Bluff local lifts Games baton

HONOUR: Bluff baton bearer Val Vesey looks forward to the Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton Relay.
HONOUR: Bluff baton bearer Val Vesey looks forward to the Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton Relay. Contributed

BLUFF local Val Vesey is well-known for being a valued member of the community.

Mrs Vesey has lived in Bluff for 35 years with her husband Roy, and they've both worked in the community for that time, doing what they could to make things better for those less fortunate.

"We have always helped the older folk around the town,” Mrs Vesey said.

"Sadly we are running out of older folk in the town; we are starting to become them.

"It was important to help the older folk because they are so isolated, they need a little bit more assistance and we became proficient at painting houses for them.

"They weren't overly fussy - if we left a few little runs, it didn't bother them. They knew we weren't professional.

"They were quite happy about what we were doing for them and they really appreciated it.”

Mrs Vesey, who has been named as a Commonwealth Games baton bearer for early this year, said she was looking forward to the baton relay.

"I was quite surprised when I found out,” she said.

"I immediately contacted my daughter, husband and sister, and asked if they had nominated me. It was none of them.

"I ended up writing to the event organisers and they told me it was the council who had nominated me, so that was very nice. I have a fair bit of contact with the council.

"I try to acknowledge the good things they do, but I also complain when something is not quite right too, so they are familiar with my name.

"I am involved in the Community Reference Group through the council, so they are aware of what I do.”

Mrs Vesey said she was thrilled when she received the first letter, but thought it was a joke.

"I thought it was someone having a go at me at first. I truly wondered why,” she said.

"Everyone's been telling me to get out there and train to run with the baton and I just say to them, no, I'm not running anywhere - I'm just walking it.

"I'm only doing a couple hundred metres so I have got to last as long as I can.”

Mrs Vesey is really pleased that Bluff and other regional towns are being recognised in the relay.

She said the relay will be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Her nomination for the baton bearer's title read: "Val is the backbone of the community and many organisations. Val has a great community spirit and is a driver in organising and assisting initiatives that led to the best outcomes for the Bluff community.”

She said she had tried to keep the community going, but that is getting harder and harder as time goes by.

"We've always tried to do what we could for the community, and we have enjoyed doing it,” she said.

"Currently, we have our Lions Park that we endeavour to keep building on. We have put in barbecues, tables and chairs, and shade over there.

"There's always something else we can do to keep it nice and keep it going.”

Topics:  baton bearers bluff commonwealth games 2018 queens baton relay val vesey

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