Rais­ing the Ruby­vale pro­file

Gem miner to run the baton re­lay

Central Queensland News - - SPORT - Aden Stokes Aden.Stokes@cqnews.com.au

BATON BEARER: Gem­fields man Peter Brown, along with his wife Eileen, have put a lot of time and ef­fort into boost­ing the pro­file and com­mu­nity of Ruby­valle.

Mr Brown has been in­volved with the Gem­fields com­mu­nity for more than 30 years.

He was pres­i­dent of the Gem­fields Progress As­so­ci­a­tion for more than 20 years. Dur­ing that time, he was in charge of or­gan­is­ing the Gem­fields Iron­man Wheel­bar­row Derby, which ran for 20 years.

He also co-owns the Ruby­vale Gem Gallery, along­side his wife, which they es­tab­lished in 1988 and still mines reg­u­larly for gems, in his own mine, to cut and turn into fine jew­ellery.

Mr Brown, who has been named as a Com­mon­wealth baton bearer next year, said he and Eileen worked on com­mit­tees and fought hard to pro­tect all as­pects of the com­mu­nity.

“We fought hard and at­tended big meet­ings with the gov­ern­ment in Bris­bane to make sure the Fos­sick­ing Act was de­vel­oped,” he said.

“When you look back on it, if we hadn’t fought like that, a lot of these fields would prob­a­bly have been dug out.

“I point out to peo­ple to­day that if we hadn’t fought to pro­tect these areas, this place wouldn’t ex­ist, there wouldn’t be the pub, there wouldn’t be the var­i­ous shops or the tourist lines we have had over the past 30 years.”

Mr Brown, who moved to the Gem­fields in 1975, said he felt priv­i­leged to be a part of the his­toric ba­ton­car­ry­ing team as it made its way through re­gional Queens­land be­fore ar­riv­ing on the Gold Coast for the open­ing cer­e­mony.

“I was re­ally ex­cited to find out I was go­ing to be a baton bearer,” he said.

“I think it will be a re­ally great thing to be a part of and the fact the baton is com­ing through this re­gion is won­der­ful.”

Mr Brown said he and his wife were sit­ting in a clinic when she nom­i­nated him with­out his knowl­edge.

“She knows we both spend a lot of time in the com­mu­nity and it came up on Face­book and said you can nom­i­nate some­one who has been a big part of the com­mu­nity, so she sent in my nom­i­na­tion,” Mr Brown said.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate it and it will be one of those mo­ments that I will never for­get.

“To show the com­mu­nity in a re­ally good light and be­ing a part of the Com­mon­wealth Games Re­lay, you can’t ask for more than that.”

Nowa­days, Mr Brown has put his time and ef­fort into work­ing on the Gem­fields In­ter­pre­tive Trail Com­mit­tee and is phys­i­cally help­ing to build the new art in­stal­la­tion at the Anakie cross­roads.

“The re­gion has got so much his­tory, so much in­trigue, fa­mous stones and sto­ries,” he said.

“We de­cided that we needed to en­hance the vis­i­tors ex­pe­ri­ence by show­cas­ing a lot of these sto­ries, so we have done it by do­ing an in­ter­pre­tive trail.”

PHOTO: EILEEN BROWN

BATON HON­OUR: Peter Brown has been se­lected to be a baton bearer for the 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Peter and his wife, Eileen Brown.

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