Plymouth will be flying the flag for the Commonwealth at a special ceremony to mark Commonwealth Day, Monday 9 March.
There will be a flag raising ceremony at the Guildhall Flag Poles where the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Michael Fox will read out an affirmation following the a message from Her Majesty the Queen.
At the same time, 650 other Commonwealth flags will be raised in 38 Commonwealth countries and the 11 ships of P&O and Cunard Line will also be raising the Commonwealth flag at various locations as they cruise around the world.
Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Michael Fox, said: “I am delighted to represent Plymouth on Commonwealth Day, a truly global event.
“The ceremony in March will bring together the community and knowing that partners from across the Commonwealth will be raising their flag at the same time shows us as united.”
This will be followed by an act of commemoration at the Minster Church of St Andrew to reflect the involvement and sacrifices of so many representatives from around the Commonwealth who supported this country in the conflicts of the past 100 years.
What’s happening on the day in Plymouth
10.00 am – Flag Raising Ceremony (Bugler will sound the “still”)
– A Message from the Queen will be read out
– Lord Mayor will read the affirmation
– Response by the Leader’s Representative
10.15 am – Raise the Flag by Navy Personnel
10.20 am Photograph by the Flag Poles
10.25 am Photograph on Guildhall Steps
10.30 am Commemorative Act – marking the centenary of WW1
Venue: St Andrew’s Church
Greeting from Church Representative
Lord Mayor to extinguish candles
2 minutes silence
Light one candle (this will remain alight for the next 12 months in the Church)
Poem to be read by Mike Sullivan (Poet Laureate for Plymouth_
What’s happening in the rest of the Commonwealth
Tonga – the Girl Guides Association of the Kingdom of Tonga (GGAKT) will be the first in the world to raise their Commonwealth flag at 10.00hrs on Monday 9th March 2015.
UK’s four highest National Peaks (Scafell Pike, England, Mount Snowdon, Wales, Ben Nevis, Scotland, Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland) – the charity Fields of Life (Northern Ireland and Uganda based charity) is taking the Commonwealth flags to the four peaks; in addition the charity will raise flags in schools across Uganda.
Royal Air Force Air Cadets will fly Commonwealth flags in the six regions of the Air Training Corps.
Commonwealth flags will also be flown at many locations of special significance including:
- the George Cross Island of Malta
- the City of Wellington, New Zealand
- Sri Lanka
- Unst in the Shetland Islands
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 of unmatched diversity of our global family. I welcome and commend it.”
“All our citizens, particularly the young, can express appreciation for the Commonwealth and the values it stands for, as set out in the Commonwealth Charter, and the rich opportunities it offers for mutual support towards more inclusive social and more equitable economic progress.”