Students and MP’s Celebrate Commonwealth Day


Scores of students from schools across the island, as well as members of Parliament, gathered in Kingston today (March 12) to mark Commonwealth Day under the theme: ‘The Commonwealth: Respecting Differences, Promoting Understanding’.
The event, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel, featured exhibitions from Commonwealth member states in addition to presentations in the form of dance, stories and dialect.
Her Majesty the Queen, in her Commonwealth message, which was read by Kemesha Kelly of St. Jago High School, urged member states to embrace their history, have an open mind and heart, and find their diversity as a cause for celebration and a source of strength and unity. She further urged Commonwealth member states to work together to build a better future based on shared respect and understanding.
Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller in her message, which was read by Carobie Lambert of Tarrant High School, noted that the Commonwealth, despite its cultural diversity in areas such as religion, race and ethnicity, has worked together toward a common goal for growth and development.
She expressed pleasure that students from both the corporate area as well as rural parishes were able to participate in today’s celebration, adding that in line with its focus on youth development, the Commonwealth had motivated young people to show respect and understanding and encourage them to embrace and share in each other’s culture.
Meanwhile, President of the Senate, Syringa Marshall-Burnett, urged young persons to take the theme seriously, and apply it throughout their communities and schools, and in their everyday lives.
Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives, Derrick Smith, noted that this year’s Commonwealth Day celebration was very special in light of the ICC Cricket World Cup, where thousands of persons from various backgrounds would gather to participate in one game.
He expressed the hope that today’s celebration would signal a greater level of co-operation and mutual understanding of how to overcome differences and build upon similarities among Jamaicans.
Commonwealth Day is celebrated every year, on the second Monday in March, when governments, Commonwealth organizations and schools participate in events to pay tribute to this special partnership of nations and peoples and the ideals they hold in common.
The modern Commonwealth of Nations is an international partnership of countries dedicated to co-operation and governed by mutual respect. It is an international family of 53 member countries from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, North America and the Pacific.

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