On Monday 9th March 2015, shipmates from Huntingdon & District Branch attended the annual flag-raising event to commemorate Commonwealth Day. Shipmate Karl Webb represented the Branch as a guest of the Chair of Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC), Councillor Alan Mackender Lawrence. The Vicar of St Mary’s and All Saints, Reverend Andrew Milton, who is also the Branch Hon. Chaplain, would lead the prayers and give the Blessing of the Commonwealth Day Flag, which would be flown in front of Castle Hill House, the wartime HQ of the RAF’s Pathfinder Force.
The Royal British Legion and Royal Air Force Association were also present and had provided local Standard Bearers for the ceremony. Representing the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, was the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Mr Michael Williamson, JP DL. The ceremony began with the Chair of HDC giving a welcome address to all VIPs and guests.
Then the Deputy Lord Lieutenant delivered a message from Her Majesty the Queen:
I am pleased to learn that so many people throughout the Commonwealth will be taking part in the ‘Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth’ initiative on Commonwealth Day this year, which I understand will see the raising of a record number of Commonwealth Flags.
I send my good wishes to all who are taking part.
The Deputy Lord Lieutenant followed Her majesty’s message with the Commonwealth Affirmation and a message from the Commonwealth Secretary General, Kamalesh Sharma.
The Reverend Andrew Milton said prayers of Remembrance and thanks before the Blessing of the Commonwealth Flag.
As the Chair of HDC, Deputy Lord Lieutenant and VIPs prepared to Fly the Flag, the RBL and RAFA Standards were lowered in the usual mark of respect.
Once the Commonwealth Flag had been raised, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant gave a final speech before the Chair of HDC invited all attendees into the Civic Suite for a small reception to end the day’s event.
To see more pictures from the Commonwealth Day flag-raising event, click on the first thumbnail below and scroll through the images.