Queen’s Baton departs Niue
The Queen’s Baton has left the shores of Niue on today’s flight to New Zealand. Since its arrival last Monday, the baton has seen a week-long program organized by the Niue Island Sports Commonwealth Games Association (NISCGA) [refer to table below].
On Day 1 of the program, NISCGA President Maru Talagi received the baton to his residence which was delivered by Niue Post.
On Day 2, the baton remained in Mr. Talagi’s care.
On Day 3, the National Council of Women were the first group to welcome the Queen’s baton at Makini Hall in Alofi.
On Day 4, the baton made a brief visit to the new Fale Fono at Halamahaga where it was welcomed by the Premier and Cabinet Ministers. The Queen’s baton is the first international guest of the new Fale Fono 2 and new chambers. Following the visit was a special program by Niue Primary School which began at Utuko Reef in Alofi and finished off at Niue Primary School at Paliati. The Queen’s baton then made another special visit to the Niue Chamber of Commerce and Niue Tourism.
On Day 5 last Friday, the baton joined the International Women’s Day event held at Scenic Matavai Resort where all the ladies of Niue gathered. After the event, the Queen’s Baton Relay Open Day was held at the Commercial Centre in Alofi. The Open Day allowed the public to attend and have the opportunity to hold the baton, take photos, enjoy fun activities and free sausage sizzle hosted by NISCGA since there was no per usual round-the-island relay. There were also speeches given about the sports bodies of Niue.
On Day 6, the Niue Lawn Bowls welcomed the Queen’s Baton at Fonuakula which was escorted by NISCGA President Maru Talagi. A private farewell dinner was held in the evening at Pacific Way Bar which was also hosted by Mr. Talagi.
On Sunday yesterday Day 7, the Queen’s Baton joined the Vaiea Ekalesia Church Service. The baton also made a significant trip to Vaiea’s historical village of the past Fatiau tuai.
Earlier today the NISCGA President Maru Talagi bid farewell to the Queen’s baton as it had been in his care for the past seven days. Niue Post collected the baton from his residence and delivered it to Hannan International Airport where it departed Niue.
BCN news understands that there has also been some confusion expressed on social media on how many Queen’s batons there are in the Pacific region.
According to the Cook Islands News on Facebook posted last Saturday 5th of March, “The Queen’s Baton Relay has reached the Cook Islands and will be formally welcomed at a special ceremony held at the Queen’s Residence in Titikaveka this afternoon.”
NISCGA Vice-President Sidney Lui stated in a social media Facebook post responding to the confusion of the Queen’s baton in the Cook Islands while one was here in Niue that, “Due to covid restrictions, covid isolations etc right around the world, the Commonwealth Games have sent out a few [Queen’s batons] but contains the same chip of the Queen’s message to be red at the opening of the games in July 2022.”
BCN news understands that the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay spent its 147th day in Niue marking the halfway point through its 294-day journey.
The Relay will complete its journey at the official Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony on the 28th of July where the Queen or her representative will read out her Message to the Commonwealth.