From Bermuda to Belize, via Tim Hortons Field
It will be the third time the baton — which heralds the impending Commonwealth Games — comes to Hamilton; but the first time that it will be at the location where the original Games were held.
On Friday morning at 10 a.m. sharp, the Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) will be carried into Tim Hortons Field, which sits on the same parcel of land that Civic Stadium — later renamed Ivor Wynne Stadium — did when it was built for the inaugural Commonwealth Games here in 1930.
The public is invited to the arrival ceremony. Admission, through Gate 3 beginning at 9:30 a.m., is free of charge and seating is available in the section 108.
The QBR came to Hamilton in 2010 when the ceremony was held outside Ivor Wynne Stadium; and in 2014 when festivities took place at Scott Park Arena while Tim’s field was under construction.
The baton left Buckingham Palace on March 13, and, after travelling 230,000 kms in 388 days through 70 nations, it will arrive at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games for its April 4, 2018 Opening Ceremonies.
Sealed inside is a message to the Games’ athletes from Queen Elizabeth II.
The CANUSA Games relay team will accompany one of the members of the Gold Coast Queen’s Baton Relay team into the stadium, where several prominent local figures and former Commonwealth Games athletes will take part in the baton exchange ceremony.
Masters sprint champion Bill Thompson, of Hamilton; John Ariyo, the city’s manager of community initiatives; Michael Joseph, a black belt in karate; and wheelchair tennis champion Frank Peter will be community baton bearers.
Athletes from Hamilton and southern Ontario representing each decade of Commonwealth Games will take part in the baton exchange. Vi Histed, who competed at the 1934 Games is ill, and will be represented by her granddaughter. Other former Games participants on hand will be Don McFarlane; Cecilia Carter-Smith, who is Hamilton’s QBR local chair; Janet Nutter, Chris Woodcroft, Paula Schnurr, Sue Palmer-Komar, Reid Coolsaet, Tara Quinn-Smith, and Josh Cassidy.
Martha Deacon, chef de mission for Delhi 2010 and OFSAA double gold medallist Tiana Lo Strocco, a hopeful for the 2018 Games, will also be part of the exchange.
The baton arrives in Canada on Thursday from Bermuda, and will visit the Edmonton, Victoria and Vancouver, the other three Canadian cities that have played host to the Commonwealth Games, before departing for Belize.