It is with the grestest of joy that I stand before you today enjoined with our sporting colleagues to briefly express our sincere gratitude to Melbourne.
The Commonwealth Games are called The Friendly Games, and indeed, justifiably so.
For friendship has been our singularly most characteristic feature since arriving in Melbourne.
Melbournes place in international sporting history was secured when you hosted the 1956 Summer Olympic Games.
What you have done for these 18th Commonwealth Games is no less historic.
Your taking of the Queens Baton Relay to every Commonwealth Games Association in the member nations of the Commonwealth and the coverage this received is matched only by the immense excitement its presence generated everywhere.
We are heartened by your resolve.
We are thrilled by your eagerness to embrace.
We are consumed by your great love for sport.
We thank you for what you have done thus far and look forward to the culmination of this beautiful journey 11 days of remarkable yet friendly competition.
Let us all therefore be united by the moment.
The foregoing were the words of Gloria Ballantyne MBE, the Chief of Mission of the St Vincent and the Grenadines national representative team to the 18th Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.
Ballantyne was at the time responding to the official welcome from the Mayor of the Games Village on the evening of 14 March 2006. The occasion was the Flag Raising Ceremony prior to the commencement of the Commonwealth Games.
The brief address by Ballantyne served to highlight the emotions of every team represented at the Games.
There was no dissension amongst participants in respect of the extent to which a city had gone to provide the nations of the Commonwealth with ideal conditions for so exciting an event the Commonwealth Games.