By KEITH PUARIA
THE Queen’s Baton arrived yesterday in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, the 51st country, since the beginning of its journey last Oct 29, last year, all set for today’s relay around the city, which starts at Independence Hill at 9.30am.
“Welcome to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea,” National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop said as Commonwealth Games Federation representative Tapasu Leung Wai handed the baton over to PNGSFOC secretary-general Sir John Dawanincura.
The baton, accompanied by a four-man delegation, relay expert Jason Dwyer, organising committee representative Parul Thapar, photographer Mukundan Asokan and Wai, was received at the Jackson International Airport VIP media conference room by Parkop, Sir John, Yash Pal Singh, second secretary of the Indian High Commission and members of the city relay organising committee.
Also arriving with the baton and the delegation was PNG High Commissioner to India, Tarcisius Eri.
“It is an honour to bring the baton over to PNG, the 1.1 billion people of India are looking forward to hosting the games and they are well-prepared.
“India has a lot to prove and they are prepared,” Eri said.
Wai, also head of the Samoan Olympic Committee, told those present that the role the Pacific nations played in the Commonwealth were an important part of the union.
“This is all about culture and we bring culture to the Commonwealth Games,” he said.
Especially made for the India Games, the baton was made with spectacular feature, from the jewelry box containing Her Majesty the Queen’s message, a body that is composed of a mixture of soil collected from the 28 states of India and a lighting that marks the colours of the country’s flag, whichever country it arrives at.
Other features also include GPS system, and an inbuilt camera.
“It is not about the end or winning, but the journey that lasts,” Leung Wai said at the conference.