BRADES – Traffic was held up on Monday morning as students and teachers from the Montserrat Secondary School (MSS) marched from Brades to the Montserrat Cultural Centre to commemorate Commonwealth Day.
A Young Commonwealth was the 2015 theme and the students showed their stamina, dancing and chanting down the road to the sounds of Caribbean rhythms. Led by principal Mrs Cherlyn Hogan, wearing Montserrat’s national dress, the students represented countries of the globe who are part of the Commonwealth.
A flag ceremony conducted by the MSS Cadet Corp began the official portion of the celebration at the cultural centre. Present at the event were the Hon. Premier Donaldson Romeo and the members of his cabinet, Hon. Deputy Premier Delmaude Ryan, Hon. Minister Claude Hogan, Hon. Minister Paul Lewis and Hon. Parliamentary Secretary Gregory Willock.
His Excellency the Governor Adrian Davis read Queen Elizabeth’s Address to the 53 nations in the Commonwealth in which she reminded them that they are “guardians of a precious flame”.
In the speech the queen warned that what the nations share is more important now than at any point in its history. When common goals fall apart, the Queen added, “so does the exchange of ideas. “And if people no longer trust or understand each other, the talking will soon stop too”.
“We are guardians of a precious flame, and it is our duty not only to keep it burning brightly but to keep it replenished for the decades ahead.”
The Queen cited the success of last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as an example of “youthfulness and vitality”, adding: “As a concept that is unique in human history, the Commonwealth can only flourish if its ideas and ideals continue to be young and fresh and relevant to all generations.”
The day included performances by the Emerald Community Singers and an exhibit representing the nations of the Caribbean, Asia, Americas and Africa in the union. A food bazaar featured ethnic cuisine from across the globe while students continued the celebrations on drums and other instruments.