Ross-on-Wye residents and members of the Ross branch of Royal British Legion braved the elements to celebrate Commonwealth Day with enthusiasm: flag raising ceremony, engaging speeches, and vibrant cultural events mark the occasion.

The town joined the 56 Commonwealth member countries in a grand celebration of Commonwealth Day (March 13).

This significant event is dedicated to fostering unity and promoting shared values among the 2.5 billion citizens that make up the Commonwealth. Despite the chilly and windy weather conditions, a group of dedicated residents gathered to commemorate the occasion with a lively flag-raising ceremony, inspiring speeches, and various colourful cultural events that highlighted the rich tapestry of the Commonwealth nations.

This year’s Commonwealth Day, themed “forging a sustainable and peaceful common future,” focused on the pursuit of sustainability and peace, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and understanding among the diverse Commonwealth nations. The day marked two significant milestones: the first Commonwealth Day presided over by His Majesty King Charles III as King and Head of the Commonwealth, and the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Commonwealth Charter. This charter outlines the values and principles that unite the 56 member countries, representing one-third of humanity, and serves as a guiding light for cooperation and progress.

In Ross on Wye, the celebrations began with a heartfelt flag-raising ceremony attended by devoted residents who braved the cold and windy weather to show their unwavering support and commitment to the Commonwealth’s noble goals. Following the flag-raising, attendees were treated to a series of inspiring speeches from local dignitaries and community leaders, who emphasized the importance of unity, diversity, and shared responsibility.

The day’s festivities also included captivating exhibitions showcasing the achievements of the Commonwealth nations in various fields, as well as a variety of cultural events that displayed the rich diversity of the member countries. From traditional dance performances to delectable culinary treats, the celebrations were a feast for the senses, providing an unforgettable experience for all who participated.

Local organisers expressed their heartfelt gratitude to those who attended the event.