Commonwealth Flag ceremony in gardens

Councillors and schoolchildren saw the Commonwealth Flag raised in Horley’s Memorial Gardens.

The town celebrated Commonwealth Day on Monday (March 9).

Some 14 Horley Infant School pupils attended the short ceremony.

The Mayor of Horley, Cllr Richard Olliver, 68, said: “I’ve lived abroad and in Commonwealth countries in my youth.

“I think international understanding is very important these days.

“The Commonwealth, as relflected in the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, is still very much a live organisation.”

Cllr Olliver read out The Commonwealth Affirmation which celebrated the links between the former British colonies at 10am.

The flag was lowered on Tuesday.

Cllr Olliver said atlases had maps of the former British Empire in his youth.

He said: “Its part of our heritage.

“There were vast swathes of the world which came under British jurisdiction.

“It’s a big legacy which reflects back on the importance of Great Britain and its empire in the past.”

The Commonwealth Affirmation reads: “Joining together as members of one worldwide Commonwealth community, and valuing the personal dignity and worth of every citizen, we raise this flag as a symbol of the ties of kinship and affinity that we cherish.

“We draw inspiration from our diversity, and the opportunities for working together, as a rich source of wisdom and a powerful influence for good in the world.

“We affirm our commitment to upholding 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.”