Time will not diminish the flame

Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch with the Gin Gin torch bearers or family representatives at the anniversary plaque unveiling.
Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch with the Gin Gin torch bearers or family representatives at the anniversary plaque unveiling. Mike Knott

THEY may not be able to run a mile in seven minutes, but if you asked any of the men who ran the Gin Gin to Bundaberg leg of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic torch relay, you might be pleasantly surprised.

"I reckon I could still run it, but probably not in seven minutes - I'm as fit as a fiddle," 91-year-old Tom Read said with a chuckle.

Runners' stories like Mr Read's were all shared in the main street of Gin Gin last Wednesday, at the unveiling of the plaque in recognition of the efforts of the 31 runners who laced up for the relay 56 years ago.

Mr Read was 36 at the time of the relay, but just days before he was due to run, he encountered a stroke of bad luck.

"I got the flu and the doctor wouldn't let me run," he said.

"My brother Len ran it for me, from Bullyard right over the old bridge."

A then 26-year-old Stan Hopton ran the Sharon leg of the relay and remembers his days of training leading up to the big day.

"We had to train carrying a 26-ounce bottle of water, holding it upright and to the side as if we were holding the torch," he said.

"We had to run the mile in seven minutes - a feat I'm pleased to say we all achieved."

Years later, in 1980, Mr Hopton and his wife travelled to Europe where they visited the site of the ancient Olympics.

"It made me realise that all of us who ran in the torch relay really were part of something historic," he said.

"I'm sure I speak for all the runners when we say we are privileged to finally see a plaque to honour us in running in the torch relay."

Members for the 1956 Torchbearers Commemorative Club, based in Rockhampton, attended the unveiling, as well as the families of the gentlemen who ran.

Division Three councillor Wayne Honor, whose father and uncle were both part of the team, said the plaque was a fitting tribute to the men who ran on November 14, 1956.

"The Melbourne Olympics is one of the greatest sporting events ever held in Australia, and those who ran the torch relay are part of the momentous sporting moment," he said.

Topics:  bundaberg, gin gin, london olympics, olympic torch



Local Real Estate

Featured Real Estate
FULLY SELF CONTAINED... $9500.00 From
Cabin Fully self contained modular homes. $13,990K for 6 x 2.4 x 2.5m ...
CHARMING QUEENSLANDER IN... $399,000 Neg
House 3 1 2
UNDER CONTRACT!! UNDER...
House 4 2 9
NOW UNDER CONTRACT!!! UNDER...
House 3 2 2

Featured Jobs

Ipswich jobs listed daily

Featured Jobs
Team Leader Ipswich Full Time
YOUTH WORKERS Toowoomba Full Time
IPSWICH STATE HIGH... Ipswich Full Time


Local Partners

LATEST DEALS AND OFFERS

Job Listings

Search for your next job now.
Learn More

Cars For Sale

Find cars for sale online now.
Learn More

Property Listings

Search for a property online right now.
Learn More

Local Profile

Stay Connected

Get the news as it happens, in your inbox

You can change the newsletters you are subscribed to when you edit your profile

Edit Profile


Special Offers

Latest deals and offers

View today's ePaper!

Read the digital edition
Learn More

Horoscopes

Leo

Connections with your father or an older male could help stabilise your life. Try to understand your genealogy and history better. You could be...

read more

Marketplace

Special Offers & Promotions

Compare & Save