Aberdeenshire celebrates Commonwealth Day 2015

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  • Woodhill House one of 730 locations flying the flag across the UK
  • Flags raised on ships for the first time in maritime history

Aberdeenshire councillors and council staff gathered at the Woodhill House headquarters last week to celebrate Commonwealth Day 2015.

Woodhill House was once of 730 locations throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Island, Isle of Man, UK Overseas Territories and Commonwealth countries where the Flag of the Commonwealth of Nations was raised.

The initiative, now in its second year, shows appreciation for the opportunities for friendship and cooperation with fellow Commonwealth citizens around the world.

Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, James Ingleby, read out a message from Her Majesty the Queen who expressed her pleasure in learning that so many people throughout the Commonwealth have taken part this year.

Provost of Aberdeenshire Jill Webster welcomed attendees and read a short message from His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary­General of the Commonwealth, who emphasised the focus of this year’s theme – young people.

Provost Webster said at the celebration: “I know that with the success of the Aberdeenshire athletes who took part in last year’s Commonwealth Games, many young people have been encouraged to learn more about the history and culture of the countries of the Commonwealth.

“We join all of these flags being raised today in the spirit of togetherness, democracy and citizenship.”

Amongst the hundreds of locations where the Commonwealth Flags were flying were those of special significance including Unst in the Shetland Islands, the most northerly inhabited island in Scotland and the Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula.

For the first time in maritime history, the Commonwealth Flag was raised onboard all ships belonging to the fleets of the world’s leading cruise liners, wherever they were travelling in the world on the morning on Monday March 9.

The day was marked with various activities across the country including a multi-faith Observance at Westminster Abbey.

Since its foundation, Commonwealth Day has provided an opportunity to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of Commonwealth organisations.