‘FLYING THE FLAG FOR THE COMMONWEALTH ON 13 MARCH 2017’
Felixstowe Town Council will join Lord Mayors and Mayors, Lord Provosts, fellow town and parish councils, local authorities and local communities, school children and college students, members of Girlguiding and the Scouts from around the UK and Commonwealth, Sea and Air Cadets, charities and community groups, Commonwealth Ex-Servicemen and major shipping lines, training ships crewed by disabled crewman people, and many others around the world by raising the Commonwealth Flag at 10am on Monday 13 March – Commonwealth Day 2017. More than 950 Commonwealth flags will be raised in a shared celebration.
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 (ACF) will take the Commonwealth flag to the top of the highest peaks in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on Commonwealth Day. As well as the mountaintop ceremonies, Army Cadets will observe Commonwealth Day by raising the flag at 53 other locations throughout the United Kingdom as part of this international initiative.
This unique initiative, now in its fourth year, is again catching the imagination of thousands of participants from all walks of life, inspiring them to join with others throughout the Commonwealth. The Mayor of Felixstowe, Cllr Jan Garfield, said “The Town Council is delighted to join in this collective public expression of commitment to the Commonwealth, to show appreciation for the values the Commonwealth upholds, and the opportunities offered for friendship and cooperation with fellow Commonwealth citizens of all ages around the world. Everyone is very welcome to attend the flag raising ceremony outside the Town Hall from 9.45am.”
At the ceremony the Mayor of Felixstowe will read out a personal message the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, The Right Honourable Patricia Scotland QC, and a specially written Commonwealth Affirmation, will be read out before the raising of the Commonwealth flag at 10am.
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 fourth 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 ACF’s Deputy Commander Cadets, Brigadier Matthew Lowe, said: “The Army Cadets is one of the UK’s leading voluntary youth organisations with a mission to inspire young people – from all sorts of backgrounds – to challenge their limits, become more independent, confident and able to step up to any challenge. Many of our cadets go on to pursue civilian careers but they do so having taken on board the Army’s values of selfless commitment, courage, discipline, integrity, loyalty and respect for others – great values for any citizen. Our cadets also develop a strong understanding of the importance of international peace and security which makes us especially proud to be playing such a key role in the Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth celebration.”
Public institutions, schools, civil society organisations and the media in Commonwealth member states are being encouraged to consider how ‘A Peace-building Commonwealth’ can be promoted through their activities – including Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth.
For more details about the event, please contact Felixstowe Town Council via the details above.