As the 2018 Commonwealth Games gears up for a start in April, the traditional Baton Relay reaches its final stage. The Baton’s journey began some twelve months ago in London at Buckingham Palace. The Queen’s message contained within the Baton has made an extensive international trip, zigzagging all over the world before landing in Australia on 24 December. On February 22, the Baton reached Albany where proud VisAbility clients Michael Berg and June Humphries were expectantly waiting to join the relay and ensure the Baton was safely on its way to the Gold coast.
It was Karen, June’s daughter, who nominated her mother for the relay. “Her lack of vision doesn’t stop her, nor does her age.” Karen said. “At 85 she swims every day down at Middleton beach, attends the gym, volunteers at multiple places in Albany and never misses out on an opportunity to go out.”
Of the 28 people carrying the Baton in Albany, June was one of 11 that gathered together. She ran along Hardie Road in Spencer Park, up to the local IGA. “It was a fantastic experience”, she said. June says she feels privileged to live in Albany, and does not let macular degeneration stop her doing the things she loves.
Michael was equally as excited to be carrying the Baton in Albany. “I shared the news with my Father first. It is great to share this honour of carrying the Queens Baton as my Dad and my Uncle both were Baton Bearers in the 1990 Commonwealth Games. So it is great to be able to share the joy and memory of that with them. I was the last Baton Bearer for Albany before it leaves to continue its journey on to Denmark.
Michael is a great lover of sports, and wishes the athletes well on their journey.
“My message to all the athletes is believe in yourselves and have courage to follow your dream as we are all behind you, supporting you. Australia we are team and we support each other. We can’t all make it to Brisbane, but we will be there in spirit.”
Congratulations to June and Michael on their baton bearing experience! We are proud that two of our Albany clients were given this special moment that they will both remember for a long time to come.