Over 60 individual islands make up the British Virgin Islands archipelago, you’d be mistaken for thinking that the Queen’s Baton would have a lot of ground to cover during its visit here but only 15 of these islands are inhabited.
The Caribbean nation numbers 53 of the 70 countries that the baton will journey through. Schoolchildren, athletes, politicians and the public made a huge effort to carry the baton, along streets damp with tropical rains.
The Official Welcome Ceremony for the Queen’s Baton Relay took place at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park. After the entry of the flag bearers, the National Anthem and a Territorial Song were performed by Ms Deanna Wattley. At the conclusion of the Welcome Ceremony, the baton was handed over to the first batonbearer, Steve Augustine for the start of the baton relay in BVI.
Next up was a road based relay from Road Town to A O Shirley Recreation Grounds and involved a total of 12 batonbearers including His Excellency the Governor – Boyd McCleary.
The road based relay continued through Capoon Bay and Carrot Bay where the baton was carried by a further 5 batonbearers prior to a vehicle convoy to De Wedding, Cane Garden Bay.A further 4 batonbearers carried the baton from Cane Garden to Quito Beach.
With the generous cooperation of the Royal British Virgin Islands Police Force and their speedboat launch, the baton journeyed to islands with exotic names such as Beef Island, Tortola Island, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda. The Police launch then transferred the baton to Nanny Cay Marina where there was a sail by with Tortola Sloops and the BVI Optimist Sailing Team.
Historic sites were visited and incredible beaches highlighted, including the famous ‘Baths’ on Virgin Gorda - a beach area amongst a fascinating geological landscape of large boulders on the foreshore.
Most of all the baton’s visit to the British Virgin islands will be remembered for the enthusiasm of the public, joining the batonbearers relaying the baton through their communities.
The journey continues throughout the Caribbean…