Commonwealth Day marked in South Lakeland
9 March 2020
South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) today affirmed its commitment to upholding the values set out in the Commonwealth Charter.
The Commonwealth Flag was raised at Kendal Town Hall at exactly 10am on Commonwealth Day, to coincide with hundreds being raised across the UK and Commonwealth countries, and it will fly for 24 hours.
The Kendal event was hosted by the SLDC's vice chairman, Cllr Pete McSweeney, with SLDC leader, Councillor Giles Archibald and chief executive, Lawrence Conway.
Cllr McSweeney read out the Commonwealth Affirmation, which says: “Joining together as members of one worldwide Commonwealth community, and valuing the personal dignity and worth of every citizen, we raise this flag as a symbol of the ties of kinship and affinity that we cherish. We draw inspiration from our diversity, and the opportunities for working together, as a rich source of wisdom and a powerful influence for good in the world. We affirm our commitment to upholding the values set out in the Commonwealth Charter, to serving one another in a spirit of respect and understanding, and to advancing development, democracy and cooperation locally, nationally and internationally.”
The ceremony in Kendal was replicated around the world by everyone from heads of state and prime ministers to lord mayors, girl guides, scouts and members of the armed forces in a shared celebration of the Commonwealth "family of nations".
This year’s event is centred around the theme "Delivering a Common Future", highlighting how the 54 member countries in the Commonwealth family are “innovating, connecting and transforming” to help achieve some of its biggest goals like protecting natural resources and boosting trade.
Events across five continents including flag parades, church services, poetry mornings, dance performances and much more.
The Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth, will join Secretary-General Patricia Scotland at Westminster Abbey for a multi-faith service to celebrate the day.
The initiative, now in its sixth year, is designed to show a collective public expression of commitment to the Commonwealth and an appreciation for the values the Commonwealth upholds.
The Commonwealth is made up of 53 sovereign states working together in mutual support towards shared goals of democracy, development, and respect for diversity. It includes some of the world's largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries, with two billion citizens drawn from all faiths and ethnicities.
Beyond the ties of history, language and institutions, members are united by values set out in the Charter of the Commonwealth including tolerance, freedom of expression, respect for human rights, the rule of law, protecting the environment, access to health, education, food and shelter, and gender equality.
To find out more about Commonwealth Day, go to https://thecommonwealth.org/commonwealth-day.
1: The Commonwealth Flag flying above Kendal Town Hall
2: From left to right, SLDC chief executive, Lawrence Conway; vice chairman, Cllr Pete McSweeney, and leader, Cllr Giles Archibald