Flying the flag in celebration of Commonwealth Day
The Highland event was hosted by Provost Alex Graham who read out a message of support from Her Majesty The Queen before giving the Commonwealth affirmation in both Gaelic and English before a lone piper played on the Town House roof as the flag was raised.
Joining the Provost was soldiers from the 3 Scots infantry based in Fort George representing their commonwealth countries of Zimbabwe, Fiji, the Caribbean, South Africa, India, Nigeria and Ghana. The Head Boys and Head Girls from Charleston Academy, Inverness Royal Academy and Inverness High School also joined guests for the ceremony.
The Commonwealth affirmation that was delivered bi-lingually by the Provost said: "Joining together as members of one worldwide Commonwealth family, we raise this flag as a symbol of the ties of friendship we cherish, affirming our kinship and common purpose in building for the future towards shared goals of development and democracy, and commit ourselves afresh to working alongside one another in a spirit of respect and understanding, exploring new ideas and rising to fresh challenges, with all our sisters and brothers, wherever we may live, learn or work.”
After the flag was flying high over the Town House Provost Alex Graham thanked everyone for taking part in the event. He said: “I’m delighted that The Highland Council has been part of a historic moment to truly dedicate Commonwealth Day and everything the Commonwealth stands for. This is the largest single, raising of the Commonwealth Flag in the history of the Commonwealth so I think it was very fitting that so many countries of the Commonwealth were represented at our event today. I’m sure this initiative to bring people together to mark Commonwealth Day will be something that grows from strength to strength.”
The Commonwealth is made up of 54 sovereign states working together in mutual support towards shared goals of democracy, development and respect for diversity.
This new flag raising initiative has been co-ordinated by Pageantmaster Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR. He said: “Now is the perfect time to celebrate the true value of the Commonwealth as an increasingly multi-cultural world seeks unity, understanding and tolerance. Today is about heralding this amazing and influential family of nations which spans all the continents with a Fly the Flag tribute on Commonwealth Day. Hundreds of Commonwealth flags to be flown in significant, strategic and eye-catching positions across the UK and beyond - with many expected to flutter their way proudly through to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 23rd-August 4th.”