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Jamaica Marks Commonwealth Day
KINGSTON (JIS) -- Jamaica, on Monday (March 13), joined 51 other nations in celebrating Commonwealth Day under the theme ‘A Peace-building Commonwealth.’ Scores of persons gathered in the ballroom at King’s House for a brief ceremony, which featured cultural performances from schoolchildren and the reading of the message of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, by Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen. The Queen, in her message, announced that a baton was sent from Buckingham Palace on the day and, over the next 12 months, will be taken to every nation and territory of the Commonwealth. “Carried on its way by thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds, by the time it reaches its final destination, The Queen’s Baton will have brought together, through its route and symbolism, almost 2.5 billion people who share the special connection of being Commonwealth citizens,” she said.
She noted that contained within the baton is a message that will be opened and read at the Commonwealth Games in Australia next year.
“However, there is an even more powerful message to be seen and experienced as the baton passes from hand to hand, from seashore to mountaintop, through cities, towns, and villages. It is the message of a peace-building Commonwealth,” the Queen said.
She said that by working together, showing respect and understanding the Commonwealth can build peace.
“By upholding justice and the rule of law, and by striving for societies that are fair and offer opportunities for all, we overcome division and find reconciliation, so that the benefits of progress and prosperity may be multiplied and shared.
“As members of the Commonwealth family, we can find much to be thankful for in the inheritances we have received from those who came before us. Through consensus and cooperation, great things have been achieved.
“We can find further reward and fulfilment by continuing to collaborate with others in a spirit of goodwill to build a peaceful and abundant future for all Commonwealth citizens,” the Queen said.
Greetings were brought by British High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency David Fitton as well as Chairperson of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Indera Persaud.
Commonwealth Day is observed on the second Monday of March each year, and is used by member nations to celebrate its values and diversity. The Commonwealth was founded on December 11, 1931.