Yesterday, it was Commonwealth Day. It’s celebrated annually on the second Monday in March. We attended our local Commonwealth Day event, and witnessed the flag-raising ceremony, which was presided over by the town mayor. Luckily, it was a gorgeous sunny day and everything passed off beautifully.
The kids were a tad excited, so I didn’t fully hear the mayor’s speech – or most of the vicar’s prayers. Something along the lines of: how wonderful it is to be part of the family of the Commonwealth of Nations, and various thanksgiving sentiments. The mayor was accompanied by her mace-bearer; my younger child found the ceremonial mace highly fascinating, and we stopped to ask a few questions about it. The mace bearer let him briefly hold the mace, explained it conveyed the authority of the mayor, and said it was made with real gold!
After the ceremony, we went to the the municipal office, which is in the local museum. (The small museum is lovely, and has lots of interesting local artefacts. On this occasional, the kids also followed a “missing mayor” fun trail, and my elder child tried on some replica mayoral robes – with matching mini mace.) As part of the Commonwealth Day celebrations, there was a bit of a tea party in the municipal office so the kids were rewarded with a cupcake and some juice. (I had two cups of coffee, in lieu of cake, as coffee represents about 90 percent of my diet since acquiring children!)
By way of Commonwealth Day themed studies, we also spent part of the day working with some Twinkl resources: Commonwealth PowerPoint presentation, Commonwealth Countries Word Search, and Commonwealth Locational Knowledge Map Activity worksheet.
We don’t usually have much focus on Geography – I think it’s time to acquire another atlas. The one in the photo is our Oxford First Atlas*, which is super easy to use but we’ve started to outgrow it. We particularly like the world flags, on the inner front and back covers, and used them to identify flags for some of the Commonwealth countries.
I’ve lived in three of the Commonwealth countries, and visited a fourth. However, this type of international event isn’t terribly well known in the UK, and I haven’t really focused on them since my own childhood. I think I will make more effort to mark such events in the future; the world is both larger and smaller than we often realise and it’s good to remember our place in the wider global community. Moreover, it’s fascinating how every type of knowledge can prove interesting and “new” through the eyes of a child. So, I guess I learned something too!