A couple who met and fell in love while working at the Brisbane 1982 Commonwealth Games will take a stroll down memory lane when the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) Queen’s Baton Relay passes through Griffith University’s Nathan campus this weekend.
Julie Mann of Wellington Point was working as the secretary for the Griffith University’s librarian when she and other university staff members were asked if they wanted to work at the Games for two weeks or take time off.
“So many people said no, I couldn’t believe it,” Mrs Mann said.
“How awesome was this, two weeks working at the Games and I get two weeks off in lieu during the year? I had a hoot.”
It was while working at one of the campus security checkpoints that Mrs Mann met her future husband, who was in the military at the time and responsible for delivering the linen to the Athlete’s Village.
“I’d say hello to him every day, and then we kept bumping into each other,” Mrs Mann said.
“But we were with other people at the time so didn’t really date at that point. So we became friends and little by little things progressed, and now we’ll have been married 30 years this September.”
Mrs Mann said during her time working at the Games she met Charlton Heston, was asked to type a letter for Gough Whitlam, and at one stage “I was behind the Queen and I could have put my hand out and touched her while she was sitting watching the Games”. She was also one of the first people to live in the Athlete’s Village after the Games.
The GC2018 Queen’s Baton Relay will pass through Griffith University’s Nathan campus on Saturday and Mrs Mann and her husband will be there to cheer on their former colleague Professor Emeritus Colin Mackerras AO, who is running the relay and was a foundation professor at Griffith’s School of Modern Asian Studies in 1974.