Wellingborough Council hosted a special ceremony this morning (Monday 9 March) to mark Commonwealth Day.
The mayor, Cllr Jim Bass, read out a message from The Queen, followed by a specially-written affirmation, before the commonwealth flag was raised at 10am. He was joined in the celebration by fellow councillors and members of the public.
The event, which is now in its second year, took place in front of the council’s Swanspool House and was one of more than 700 similar events taking place throughout the UK and around the world.
Local authorities, community groups, services organisations and charities all hosted ceremonies. Flags will be raised at the four highest peaks in the UK, and will also be flown on the Antarctic Peninsula, at the Halley VI research station on the Brunt Ice Shelf, and at the most remote of the UK overseas territories, Tristan Da Cunha in the south Atlantic.
Cllr Bass said: “I am delighted to have led Wellingborough’s celebration of the commonwealth. It is an expression of support for a charter that promotes diversity, tolerance, understanding, freedom of expression, democracy and kinship across the world.
“It is a celebration of our shared values with two billion commonwealth citizens across the globe and is an opportunity for us to consider how we contribute to these values.”
The commonwealth is made up of 53 sovereign states, located in six regions – three in Europe, 18 in Africa, eight in Asia, three in the Americas, ten in the Caribbean, and 11 in the South Pacific. Commonwealth countries come together voluntarily and work together to support democracy, development and respect for diversity.