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Photographs supplied by Peter Davidson

The 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 Two 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.


Address:Lot 2 Marlborough- Sarina Road, Croydon Commemorative Park , Croydon Station, Lotus Creek, 4705
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -22.467865
Long: 149.160899
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture
Actual Event Start Date:12-November-1956
Actual Event End Date:12-November-1956
Designer:D. Wickerson


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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