Baton surfs a hot Straddie welcome

UNDER a brilliant blue sky, Quandamooka elder Aunty Rose Borey proudly carried the Queen’s Baton at Point Lookout on Monday in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.

She was joined by local stars Firebird Jemma Mi Mi, surfing champion Bede Durbidge and Commonwealth Games medal designer Delvene Cockatoo-Collins.

Aunty Rose walked into the point’s Headland Park flanked by an honour guard of beaming lifesavers.

Redland City mayor Karen Williams said having the baton at Point Lookout was a major event and gave Redlands two bites of the Commonwealth Games publicity cherry.

“It is exciting that the baton gets to go to Straddie, home of Quandamooka artist Delvene Cockatoo-Collins, whose wonderful coast-inspired designs have been selected for the Commonwealth Games medal,’’ Cr Williams said.

Thousands of spectators crammed the park in hot conditions to see the baton and meet GC2018 mascot Borobi.

The celebration – led by Mark Beretta of Channel 7’s Sunrise – featured a traditional smoking ceremony, cultural demonstrations, the Yulu-Burri-Ba dancers, sand art, bush tucker experiences, workshops and children’s activities.

The baton returns to Redlands on Easter Saturday, March 31, with 19 bearers chosen to carry it from Cleveland Lighthouse Reserve along North Street, Shore Street North and Shore Street West before arriving at Raby Bay Harbour Park. It will then leave the Redlands via Waterloo Street.

There will be a free community celebration from 8.30am to 12.30pm.

Redlander and television personality Lincoln Lewis and Olympic Gold medallist and beach volleyballer Natalie Cook will lead that event.

Cr Williams said that to have two baton events in the Redlands was special.

The baton will finally arrive at the Gold Coast for the XXI Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on  April 4 where the Prince of Wales will remove the Queen’s message and read it to declare the Games open.