Continuing it’s journey through Victoria on Saturday, the Olympic Torch visited Camperdown, the home town of the famous Olympian family, the Roycrofts, five of whom have competed in equestrian events at various Olympics.

William (Bill) Roycroft carried the Flame into Camperdown to light the lunchtime community cauldron in front of one of Australia’s oldest remaining clock towers ,which was built in 1896 in memory of Thomas Peter Manfield who was the son of the Camperdown’s original settler, John Manifold.

Bill’s first Olympic Games, at age 45, was Rome in 1960 where he and his team mates won Gold in the three-day teams despite a fall which landed Bill in hospital with a broken collarbone. Bill checked out of hospital the next day and, with the help of strong painkillers and the use of only one arm, rode a faultless round over 12 obstacles in the showjumping round.

His two sons Barry and Clarke also carried the torch in Camperdown on Saturday exchanging the Olympic flame between each other on horseback.

Camperdown is an agriculturally rich farming district, located in the world’s third largest basalt plain formed by explosive volcanic activity 15 000 years ago, which created magnificent crater lakes and hills of scoria and ash. Camperdown is situated in the heart of the Lakes and Craters Country.

23 year old Dean Saunders who was born with cerebral palsy, carried the Torch into his home town, Terang, where he was cheered on by a huge crowd of emotional supporters. Terang is a town of historic trees, classified by the National Trust. The High Street is the oldest avenue of exquisite English Oaks.

The Torch then made it’s way to Noorat, at the base of Mount Noorat, which came about as a result of volcanic action thousands of years ago. Mount Noorat – believed to be Australia’s largest dry volcanic crater – 310 metres above sea level – contains magnificent dry stone walls, which were erected from volcanic stones in the 1800’s by skilled craftsmen from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, in order to stop the westerly invasion.

In the afternoon, the Olympic Flame travelled to Mortlake, Australia’s Olivine capital. Olivine is a gem of sparkling green crystals, which is used to make jewellery. Mortlake is well known for it’s annual buskers festival in January, where 200 buskers from all over Australia perform. With acts from singing, miming, juggling and dancing it is a festive occasion, which attracts visitors from around the country.

Passing through Lake Bolac, a small settlement beside a 1460-hectare freshwater tree-lined lake full of trout, yellow belly, eels, redfin and perch, the Torch was then carried to Ararat in the foothills of The Grampians, the western end of the Great dividing Range. A Former gold rush town, now a commercial centre, Ararat is the birth town of Olympic cyclist, Shane Kelly, who will be competing in Sydney in September.

Ararat themed their evening celebration on ‘Lighting The Ark’, based on the historic comment from an explorer who declared ‘like the Ark, we shall rest here’. But there was little rest for the crowd who gathered on the chilly night for the evening’s entertainment, which included the Ararat Community College Brass Band and Gigarats for the children.

Source: SOCOG