Lake Macquarie History

The Olympic Torch comes to town

The Olympic Torch comes to town

The Olympic Torch relay travelled through Lake Macquarie on 28 and 29 August 2000, days 82 and 83 of the relay.

photo: the olympic torch cauldron at speers point park

Following the Olympic tradition, the flame was lit at Olympia on May 11, the relay transferred the flame through Greece, including a number of Greek Islands. From there it headed to Oceania, firstly Guam, then Palau, Micronesia, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Samoa, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Tonga and New Zealand, before arriving in Australia on June 8 at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
By the time the torch relay entered the Lake Macquarie area, it had travelled over 30,000 kms and visited every state and the Northern Territory, with ACT to be visited soon after.
The torch bearers were a worthy mix of people selected on the basis of their contributions to society and the community, having inspirational tales, Olympians past and present, other sports stars, entertainment identities and representatives of Olympic sponsors.
Thousands of people got into the spirit by lining the route or attending the celebrations, in the lead up to Australia’s largest sporting event.

photo: olympic torch bearers at speers point park

The torch relay arrived in Lake Macquarie, early Monday morning into Highfields, travelling through Charlestown, Mount Hutton and onto Speers Point for a celebration at Speers Point Park.
The celebration included the lighting of the community cauldron by Geoffrey Thomas, a welcome ceremony from the Mimaga Wajaar peformers, custodians of Aboriginal culture in the Hunter Valley and some Taiko drumming from schoolchildren from Tanagura, Japan, Lake Macquarie’s Friendship City.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the torch relay continued with Lisa Naughton, Australian representative hockey player, getting things underway by lighting her torch from the cauldron.

photo: lisa naughton lights her torch at speers point park

The relay then headed south through Warners Bay, Eleebana, Valentine and Belmont, onto the Pacific Highway through Belmont South, Marks Point, Blacksmiths, Little Pelican and Swansea. It went through Lake Munmorah and Doyalson, before heading to Terrigal for the night.
Re-entering Lake Macquarie on Tuesday afternoon at Wyee, it headed to Morisset, Dora Creek, Toronto and Awaba, then onto Kearsley and Cessnock, completing a festive and popular journey through the area.

A few weeks later the community was again involved in a global sporting event when the 2000 Paralympic Torch Relay travelled through the area.
On October 15, commencing at Wheeler Place in Newcastle, it travelled through Kotara, Kotara South, Charlestown, Gateshead, Bennetts Green, Jewells, Belmont North, Belmont, Belmont South, Marks Point, Blacksmiths, Pelican, Swansea and Doyalson on its way to The Entrance.
The following is a list of 2000 Olympics torch bearers who were either from Lake Macquarie or who carried the torch through the Lake Macquarie area.
The list has been collated from newspaper articles and other available information from the time.
If you can add information to the list, please contact us via the feedback form or email [email protected] .

Torch Bearer Suburb Torch Route
Graham Burgess Speers Point Dora Creek
Colin Dennis Seahampton Kearsley
Paul Yardy Edgeworth Toronto
Don Ellercamp Swansea Belmont
Peter Mick Ellercamp Caves Beach Marks Point
Maree Dowd Belmont Croudace Bay
Michael Kelly Mirrabooka Morisset
Greg Wiseman Lakelands Warners Bay
Richard De Groot Valentine Valentine
Laurence Roddick unknown Charlestown
John Matthew Johnson Coal Point unknown
Colin Elliott Eleebana Dora Creek
Tim Harrison Marks Point Belmont
Steven Alcock Highfields Charlestown
Don Begg Caves Beach Pelican
James Sidebottom Seahampton Morisset
Bradley Downes Kotara South Warners Bay
Barbara Davis Jewells Mount Hutton
Margaret Sulman Marmong Point Morisset
Alan Grigg Valentine Valentine
Colleen Bisson Charlestown Merewether
Warren Broadbent Toronto Toronto
Jenny Anderson Valentine Dora Creek
Wendy Evans Charlestown Adamstown Heights
John Domandl Eleebana Speers Point
Nicholas Powell Speers Point Speers Point
Caytlin Weir Charlestown Adamstown Heights
Peter Elith Eleebana Speers Point
Hugh Nossiter Cardiff Mount Hutton
Leon Burwell Eleebana Speers Point
Bob Staddon Warners Bay Warners Bay
Dan Prowd Warners Bay Mount Hutton
Angela Sheean Cardiff Toronto
Michelle Kent Belmont unknown
Brian Fulmer unknown Belmont
Paul Harragon Whitebridge Eleebana
Fang Zeng unknown Warners Bay
Ashley Gordon Kotara Warners Bay
Glenn Caroll Warners Bay unknown
Jim Rixon unknown Belmont
Geoffrey Thomas unknown Warners Bay
Ian Chapman Belmont North Warners Bay
Darron Mink unknown Warners Bay
Paul Atkin Charlestown unknown
Kath Bergqvist Kotara unknown
Jeff Brown Summerland Point unknown
Gavin Dengate Valentine unknown
Linda Ireland Cooranbong unknown
Gordon Johnson Cardiff unknown
Daryl Marshall Argenton Toronto
Ollie Maywald Belmont unknown
Neil McGregor Eleebana unknown
Louise Nixon Eleebana unknown
Jane Power Speers Point unknown
Kristen Radford Belmont unknown
Krisitne Snell Coal Point unknown
Jon Thurlow Charlestown unknown
Eleanor Thomson Cooranbong unknown
Bob Kalaf unknown unknown
Lisa Naughton unknown Speers Point
Beverley Spargo unknown unknown
Arnold Tammerkand unknown unknown
Laura Brisbane Kurri Kurri Toronto
John Holt unknown unknown
Peter Coughlan Speers Point Newcastlwe West
Neville Holt unknown unknown
John Constantine unknown Morisset
Robert Deaves unknown Merewether
Ben Smee unknown unknown
Craig Phillips unknown unknown
Ashlee Fox-Smith unknown unknown
Colleen Bisson Charlestown unknown
Luke Bower Wyee Wyee
Tery Charlton Charlestown unknown
Fiona Carr unknown Morisset

Acknowledgement of Country

We remember and respect the Ancestors who cared for and nurtured this Country. It is in their footsteps that we travel these lands and waters. Lake Macquarie City Council acknowledges the Awabakal people and Elders past, present and future.

Council acknowledges traditional custodians throughout Australia. We commit to listening deeply to and collaborating with First Peoples in our work.

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