Commonwealth Day is an annual celebration observed across 54 member countries from every corner of the world. Its current membership represents over 2.5 billion people or about a third of the world’s population, and almost a quarter of the world in size. It remains a voluntary association of independent and equal sovereign states constituted by the London Declaration of 1949 as the Commonwealth of Nations but continues to be open for any country to join.
This year Commonwealth Day was celebrated on 13th March and centred around the theme of ‘Forging a sustainable and peaceful common future’. It was also the first Commonwealth Day since Her Majesty’s passing, and the first presided over by His Majesty King Charles III as King and Head of the Commonwealth at national events.
This year Commonwealth member states will continue to support the Commonwealth of Nations Flag for Peace initiative which was launched last December. Flags for Peace symbolise the shared values and principles of the Commonwealth and will be shared with every Commonwealth nation to be flown at government buildings in major cities.
The raising of the Commonwealth flag at Torridge Council offices was presided over by the Chair of the Council – Councillor Doug Bushby and Mayor of Bideford and District Councillor Jude Gubb, they were joined by other district and town councillors and officers.
Councillor Doug Bushby – Chair of Torridge District Council said:
“The theme of forging a sustainable and peaceful common future shows the commitment of member states as they work together to collaborate on climate action, and encourage the development of free and democratic societies.
The commonwealth has evolved over the years but its foundations are rooted firmly in the shared values of prosperity, democracy, peace and respect for each other. This core foundation stone of the commonwealth has never been more poignant as we recently recognised the milestone of a year of conflict in Ukraine. We stand in solidarity with other members in our call for peace and in our condemnation of violence and aggression wherever it is found and invite others to join us in this pledge.”
Picture Left to Right – Chair Cllr Doug Bushby, Cllr Rachel Clarke, Bideford Mayor Cllr Jude Gubb, Cllr David Brenton, and TDC Officers.