WYCHAVON District Council joined community groups, charities and fellow local authorities in raising a flag for the commonwealth.

A special ceremony took place at the Civic Centre in Pershore yesterday (Monday) to mark Commonwealth Day.

The ceremony was one of more than 500 which took place across the UK, the largest single raising of the flag since this celebration began in 1977.

At the ceremony, a specially written Commonwealth Affirmation was read out by the Chairman of Wychavon District Council, Councillor Gerry O’Donnell.

He said: “Joining together as members of one worldwide Commonwealth family, we raise this flag as a symbol of the ties of friendship we cherish, affirming our kinship and common purpose in building for the future towards shared goals of development and democracy, and commit ourselves afresh to working alongside one another in a spirit of respect and understand exploring new ideas and rising to fresh challenges, with all our sisters and brothers, wherever we may live, learn or work.”

Wychavon’s ceremony was also be attended by councillors, local schoolchildren from Westacre Middle School, in Droitwich, and children from the crèche at the Civic Centre, in Pershore.

Cllr O’Donnell said: “In this year of the Commonwealth Games, it is particularly appropriate that we recognise the importance and significance of the Commonwealth, and voice Wychavon’s expression of commitment to its values and opportunities.

"When there is so much strife and division in the world, it is reassuring to have the cloak of the commonwealth family around us, working together for a better future in the spirit of friendship.”

Charity teams marked the day by taking Commonwealth Flags to the top of the UK’s four highest National Peaks and used the occasion to raise funds for their worthy causes.