Virtues unfurled in exotic places

LAKE OUT WORLD: Graham Burgess of Speers Point and  the Lake Macquarie City flag  he has taken around the world. The map behind him shows where the flag has flown.  –  Picture by Peter Stoop
LAKE OUT WORLD: Graham Burgess of Speers Point and the Lake Macquarie City flag he has taken around the world. The map behind him shows where the flag has flown. – Picture by Peter Stoop

Enthusiasm never flags for one Lake Macquarie resident and his quest.

Speers Point’s Graham Burgess wants to fly the Lake Macquarie City flag in every country of the world, especially the exotic corners.

To date the flag has base-jumped the world’s highest waterfall in Venezuela, sailed round Cape Horn and hiked Antarctica.

A love of Lake Macquarie is behind the thrill-seeking and this week the flag was flown in its 103rd country.

Mr Burgess, 70, a hiking and skydiving enthusiast, and Elaine Taylor of Warners Bay returned on Thursday from a 26-day, 612-kilometre trek along the pilgrim walk from Lisbon in Portugal to Santiago in Spain.

His quest to take Lake Macquarie to the world began in 1994 when Mr Burgess parachuted with the flag into the North Pole.

‘‘I want to go to the places tourists do not normally go, carrying the flag of the city where I live in Australia,’’ he said. ‘‘By doing this I want to encourage people to consider the value of where we live.’’

Mr Burgess has been arrested in Beijing leading up to the Olympics by police believing the flag was propaganda and had a gun pointed at his head in Moscow after attempting to fly the flag from Lenin’s tomb.

He is giving himself until he is 80 to accomplish the feat.