Queen’s Baton relay to be run here over two days

Vice-President of the Commonwealth Games Committee (CGC) John Hoskins and his accompanying party arrived in Guyana this morning along with the Queen’s Baton which will be relayed across Guyana over a two-day period, similar to the Olympic Torch relay.

Hopkins will be joined by Di Henry (Maxxam) Organ-ising Committee Consultant, Organising Secretary of the CGC Subie Issac, Raj Kadyan, Baldew Singh and photographer Shiv Raj.

According to President of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) K.A. Juman Yassin, a reception will be hosted tomorrow evening at the Umana Yana by the Indian High Commission where the majestic truncheon would be displayed.

President Bharrat Jagdeo will be the first person to transport the baton tomorrow from State House on Main Street and then it would be handed over to Minister of Sport Dr. Frank Anthony.

The baton which started its relay journey from the residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on October 29 last year will be taken to 71 countries before touching down in New Delhi, India for the opening ceremony of the 19th Commonwealth Games on October 3. The Queen’s Baton was created for a relay to commemorate the Cardiff 1958 Commonwealth Games in Wales. The baton for New Delhi is a fusion of handcrafted elements interplayed with a precision engineered body, and ornamented with an intricate hand-layered soil pattern.

Its shape and design is created using a triangular section of aluminum which has been twisted in the form of a helix and then coated with a diverse range of coloured soils collected from all corners of India. At the pinnacle is a precious jewellery box containing the Queen’s message to the participating athletes.

The message has been symbolically engraved onto a miniature 18 carat gold leaf, representative of the ancient Indian ‘patras’ (a popular vegetarian dish in the state of Gujarat in the western region of India). Its main ingredient is the leaf of the Taro plant (Colocasia esculenta).

Modern laser technology known as micro calligraphy has been used for the first time to reproduce the Queen’s message in this method.

This is the second time that the grandiose object is making its voyage to the ‘land of many waters’ with the first being in 2006 and the GOA boss is hoping that this time around, the stay of the baton would be better than the first.

Meanwhile at a press conference hosted last Saturday Minister Anthony said that they have mapped a comprehensive route in the city and then later for Berbice where a cyclist will take the baton from the western end of the Berbice River Bridge to New Amsterdam. On the second day of the event the baton will be taken from the Ogle International Airport to  the Kaieteur Falls and then to Lethem.

Anthony noted that very rarely does such a spectacle in Guyana reach the wonderful hinterland.  He said that there will be celebrations by the native peoples for the camera that is implanted in the baton.

Thanks to the Global Positioning System (GPS) embedded in the baton, persons worldwide would be able to see and hear what’s happening via the Games website. At the opening ceremony of the Games, the final relay runner will hand the baton back to the Queen or her representative, who will read the message aloud to officially open the Games

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