Hartlepool is set to celebrate the Commonwealth

Hartlepool Civic Centre.
Hartlepool Civic Centre.

Town dignatories and school children are set to celebrate the Commonwealth as part of a national event next week.

Civic leaders in Hartlepool and scores of local schoolchildren will come together on Monday, March 13, to fly the flag for the Commonwealth.

The Mayor of Hartlepool Councillor Rob Cook

The Mayor of Hartlepool Councillor Rob Cook

Pupils from eleven of the town’s primary schools will join the Mayor of Hartlepool, Councillor Rob Cook and Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of Hartlepool Council, on the steps of the Civic Centre at 9.45pm where they will sing a musical selection prior to and after the raising of the flag at 10am.

At the ceremony the Mayor will read out the Commonwealth Affirmation while Councillor Akers-Belcher will read out a personal message from the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations.

The commemorative day will see more than 950 Commonwealth Flags will be raised in locations throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, UK Overseas Territories and Commonwealth countries.

People are being urged to join in and mark the day.

The Mayor of Hartlepool, Councillor Rob Cook, said it is ‘right and proper’ that the council marks the event.

He said: “It is fantastic that around 100 children from Hartlepool primary schools will be participating in the ceremony.

“As a member-country of the Commonwealth, it is right and proper that we join with others around the world in flying the flag for the Commonwealth.”

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “With the new location of the flag poles, it means that important events like this are much more accessible to the public.

“People are welcome to attend on the day to listen to the children singing and observe the Commonwealth flag being raised.

“The ceremony presents an opportunity for the town to collectively show its commitment to the Commonwealth and show appreciation for the values the Commonwealth upholds.”

Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR – Originator and Pageantmaster of ‘Fly a Flag for the Commonwealth’, said: “I am amazed how quickly this event has caught the imagination the UK and around the Commonwealth.

“It is a positive and uplifting way for people to link with and assist fellow citizens of the Commonwealth in a family that spans across oceans and continents.”

Local supermarkets Morrisons and Tesco have kindly donated confectionary which will be presented to the children after the ceremony.