It was a spectacular event and all of the officials present lauded their Nevisian hosts for a superior experience, as the Queen’s Baton Relay came to Nevis on Tuesday 27th June.
The visiting contingent arrived at the Charlestown Ferry Terminal at about 7.45 a.m and were officially greeted by Director of Sports Mr. Jamir Claxton and Director of Youth, Miss Zahnela Claxton, accompanied by a contingent of personnel from the Youth and Sports Department, along with several media houses which included NTV channel 8; the Communications Department in the Ministry of Social Development and NevisPages.com
Also present were some of Nevis’ finest athletes, who would later took turns in taking around the precious baton which contains the Queen’s message, which will eventually be read at the Commonwealth games, to be held in Queensland, Australia in 2018.
The athletes included: Kurvin Wallace (former Olympian); Kezron Archibald; Tiana Liburd; Siana Leader; Aljae Newton; Ross Powell; Kerisha Powell and top FIFA referee, Kimbel Ward.
Brief interviews were conducted on the pier with some of the officials, who included Kate Shaw of Australia; Alphonso Bridgewater, President of the St. Kitts and Nevis Olympic committee (SKNOC), Dennis Knight, Vice President of the St.Kitts and Nevis Olympic games committee, Zahnela Claxton, Director of Youth and Jamir Claxton, Director of Sports.
Also present was Mr. Leroy Greene of the SKNOC.
Kate Shaw pointed out that the relay will affect 70 commonwealth nations and is the longest relay in history which actually covers 230,000 kilometers in 388 days.
The visitors were then treated to the exquisite sounds of the Gingerland Methodist Drum Corps and this provided the unique forum for a series of photo opps.
From the pier, the delegation walked to the historic Alexander Hamilton museum where more photos were taken with the athletes and even the staff members there got a hold of the baton.
The contingent then marched through Main street Charlestown, accompanied by the drum corps and this not only placed general traffic on pause but more significantly, placed WORK on pause as well, as many of the employees in the general area, ceased work to witness the parade first hand.
Some also got the opportunity to pose with some of the athletes and officials for photos with the baton.
Also joining the delegation at this juncture, was Minister of Social Development, Hon. Hazel Brandy- Williams, who showed off some of her unique dance moves, allowing for many more photo opps en route.
That segment of the relay climaxed at the historic Bath Hotel where more photos were taken on the steps of the historic building and even in nearby trees and at the Bath springs, which is only a stone’s throw away.
Leaving the drum corp behind, the delegation was then transported to another historic site on the island—the New River estate, the location of a former sugar factory. Quite some time was spent at this site and it was obvious that the visitors were quite intrigued with the many facets of the site and hundreds of photos were taken there.
They then moved on to the Nevisian Heritage Village, where gracious host, Pat Thompson, delivered an historic overview of what the village entails and gave the delegates a personal tour, which involved another series of photos.
The day’s journey, climaxed at the scenic Botanical gardens where host and owner, Ms. Christi Douglas delivered an enthralling personalized tour of the property and then provided complimentary drinks.
Hundreds of photos were also taken with the athletes and other members of the delegation and staff at the gardens.
A brief closing ceremony was then held which was ably chaired by Mr. Jamir Claxton and also featured remarks from Ms. Sandra Osbourne, Honorary Legal Advisor for the Commonwealth Games Federation and Mr. Alphonso Bridgewater, President of the SKNOC, who particularly applauded his Nevisian hosts for a top class accommodation of this leg of the relay.
Mr. Kurvin Wallace also spoke on behalf of the athletes.
The official delegation will now move on to Anguilla to continue the symbolic run and this will eventually end at the Gold Coast, in Queensland, Australia, for the Commonwealth Games in 2018.