William Jolly Bridge, Brisbane, Queensland, Aus.


Monday, April 2, 2018

QUEENS BATON RELAY

I interrupt our Singapore trip to record an event that happened close to home. Those of you who live in the Commonwealth of Nations will know that the Commonwealth Games start next week on the Gold Coast, Qld, Australia. People in other countries may have heard of the games but probably not. The Commonwealth Games are held every 4 years but in between the Olympic Games. There are 71 teams. This year the Gold Coast City are very proud to be hosting the Commonwealth Games. Building and infra structure has been going on for the last 4 years. The athletes have arrived and the Queens Baton is almost there.
The Queen's Baton Relay, is a relay around the world held prior to the beginning of the Commonwealth Games The Baton carries a message from the Head of the Commonwealth, currently Queen Elizabeth II. The Relay traditionally begins at Buckingham Palace in London as a part of the city's Commonwealth Day festivities. The Queen entrusts the baton to the first relay runner. At the Opening Ceremony of the Games, the final relay runner hands the baton back to the Queen or her representative, who reads the message aloud to officially open the Games.The Queen's Baton Relay is similar to the Olympic Torch Relay.
We were lucky that yesterday's section of the relay was starting at the Koala Centre in Daisy Hill Forest a 15 min walk from our village, so I grabbed my camera and off I went.
There are thousands of local legends who will share the dream and carry the Queen’s Baton with pride. Nominated by their peers for achievements and contributions to their community, these batonbearers represent the spirit of the Commonwealth and inspire others to be great.
I knew three of our local baton bearers. Jim Dennis, a member of the pioneering family in this area. Glen Styles, a resident of our village, who has donated years of his life to Meals on Wheels and teaching nursing home residents how to weave. Dami Im is a Korean-born Australian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist performing artist, who lives in Daisy Hill. Im is known for achieving the best ever Eurovision result for Australia. She came second.
 I arrived at the Koala Centre early, there was already plenty of police and organisers there.

 There were also Police runners who flank the baton bearers as they run or walk if they are elderly.

 Except for the first runner, Jim Dennis, the baton bearers and were taken by bus to their stations. The famous Australian musician and singer, Dami Im is number 017.

 My friend from our village , Glen (with the cap) a long time volunteer.

Off goes the bus.

Photo from GC Commonwealth Games site
 https://www.gc2018.com/gallery/qbr-visits-daisy-hill
Meanwhile, Jim Dennis, says good bye to a koala before setting off on the first run. Our street is named after his family.


 Last instructions from the accompanying police.

He's off!! The Queens Baton is on its way to the Gold Coast where it will arrive at the opening ceremony on 4 April after leaving London 388 days ago and spanned 71 countries and more than 200,000 miles before reaching the Gold Coast.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

TEMPLES AND TOWERS

 I'm still on day one of our Singapore trip. We packed so much into the day. We visited the Thian Hock Keng Temple and then had lunch in Chinatown.



 The doors were decorated beautifully.

 By now we were hot, tired and hungry. We had free time to find somewhere for lunch. Together with a few friends we went into the first restaurant that was air-conditioned .

The lunch was delicious

Then the coach took us to the Marina Sands Hotel where we caught the lift to the Skypark. The building is 200 metres high but the lift only took a few seconds to get to the Skypark on the 57th floor.


 Our group waiting for the lift.

 There were 360° views from the top but I liked this one best overlooking the "Gardens by the Bay" and the "Supertree Grove". The gardens are housed in the two largest glass domes in the world. This would be our next stop. The harbour is one of the busiest in the world.
 Overlooking some of the towers which are prevalent in Singapore.

Standing on the observation deck of the Marina Sands Hotel. I'm happy to cross this one off my bucket list. It costs over $500 a night to stay here. We didn't.
We were back down on the bottom floor in this amazing building. Off to the Gardens by the Bay and the Super tree light show.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

COLONIAL DISTRICT AND RIVER CRUISE

On the second day of our trip to Singapore we had a full day touring around the city. First we walked around Little India (last post). Then we boarded the coaches for the Colonial District.
In 1819, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles negotiated a treaty whereby Johor allowed the British to locate a trading port on the island, leading to the establishment of the British colony of Singapore in 1824.
 The Padang (Field in Malay) is the recreation ground established by Raffles in 1907. The buildings were the Supreme Court and Town Hall but now they are housed in the building behind which looks like an UFO. These buildings are now the National Gallery.

 The cricket club was formed in 1860's with this club house opening in 1884.

At the other end of the field is the Recreation Club also built in 1884. Still used by many different sporting clubs.

Saint Andrew's Cathedral, the largest in Singapore. It is a very beautiful and impressive Anglican Church built in the Neo-Gothic style.

 I loved how most of the city trees have epiphytes growing on them.

 It was time to board the coach for the River cruise.

 We arrived at the river and walked to Clarke Quay.

 We piled into two boats.

 And had a relaxing cruise to Marina Bay.

 The contrasting architecture was interesting.

 It was a hazy day but the Marina Sands Hotel and the Science Centre were still an impressive sight. We were going to the top of that afterwards.

 We disembarked at Merlion Park. The Merlion is the Singapore icon. It has a lion's head and a fish's body. Singapura means Lion City. 

It was very hot and humid and we tired easily but here we had an ice-cream and found some shade to wait for the coach.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

LITTLE INDIA

Last Monday week, 57 villagers set off on a trip to Singapore and Malacca with the CEO, Chiou See Anderson and 4 other staff members. We were bussed to Brisbane airport and then we flew Singapore Airlines to Singapore and the York Hotel.
 The next morning we were divided into two groups to tour the city. The oldies were bright eyed and bushy tailed at the beginning of the day. After visiting many of Singapore's attractions all day we were not so sprightly at 9:30 that night when we arrived back at the hotel. Chiou See, who organised the holiday is far right at the back.
 The first stop was at the markets in the area called Little India. Chiou See was happy to show us her country and for us to meet her family.
 An Indian trader..

The colours in the market were bright. Always good to look up.

 The videographer at work. It was extremely hot and humid everyday.

 An indoor market too.




Little India is a very interesting area but we were off to the next place, which was the old colonial part of the city. Remnants of English rule have been kept as heritage sites. Singapore people pride themselves on the fact that many different races and religions all live and work together in harmony.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

ST PATRICK'S DAY CELEBRATIONS

Some residents and staff got together to organise a St Patrick's Day Dinner and entertainment in the community hall sometimes called Club Elements. Our village is called Elements Retirement Living. It was lots of fun.
 The hall was full of oldies dressed in all sorts of green outfits.

 Some of the Elements' Musos entertained us with a sing along of Irish songs.

 The Elements' singers gave support.

A couple of live wires put on a skit "Cheap Fares"

 Then an Irish Dance School came to entertain us.

They were very good and very fast.

 I found a couple of Leprechauns at the party.

We had fun.

 There were many green raffle prizes and a lucky door prize and a lucky chair prize.

I was the lucky winner of the door prize. A beautiful hand painted silk scarf and two bottles of my favourite red wine. It was a good night. Tomorrow we are off to Singapore with our CEO, some staff and 57 residents. I think we'll have some fun.
countercounter