Monmouthshire County Council joined other local authorities across the UK as Commonwealth Day was marked by flag raising events and ceremonies of dedication.

Accompanying Monmouthshire’s Chairman, Councillor Maureen Powell and Deputy Leader, Councillor Bob Greenland at County Hall in Usk were Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Mr Murray Kerr, the High Sheriff of Gwent, Mr Kevin Thomas, the Mayor of Monmouth, Cllr. Felicity Cotton, the Mayor of Usk, Cllr. Glen Roderick, the Mayor and Mayoress of Abergavenny, Cllrs David and Penny Simcock and Head of School at Coleg Gwent, Helen Morgan accompanied by students studying public service.  In addition, a number of county councillors and council staff attended.

Councillor Greenland read the Commonwealth affirmation committing the council to “uphold 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.”

After raising the flag, Councillor Powell read a message from the Commonwealth Secretary General and described how the ceremony provides a splendid opportunity for people from all walks of life to join with others in their local community to celebrate Commonwealth Day in association with fellow citizens.  People from nations and territories across the world cherish the rich diversity of the Commonwealth’s membership, the shared deep sense of affinity and the values and principles that unite nearly two and a half billion citizens.  She added that in the coming months we look forward to Australia’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, when presidents and prime ministers representing more than fifty countries will confer on shared Commonwealth approaches to making the most of global opportunities and tackling together the challenges faced.

Councillor Powell was followed by her chaplain, Canon Mark Soady, who provided prayers and the blessing.

The Commonwealth includes some of the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries, with citizens drawn from all faiths and ethnicities, half of them under 25 years old.  Commonwealth countries are located in six regions – Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe and the South Pacific.