Dominica celebrated Commonwealth Day with an ecumenical service with activities including prayer, dance and song from various school groups and bands at the Arawak House of Culture.
The day is observed by Commonwealth member states around the globe under the theme ‘A Peace-Building Commonwealth.’
President of Dominica, His Excellency Charles Savarin and Ms. Savarin, and other dignitaries attended the event.
In her Commonwealth Day address, read the President, Queen Elizabeth II, she said that the cornerstone on which peace is founded lies in respect and understanding of one another, working together and building peace among nations, and so opportunities must be offered as a way of mending divisions.
“By upholding justice and rule of law and by striving for societies and offering opportunities, we overcome divisions and find reconciliation so that the benefits of progress and prosperity may be multiplied and shared,” he read.
Speaker of the House of Parliament, Alex Boyd Knight, stated it is her belief that the theme which guides the activities of Commonwealth Day is both “necessary and timely” as it relates to the currents happenings around the world.
“Necessary because, when we look around us, we see a world in conflict and turmoil. Every day when one listens to the news, one would get the impression that no country is at peace….Timely because of the recognition of the policy makers within the Commonwealth Secretariat, that there has to be tangible moves and strategies developed to bring about that elusive piece that most of us so desperately crave,” she added.
Commonwealth Day is an opportunity to promote the Commonwealth’s shared values of peace, democracy, and equality, and to celebrate the rich diversity of the Commonwealth’s fifty-one member countries.
2017 marks 40 years since Commonwealth Day became a global celebration marked on the same day every year: the second Monday in March.