community volunteer George ‘Chippo’ Chappell will carry the baton after being recognised during the nomination process for his tireless work in the community.
Mr Chappell, who grows the cane for the Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships, is also a Vietnam War veteran and has been President of the Home Hill Harvest Festival, a three-time President of the Lions Club, President of the Local Ambulance Committee, a 20-year volunteer and member of the board of the Lower Burdekin Home for the Aged and carried the Olympic Torch during its journey to the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
“Being selected to carry the baton means a lot to me,” Mr Chappell said.
“I love the district. I was born and bred in the Burdekin and I am so proud to be able to do this.”
Also named as a batonbearer, Ayr resident Tony Goddard was nominated by the community for his longstanding volunteer work with Burdekin Touch Association, Radio 97.1 Sweet FM and Rotary.
“I’m very proud to have been nominated and selected,” he said.
“It’s a great honour to be part of the baton team and to be recognised by people in the community for the volunteer work I do.”
Collectively across the country, batonbearers will take more than a million steps to bring the Baton to its final destination, the Games’ Opening Ceremony on 4 April, 2018.
Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin thanked the batonbearers on their contributions to the community.
“I am immensely proud of our batonbearers and the role they will take when the Queen’s Baton comes to town,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“I encourage you to support these great people in our community, and to share a memorable moment with the Queen’s Baton yourselves.”
GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie AC said for the batonbearers, it would be a rare and unforgettable experience.
“We couldn’t be more excited for the batonbearers who will be a part of this rich tradition,” Mr Beattie said.
“We are honoured to have so many great Australians carry Her Majesty’s message for Gold Coast 2018 and we look forward to celebrating their stories and inspiring generations to come.”
From Canberra on 25 January, 2018, the Baton will switch gears to a traditional Relay and be carried by great Australians through QBR celebration communities around the country.
The full list of Burdekin Shire batonbearers is: