All residents are invited to attend St Andrew’s Church to ‘Fly the Flag for the Commonwealth’. The ceremony will commence at 10.00 am on Monday 14th March 2016.

More than 850 Commonwealth Flags will be raised in locations throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, UK Overseas Territories, and Commonwealth countries and on Monday 14 March – Commonwealth Day 2016.
Heads of State, Prime Ministers; Lord Mayors and Mayors, Lord Provosts; Town Councils and Local Authorities; school children and college students; ‘members of Girlguiding’ and Scouts from around the UK and Commonwealth; Sea, Army, and Air Cadets; charities and community groups; Commonwealth Ex-Servicemen and major shipping lines and disabled crewman and women manned ships, and many others around the world will join to raise more than 850 Commonwealth Flags at 10.00hrs local time on Monday 14 March – Commonwealth Day 2016, in a shared celebration of this amazing family of nations that encompasses the globe. This unique initiative, now in its third year, is again catching the imagination of thousands of participants from all walks of life, inspiring them to join with others throughout the Commonwealth. As a collective public expression of commitment to the Commonwealth, it enables participants to show appreciation for the values the Commonwealth upholds, and the opportunities offered for friendship and cooperation with fellow Commonwealth young and old citizens around the world.

We are delighted to confirm that the event is being organised in association with The Royal Commonwealth Society this year, and have pleasure in including a short quote from Lord Howell, President of the Society. Halaevalu Mangisi Palu, Chief Commissioner (GGAKT) said: “In Tonga, where time begins, the Girl Guides Association of the Kingdom of Tonga (GGAKT) are humbled to be granted the honour to be the first country in the world to raise the Commonwealth Flag at 10.00hrs on 9th March 2015, leading the youth of the Commonwealth in this unique, historic, global event that morning. We are indeed very happy and look forward to the day, and are determined with the youth of Tonga to embrace with passion our involvement in support of the Commonwealth Charter, which should empower each and everyone of us to be better citizens of the World. We salute the Commonwealth Nations, to which we stay indebted, for all forms of assistance to her family of nations, including our small Island Kingdom. ‘Of a atu.”

P&O & Cunard Line, for the second year, wherever they may be traveling in the world that morning, will be raising the Commonwealth Flag on board their ships at 10am local time, and the Jubilee Sailing Trust will undertake similar on their two ships, the Lord Nelson and Tenacious, involving the disabled aspect of the community in this event. Both ships have and will be delivering the Commonwealth Flag to various Ports of Commonwealth countries as they have and will travel the world between November 20015 and Commonwealth day 2016.
In the capital cities of Commonwealth countries ex-services organisations will raise the Flag at 10.00hrs on Commonwealth Day, including in London led by the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League. Their participation will provide stirring scenes of pan-Commonwealth solidarity within the rich diversity of Commonwealth identity. Scouts in The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Malaysia, Maldives, Republic of Malta, Mauritius, New Zealand, Samoa, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad and Tobago will also be raising the Commonwealth Flag at 10.00hrs local time on 9 March, joining thousands of other young people around the Commonwealth to celebrate and the launch of this year’s special theme – An Inclusive Commonwealth.
In Norfolk and Suffolk, UK, 44 town councils are taking part, and will be raising Commonwealth Flags at significant locations across the counties through the generous financial support from Nwes. A personal message from His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, and a specially written Commonwealth Affirmation, will be read out at each ceremony before the raising of the Commonwealth Flag at 10.00hrs. In a common act of witness around the globe members of this great family of nations will reaffirm the commitment of all Commonwealth member states to democracy, development, and respect for diversity. Cadets from the Royal Air Force Air Cadets will be participating in ‘Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth’ on 9th March 2015. Commonwealth Flags will be flown by Air Cadets in each of the six Regions of the Air Training Corps, especially as there are close ties between Air Cadets in the UK and Cadets in other Commonwealth countries, and Cadets will be proud to celebrate the values of the Commonwealth on 9th March 2015.
Commonwealth Flags will be flown at many locations of special significance including at six locations on the Island of the Republic of Malta; in Tristan Da Cunha, the most remote of the United Kingdom Overseas Territory; in St. David’s in Pembrokeshire, the westernmost city in Wales; in Carlisle in Cumbria, the northernmost city in England; in Lowestoft in Suffolk, the easternmost town in England; in Unst in the Shetland Islands, the most northerly inhabited island in Scotland; at the Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula; at the Halley VI Research Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf; and at King Edward Point and on Bird Island in South Georgia. The list of local Flag raising ceremonies and imaginative locations continues to grow. Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR – Originator and Commonwealth Pageantmaster, of ‘Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth’, said: “I am amazed how quickly this event has caught the public imagination in so many Commonwealth countries and are delighted to be involving The Royal Commonwealth Society in the project this year. We are only in our third year, and the involvement of so many people of all ages and from all walks of life shows the enormous potential of this project and of the Commonwealth. It is a positive and uplifting way for people to link with fellow citizens of the Commonwealth in a family that spans across oceans and continents. There is a real sense of promise, and hope for the future in this current troubled world of ours.

We also celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday on the 21st April this year, so marks a special occasion for the Commonwealth too, especially as The Queen is it’s Head.” His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth said: “Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth is a most imaginative way for people in local communities – wherever they live, learn or work – to join together with others throughout the Commonwealth in a spirit of respect and understanding to celebrate the variety and unmatched diversity of our global family. I welcome and commend it.

Our Commonwealth theme will be: ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’. This offers possibilities for building on work undertaken in 2015 when out theme was ‘A Young Commonwealth’, and the principle of inclusiveness could be interpreted in a variety of ways according to context. The theme for 2016 encourages understanding and further explorations of Commonwealth collaboration in fields as gender equality and the post-2015 development goals.
“An inclusive Commonwealth’ refers to the values of tolerance, respect and understanding, as well as equity and fairness, set out in the Commonwealth Charter, and the richness of the Commonwealth as a family of nations in which each member state is valued equally and has an equal voice. In uncertain times, the need for the Commonwealth to act as an inclusive network for mutual support and development is a great as ever.

We encourage public institutions, schools, civil society organisations and the media in a Commonwealth member states to consider how ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’ can be promoted through their activities – including Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth”.
Lord Howell, President of The Royal Commonwealth Society said “ The Royal Commonwealth Society is proud to be associated with Fly a Flag on Commonwealth Day and welcomes the flying of the Commonwealth Flag over public buildings throughout the whole Commonwealth network. Flying the Flag brings us all together in a great family of Nations, seeking to work together to help a troubled world.”

Categories News | Tags: | Posted on March 8, 2016

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