Mayor of Sunderland joined by veterans and Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear for Commonwealth Day flag-raising ceremony
Sunderland's connection with Commonwealth countries around the world has been marked at a special ceremony today.
Mayor of Sunderland Coun Lynda Scanlan was joined by civic guests including Her Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear Mr Norman Taylor MBE as the Commonwelath Flag was raised over the city.
Also representing the city council was Deputy Leader Coun Michael Mordey, with veterans, residents and community groups in attendance to play their part in the annual celebrations for Commonwealth Day.
The flag raised in the civic courtyard at the rear of Sunderland civic centre, outside the Council Chamber, is one of more than 900 being flown across the Commonwealth.
Before the 10am ceremony, a series of messages were read out celebrating the aims and achievements of the Commonwealth.
They began with a message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, read out by her regional representative Norman Taylor MBE, Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear,
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followed by a message from the Secretary of the Commonwealth, read out by Coun Mordey.
The Mayor then read out the Commonwealth Affirmation with all those present invited to recite a response to the Commonwealth Affirmation before the flag was raised.
"We can all be proud that Sunderland is part of the collective expression of commitment to the Commonwealth going on in countries across the world," said Coun Scanlan.
"Many people in our communities are from the Commonwealth, and we all share the same values of international friendship and co-operation which it represents.
"Raising the Commonwealth flag at the civic centre is a shared act of witness in all member countries, re-affirming our commitment to democracy, development, and respect for diversity which I hope everyone will celebrate."