Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay Visits Anguilla
We welcomed the Queen’s Baton to our shores on Wednesday, 28 June, 2017 in great anticipation of a fun filled two day event. To greet the baton and its team were members of the Anguilla Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA), and various representatives from the press, with entertainment from the Anguillian Times String Band.
As the Team relaxed in the VIP lounge, immigration and customs clearance was dealt with by members of the Association with the help of a Government Official. The Team was then taken to Zemi Beach Resort, Shoal Bay, where they will reside for three (3) nights.
The first day of the Relay began around 8.30am with an invite from the Governor, Christina Scott, to attend a press conference at Government House. There the Queen’s Baton Relay Team (QBR), ACGA members and elected members of Government were given the opportunity to answer questions posed by the media.
During the press conference the Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games Team (who were going to participate in the first day of the Relay) were introduced for the first time to the public.
Representing Anguilla at the Youth Games from left to right:
Xavi Brookes – Road Cycling
T-Kailah Richardson – 200m Sprinter
Jamari Bryan – Road Cycling
Heather Richardson – Team Leader
Curlun Richardson – Boxing
Xander Owen-Vasilis – Lawn Tennis
We left Government House around 9.30am in torrential rain that lasted almost the whole day. This didn’t dampen our spirits, though plans had to be changed.
Our first visit was to Nora Niles, one of Anguilla’s centenarians at 100 years old, and then we dashed back to the east of the island to visit the Vivien Vanterpool Primary School in Island Harbour. Because of the heavy rain all activities were carried out within the confinement of the classrooms.
The next visit was to the Morris Vanterpool School with a quick stop at the Heritage Museum along the way.
We then sped to the Dove 2 Centre for special needs children, and then took a break for lunch.
After lunch we visited the Omololu International School, Central Baptist School and one of sports many sponsors on the island, Anglec.
After Anglec the rain eased off and the Youth Team were rearing to go, they took off with the baton down the road to the NCBA Bank where they handed it over to Shyrone Hughes, a participant from a previous Commonwealth Games.
The Baton changed hands with sponsors such as FLOW, Social Security and the post office. It was then taken to the Attorney General’s office and Lawyer John Benjamin’s office, and to all the Government offices nearby where it was met by the Chief Minister of Government, the honourable Victor Banks, who had the opportunity to meet Youth Team Anguilla.
That was pretty much it for the first day.
The second day of the Relay met us with kinder weather though overcast, and we were never sure if the rain would hold off until the end of our day.
After the QBR team carried out a photo shoot at Zemi Beach Resort with members of the staff, we headed out to the Miriam Gumbs Senior Citizens Home. The residents and staff were given the opportunity to touch and take photos with the Baton.
When we left the Miriam Gumbs Senior Citizens Home we were met by some of the students from the Orealia Kelly Primary School who ran with the Baton back to their school. The Minister of Government for that area, Mr Evans Rogers, was waiting at the school to give a brief interview and then walked the Baton off the school premises accompanied by some of the students.
The Baton was then taken to St Mary’s Pre School where the little ones touched and passed it amongst themselves and from there a runner took it to the Valley Primary School.
From the Valley Primary School the bicycles took over and rode it to the Ebenezer Pre School, WISE School and the Adrian T Hazell School where the children were waiting in anticipation to see and touch the Baton and also our ex Chief Minister, Hubert Hughes.
After a lunch break the Baton travelled to the Alwyn Allison Primary School, Straw Hat Restaurant and on to the Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School (ALHCS) where we were greeted by the beautiful voices of their choir singing “Anguilla I love you”, cadets in uniform and four (4) of our Gold Coast long listed athletic athletes ready to run with the Baton.
From the ALHCS we dashed to the Back Street, South Hill, to capture the beautiful scenery then travelled to Sandy Ground Bay where the photographer enjoyed a shoot with some young children sailing their miniature boats on the water. From there we visited North Hill to see our local boat builder, David Carty and his team in action.
After the North Hill Village visit we sped off to the Blowing Point Port with the motor bikers carrying the Baton all the way.
At Blowing Point Minister Curtis Richardson, representative for that area gave a short interview about the importance of the Blowing Point Port to Anguilla.
The final leg of the Relay in Anguilla ended with another centenarian holding the Baton, Ursilla Connor, 103 years old.