Baton bearer ‘prepared’

January 31, 2018

Wahgunyah’s Terry Johnstone is excited to carry the baton in the Queen’s Baton Relay on February 15.

It’s just over two weeks before the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay passes through Yarrawonga and Wahgunyah’s sole baton carrier, Terry Johnstone is well and truly ready.

The Wahgunyah Fire Brigade Secretary received his uniform for the special event last month and has read all the instructional documents several times in preparation.
Terry knows he will run 200 metres from the corner of Piper Street to  Lynch Street where he will then pass the baton to the next baton bearer – there are 3800 in total.
The baton relay started at Buckingham Palace on March 13 in the hands of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The Queen’s baton will have visited all nations and territories of the Commonwealth and will finish in Queensland for the Games’ Opening Ceremony on April 4.
Terry told the Free Press he was proud to be nominated and chosen as one of the baton bearers.
“It’s a real honour and I am excited for the day to arrive,” he said.
Terry is “running” in the footsteps of his wife, Sandra, who had the same honour for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
The 69-year-old has lived in Wahgunyah all his life.
After completing his education at Rutherglen High School Terry went to work for the Postmaster-General for 23 years where he was a postman and later a telephonist before purchasing and operating Wahgunyah Garden Supplies for 15 years.
Terry married Sandra in 1970 and they have four adult children and 13 grandchildren.
Before retiring he managed Corowa’s Ball Park Caravan Park which their daughter, Sonia, now operates.
The active community member has been involved in many volunteer roles over the years.
One of his biggest roles, and still is today, is with the Wahgunyah Fire Brigade.
After joining the brigade in 1970, he was elected secretary in 1972.
“I was elected secretary soon after joining and not much has changed because I am still secretary today,” he said.
Terry’s service to the brigade has seen him awarded life membership and he was also made a life member of CFA Victoria.
In 2012, Terry was awarded the National Medal for Sustained and Significant Service to the CFA and local brigade.
As a keen sportsman, he has played, captained and been secretary of the Wahgunyah Football Club over the years.
Terry, along with Alan Bradley, has instigated the “Past Players” group and hold a very social day for all past players and committee members, encouraging them to come along and support the teams.
The Wahgunyah Tennis Club bestowed a life membership to Terry for his service to the club, playing and being office bearer throughout his playing career and he is still assisting mentor John Voss with junior tennis coaching at the Wahgunyah courts, ensuring the club continues on.
He has grandchildren who are starting to play tennis with six of them involved in the Wahgunyah Club.
During the early family years, Terry was a school councillor at the Wahgunyah Primary School, assisting with the great 100 year celebrations at the school.
Cricket season saw Terry and Brian Houlihan co-coaching the junior team and transporting them along with other parents to keep the junior competition running by transporting the boys on Saturday mornings to the many little district townships, plus training nights.
Terry played cricket and also held the position of secretary for several years.
Over the years Terry has enjoyed a game of golf and is an avid gardener, relaxing a little now and he enjoys reading a good book.
Terry is also involved in the Wahgunyah History Club and has expressed his interest in being on the Committee of Management for the Railway site development.
He is very proud of his “Wahgunyah township” and has endeavoured to be involved and assist with most activities over many years.

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