Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Canadian History and Society: Through the Lens of Sport Virtual Museum of Canada


Video Transcript

[Narrator: Rylan Strachan]

[Image of Queen's Baton in original box]

As a symbol of the Commonwealth Games, this baton from the 1978 Games represents ties to the past and continued efforts to unite the Commonwealth through sport.

[Image of map of the world]

The Commonwealth Games are an international multi-sport event held every four years involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. All of the participating nations are united by history, language, inherited by the British culture and shared values.

[Image of Queen Elizabeth II]

Since 1958, the Queen's Baton Relay has conveyed a message from Queen Elizabeth II of England to the hosting nation the Commonwealth Games. As a long-time patron, she believed that sport can be used to build communities and create harmony.

[Images of the 1978 Commonwealth Games logo and signage]

Canada has hosted the Games four times, in 1930, 1954, 1978, and 1994. The 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton are of particular significance, these were the first Games to be called the Commonwealth Games.

[Various close-up images of the 1978 Queen's baton]
Each Game has a uniquely designed baton to carry the message from the Queen across
the Commonwealth. The 1978 baton is a carved narwhal tusk with gold caps on both ends designed by Inuit artist Nick Sikkuark. The carved images depict Inuit sports and leisure activities, including the Two-Foot High Kick, a sport from the Arctic Winter Games.

[Images of Diane Jones-Konihowski running and presenting the Queen's Baton to Queen Elizabeth II]

To commence the 1978 Games, the final runner, Canadian pentathlete Diane Jones- Konihowski presented the baton to the Queen, who for the first time read the Royal Message instead of Prince Philip.

[Images of opening ceremonies in 2006 with Queen Elizabeth II]

At the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Queen Elizabeth hoped that "everyone who saw the baton relay during its journey recognized it as a symbol of the unity and diversity of our Commonwealth of Nations."

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