Streets lined, citizens celebrated, as history passes through city

CELEBRATE: Madi Harvey last saw the Commonwealth Queen's Baton pass through Wodonga whens he was two-years-old. Picture: SOPHIE BOYD
CELEBRATE: Madi Harvey last saw the Commonwealth Queen's Baton pass through Wodonga whens he was two-years-old. Picture: SOPHIE BOYD

Border residents came out in force to ‘witness history’ as the Commonwealth Queen’s Baton passed through the region for the first time since 2006. 

Wodonga Middle Years College student Madi Harvey was just two years’ old when she last went saw the Commonwealth Games Baton pass through the city.

“Mum or dad took me but I don’t remember,” she said.

“It was pretty cool seeing it today and a good memory to have.”

While Madi might have been too young to remember the 2006 relay, Lizzie Foster-Irons is hoping her son Isaac, 5, will treasure the memory of going with her and his grandmother Christine Fellows.

“He’s seen a part of history now,” she said.

Patricia Gee of Wodonga has seen multiple relays come through the city and said the turn up along the route was a bit disappointing.

“When I got here I thought ‘there’s nothing here I must have missed it’,” she said.

“But then all the school children came.

“I was here for the Sydney 2000 relay and there were lots more people then, the streets were thick with people, there’s not many here today.”

Albury-born sporting legend and four-time Olympian Lauren Jackson said she was proud to represent her hometown and Australia on the Border.

“It’s a massive honour, I’m so proud to be here,” she said.

“Wodonga really put on a great show it’s amazing.

“It’s been a real testament to our community and what we were all able to achieve.”

Ms Jackson said the event was a fantastic success and showed the best of Wodonga.

Mary Harkness and Wilma Cunnington waiting along the baton route.

Mary Harkness and Wilma Cunnington waiting along the baton route.

“This is the part of my career where my career is really over and I get to enjoy the spoils of what I was able to achieve,” she said.

Mayor Anna Speedie said it was amazing for the city to be a part of the international event.

“I’d like to thank all the volunteers who made it happen, it is a great honour for our city to host this event,” she said.

Mary Harkness and Wilma Cunnington sought shade from the heat under and umbrella as they waited for the baton to pass them by near Wodonga Senior Secondary College.

Ms Cunnington said it was great visitors would see how the region had transformed in recent years.

“Wodonga is a great place to live I just came back 12 years ago after living in Melbourne for 30 and Wodonga just makes me happy,” she said.