Showcase for Olympic memories

There was a veritable Olympian cabinet on hand to open a new display of Olympics memorabilia at Ballarat Town Hall on Friday. 

Memorabilia: Bobby Bath, John Vernon and Ballarat Mayor Josh Morris view the new display.

Memorabilia: Bobby Bath, John Vernon and Ballarat Mayor Josh Morris view the new display.

The dozen-strong group was led by Ballarat’s first Olympians, Bobby Bath and John Vernon, who both competed at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. 

The collection is housed in a cabinet funded by the Rotary Club of Ballarat South, and includes torches from the Sydney and Melbourne Olympics, a Sydney urn and mementos from Mr Bath and Mr Vernon. 

Olympian badminton player Peter Blackburn, who competed at Atlanta and Sydney, campaigned for a home for the collection. 

Mr Bath’s trophy from the 1956 Olympic boxing trials and Australian championships, a plaque mounted on mulga wood, was awarded to him after he knocked out the New South Wales champion, who had previously given him the first defeat of his career. 

“So I had my revenge, you could say,” he said. 

Mr Vernon’s high jump boots are also part of the display, as well as reports from the 1956 Olympics in The Courier.

The cabinet, which sits on the first floor at Town Hall, was opened by Mayor Josh Morris.

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