The Queen’s Baton Relay may only have spent a day on the islands of Bermuda, but what a day it was! This whirlwind journey took in the city and towns of St. George’s, Hamilton, Pembroke and Devonshire, with the baton being carried by boat, foot, bicycle, and even horse-drawn carriage and classic motorbike.
The sun shone down as rowers from the St. George’s Sea Cadets took the baton out on the water from Convict Bay into the nearby harbour. As the baton was brought ashore, heralded by the Town Crier, actors in period costume performed in the historic and colourful town centre of St. George’s – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From there, the relay progressed around the island with dignitaries, businessmen, politicians and schoolchildren from various running clubs carrying the baton and posing for photographs.
When the baton reached the Botanical Gardens and Agricultural Exhibition, it was met by five Commonwealth Games legends. John Morbey was Bermuda’s first ever medal winner at Kingston 1966, Brian Wellman won Bronze for the Triple Jump at Victoria 1994, and Antoine Jones and Conrad Lister took Silver in the men’s doubles for tenpin bowling at Kuala Lumpur 1998.
Clarence ‘Nicky’ Saunders won High Jump Gold at Auckland 1990, and his record jump height remained a Commonwealth Games record for 24 years! He had flown from his home in London to take part in the Queen’s Baton Relay in Bermuda, showing his love for his sport, nation and fellow Bermudians. A humble man, he spoke of his desire to meet with the current athletes of Bermuda who are hoping to attend Glasgow 2014 this summer.
The Bermuda Regiment Band and the Bermuda Islands Pipe Band’s drumming accompanied young athletes running with the baton. Near Cabinet Office, the Warner Gombeys (a theatrical dance troupe) whirled and hopped, the hand drawn masks blazing bright and colourful in the sunshine. The drumming and whistles of the music drew crowds of people who lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the baton, and to hear Premier Craig Cannonier welcome the relay to Bermuda.
The day ended with the baton visiting WindReach, a recreational centre for people with disabilities. Para-sport athletes played basketball, talked of the newly acquired world rankings they hold in bocce, and passed the baton amongst themselves – bringing an end to a busy and energetic relay day in Bermuda.
Find more of the latest images from the baton’s journey around the Commonwealth.