Stephen Glyde is an old hand at baton bearing, having carried one across the bridge at Urunga for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
When he did it in 2000, he had recently received an Australia Day award as Senior Sportsperson for Bellingen Shire, and he passed the baton to the shire’s Junior Sportsperson, his 17-year-old son Peter, who ran it through town.
It’s Peter who has nominated Stephen for next year’s Commonweatlh Games Queen’s Baton relay.
The baton is currently travelling through the Oceania region, and will arrive in Brisbane on Christmas Eve.
Approximately 3,800 batonbearers will carry it through every state and territory in Australia, with 11 of them performing the service in Bellingen Shire.
Stephen’s family on both sides were early settlers in Bellingen. His father’s family came here in 1894 and owned the much-photographed property that can be seen across the river from Marx Hill, while his mother’s family (Locke) arrived a year earlier.
He grew up in Bellingen and trained to be a primary school teacher. After doing a diploma in special education he worked in Corindi and Tamworth before returning to live in Bellingen in 1987 when his father became unwell. Both he and Kathy taught at Bellingen Public School for several years until the mid 1990s.
Stephen and his wife Kathy have years of involvement with multiple community and sporting groups to their credit.
“We’ve been accused of having more keys of buildings around town than anybody,” Stephen said. “If you ever wanted the key to get into anywhere, go to see the Glydes.”
They even have a shed named after them, at the 1st Bellingen Scout Hall. Stephen was group chair for Scouts and Kathy was a Guide leader.
“We started off when our kids came through,” Stephen said. “Most of what I’ve done, Kathy’s supported me.”
“Stephen has been a sportsman all his life as a player, referee and now administrator. He returned home to Bellingen in the late 1980s and took up community roles across a number of sports; little athletics, senior athletics, junior rugby league, senior rugby league and bowls. He is a Life Member of Bellingen Rugby League Football Club and has been President for approximately 20 years. Over this time he has kept the club going and has developed a tremendous club culture for male and female members especially those of Indigenous heritage. Stephen is also a founding member of Bellingen Connell Park Management Committee.”