South Cambridgeshire celebrates Commonwealth Day

13 March 2017

A flag has been raised over South Cambridgeshire District Council’s offices today (Monday 13 March) to mark Commonwealth Day.
The flag was raised by the Council’s Chairman, Cllr Sue Ellington, as 52 countries come together to mark the day.

The Commonwealth theme for 2017 is ‘A Peace-building Commonwealth’ – the theme being chosen to promote the Commonwealth’s shared values of peace, democracy and equality, and to celebrate the association’s rich diversity.

Councillor Sue Ellington, said: "Peace, democracy, equality and diversity should be held in the highest regard and it is wonderful that we can all come together to celebrate them on this special day. Commonwealth Day is a great way for everyone locally to connect with communities around the world.”

For the first time in the history of the Commonwealth, and to celebrate this great family of nations, young members of the United Kingdom Army Cadet Force took the Commonwealth flag to the top of the highest peaks in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on Commonwealth Day.

A personal message from the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, The Right Honourable Patricia Scotland QC, and a specially written Commonwealth Affirmation, was read out at each ceremony before the raising of the Commonwealth flag. 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.

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 the UK and around the Commonwealth. We are only in our third year, and the involvement of the Army Cadet Force and Nwes this year, along with the participation 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 and assist 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.”

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, The Right Honourable Patricia Scotland QC, said: “At a time of increasing instability and uncertainty in the world, the Commonwealth family of nations in its rich diversity becomes an ever more-needed source of strength and hope for all its members. ‘A Peace-building Commonwealth’ is a natural follow-on from our previous theme of ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’, and reaffirms the Commonwealth Charter principle that international peace and security, sustainable economic growth and development and the rule of law are essential to the progress and prosperity of all.”

The Commonwealth Charter asserts that everyone is equal and deserves to be treated fairly, whether they are rich or poor, without regard to their race, age, gender, belief or other identity. The Commonwealth builds a better world by including and respecting everybody and the richness of their personalities.

To view the flag being raised along with Cllr Ellington's speech visit and search for South Cambridgeshire District Council.