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Olympic Torch RelayPrint Page Print this page

10-August-2014
10-August-2014

Photographs supplied by Peter Davidson

A monument commemorates the Mackay to Rockhampton leg of the Olympic Torch Relay in 1956.

In early 2000, five 1956 torchbearers from Mackay, Rockhampton and Townsville got together to discuss the outstanding efforts of the Mackay and Rockhampton relay runners and the community support given by voluntary organizers, recognized with a suitable monument. As a result three Councils, Mackay City, Broadsound Shire and Rockhampton City, in a joint effort, manufactured, inscribed and erected a suitably mounted large 1956 Olympic Torch at the entrance of Croydon Station near to the handover point from Mackay to the Rockhampton contingent.

The 1956 Olympic Torch Relay has now become part of Australian post World War II history. The “Real Relay” section of the Australian part of the relay commenced in Cairns on 9th November 1956 . The runners battled hail, rain, flooded rivers, bull dust tracks, oppressive tropical heat, desolate uninhabited pitch black country at night, and capital city crowds. It was imperative to keep to the very strict timetable imposed by Olympic Officials in Melbourne, who were not aware of the conditions faced by the runners. The relay culminated with the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron by the Australian Junior Mile World Record Holder, Ron Clarke.

One of the most important sections of the relay, not widely known, was the Mackay to Rockhampton leg. Due to heavy rain in the St Lawrence region the original route, Sarina – St Lawrence- Marlborough, was changed to Sarina-Croydon- Marlborough adding another 36 kilometres to the section. However such was the timetable that no additional time was available to complete the section, thus the runners were told to run a little faster. This they did and by the time that the Olympic Flame reached Marlborough, the Olympic Torch Relay was back on schedule.

Location

Address:Lot 2 Marlborough- Sarina Road, Croydon Commemorative Park , Croydon Station, Lotus Creek, 4705
State:QLD
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -22.467865
Long: 149.160899
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture
Sub-Theme:Sport
Actual Event STart Date:12-November-1956
Actual Event End Date:12-November-1956
Monument Designer:D. Wickerson

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 12th November, 2001
Front Inscription

GAMES OF THE XVI OLYMPIAD
1956 TORCH RELAY

      Near this place
ON 12th  NOVEMBER 1956
Under Unique Conditions The Combined Dedication And
Determination Of Torch Bearers, Convoy Officials,
Section Organisers And The Communities Of Mackay, St
Lawrence And Rockhampton Ensured The Transfer Of
The Olympic Flame From Mackay Section (H. Rasmussen)
To Rockhampton Section (P. F. Ryan) On Its Journey To
The Olympic Stadium Melbourne Australia

            Erected By
MACKAY CITY, BROADSOUND SHIRE
               And
ROCKHAMPTON CITY COUNCILS
     12th November 2001

`56 Commemorative Group
C. Coombes  J. Rogers   P.Oram  E. Dodd  C. Smith

Concept Design
D. Wickerson

Inscription in Proximity

CROYDON COMMEMORATIVE PARK

      1956 OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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