By Delvon Mc Ewan
The Queen’s Baton relay is a reminder to the Commonwealth family of the Queen’s commitment and role as head of the Commonwealth.
So said British High Commissioner to Guyana Andrew Ayre at a reception at Olympic Hose Monday night.
According to the British High Commissioner, it was a privilege for him to lead the British High Commission in handing over the Baton to the Guyana Olympic Association. The Baton had travelled from the Falkland Islands to Guyana a journey of approximately one and one half days, arriving in Guyana the only Commonwealth nation in South America 9:15 pm. on Sunday night.
Alistair Cameron, head of the Queen’s Baton relay team, is a short speech, thanked his team and the team from the British Broadcast Union (BBC) for being involved in the 248 days international journey. He then described the statistics of the Baton which is 1.6 kg and 65cm high. Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds, praised the Commonwealth for bringing the different peoples together. He was of the opinion that Guyana will perform well on the field at this year’s Commonwealth Games pointing out that this country has been performing well in other sectors of the Commonwealth.
GOA president K.A Juman Yassin, speaking at the welcome ceremony, thanked vice president of GOA, Dr. Karen Pilgrim, for the hard work she did to ensure a successful leg of the relay in Guyana, before adding that the Games is symbolic of the Commonwealth. He concluded by thanking everyone who was present at the ceremony, along with those who had participated making it more successful this time around.
In an invited comment, Shona Purves, a member of the Queen’s Baton Relay team told Stabroek Sports that the Baton is carrying the Queen’s message which will be open and read by the Queen on its return to Scotland, to commence the Commonwealth game. “It’s like an invitation to the Commonwealth nations to participate,” she said. On Monday, The Queen’s Baton Relay journey, which occurs throughout the nations of Commonwealth began at the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) Headquarters in Kingston and finished at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
Sports associations, diplomats, officials and stakeholders from several organization throughout Guyana participated in the relay that made significant stops at the British High Commission and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport among others.
According to Dr. Pilgrim, activities continued yesterday with the Baton expected to arrive at Aishalton at 8:30 am for a three-hour stay, with the main focus being Aishalton Primary, a school that is associated with UNICEF. She thanked the deputy regional chairman Mr. Douglas Casimero for the activities that showcased mainly the Amerindian culture.
The next stop was Orinduik Falls to display Guyana as a Land of Many Waters, before returning to the city for a dinner hosted by the GOA.
The Baton will next travel to Trinidad and Tobago.