Two OFs receive Bronze Medals at Melbourne Games

Bob Munro writes:

The ‘adventure’ started early in 2005 when advertisements were placed in our
local newspapers, on radio and TV calling for volunteers to be involved in
the Games events. And during the course of 2005 people were contacted,
interviewed and offered any number of roles depending on availability,
skill, requirement etc. As a result of all that, early in February this year
I had to go to a training session at one of our Trade training colleges, for
a one day full-on course to learn the ropes about the particular types of
role we were to play in the games.

And during the early part of the training session, a group of half a dozen
individuals were called to the front of the ‘class’ to help demonstrate some
of the procedures we needed to learn. One particular individual took my
attention, so certain was I that “I am sure I know that chap, where have I
seen him before?” kept running through my mind. For fully ten minutes I
could not concentrate on the lesson for the day! Then of course, suddenly,
the name “Mike Garnett O.F.” popped into my head.
Now having spoken to complete strangers before, believing them to be someone
else, and then having made a complete goose of myself, I determined to make
haste slowly this time! Fortunately we were given name badges at the start
of the session so all I had to do was get close to “Mike” to confirm my
suspicion and check out the name badge.

An opportunity presented itself as we broke for lunch, and Bingo! it WAS
Mike Garnett! So I re-introduced myself (we hadn.t met for around twenty
years or so), and had a good chat about all sorts of things, including the
anticipation of the then upcoming Commonwealth Games. Mike was to work at
the State Lawn Bowls Centre, whilst my ‘job’ was at the Multi-Purpose Venue
track cycling, basketball and some netball were to be contested. So our
paths were unlikely to cross during the course of the gamnes, and that
proved to be the
case, unfortunately.

I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say the whole
experience was just fantastic. The City of Melbourne looked terrific, the
weather was brilliant, and the people (visitors and locals) were just so up
beat and friendly, that the atmosphere around was incredible. You may have
seen on TV some seventy or so tin ‘fish’ on pontoons moored in the Yarra
River, and subject at various times to a fireworks display (opening
ceremony), and a sound and light show every evening on the hour for ten or
fifteen minutes for the duration of the games. Just stunning stuff,
brilliantly choreographed and of course all “free” entertainment for the

As volunteers, we were offered complimentary tickets to the closing
ceremony, and for my part, it was a thoroughly enjoyable show, and something
that I am never likely to see again. Apparently visitors and athletes alike
were so impressed with the help and friendship extended to them by the
volunteers that it was decided to have a parade through the streets of
Melbourne. All volunteers and our (very successful) Aussie athletes were
invited to attend. What a buzz that was! I
didn’t think they would have all that many people cheering and waving us on,
but, boy, was I wrong! Exciting stuff, and it felt really good to be a part
of it.

Oh, yes. And the Bronze Medal? Well, as a result of our great work, the
Victorian State Government awarded all volunteers with a Certificate of
Appreciation and the Bronze Medal (which naturally included the 2 x
O.F.’s!). Happy

I wonder when the call will go out for volunteers for the 2012 Olympics in
London? Any O.F.’s out there with a bit of time on their hands and prepared
to put in a bit of time (well, quite a lot, actually), would be guaranteed a
unique, once in a lifetime experience.


Join the conversation

Log in to add your comment


Add your own story

We encourage you to participate and send us your stories, whether news, events, ceremonies, or anything else you would like to share with your fellow Old Framlinghamians.