A ceremony took place in Farnham on Monday (11 March) to mark Commonwealth Day and the 70thanniversary of the London Declaration, when nations of the Commonwealth agreed to move forward together as free and equal members. 

Observed by around 70 guests and onlookers, the Leader of Farnham Town Council, Councillor Carole Cockburn read the Commonwealth affirmation which commits to uphold the values set out in the Commonwealth Charter. 

As representatives of the Young Commonwealth, students from Farnham Heath End, Farnham Sixth Form, Badshot Lea Infants, St Andrew’s Infants and Potters Gate assisted the Mayor of Farnham with unfurling the Commonwealth flag. The flag was raised as a symbol of the ties of kinship and affinity cherished by the Commonwealth community. 

After the ceremony, guests were invited back to the Council Chamber where the proceedings continued with the showing of a short film ‘The Commonwealth in 60 Seconds’ and the reading of the Secretary General’s Commonwealth Day message by the Farnham Town Crier Jonathan Jones.

Speaking after the celebration, the Mayor of Farnham said: “We heard today how the 53 nations of the Commonwealth are home to one third of all humanity and how 60% of this population is under the age of 30. 

“Marking Commonwealth Day is an opportunity to remind ourselves of the Commonwealth’s common purpose which is to serve one another in a spirit of respect and understanding, to advance development, democracy and cooperation locally, nationally and internationally. Thank you to everybody who came along to help reaffirm our commitment to the values of the Commonwealth.”

As well as the town’s young people, Commonwealth Day was attended by representatives from the 4th Battalion The Princess of Wale’s Royal Regiment, RAFAC, the Royal British Legion, the West Surrey Branch of The Queen’s Regimental Association, Weyside Rotary, the Lions Club of Farnham, Tindle Newspapers, councillors and Town Council staff. 

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