24 Mar BCA Commonwealth Day celebrations – 9 March 2020
The BCA celebrated Commonwealth Day, like millions of others throughout the Commonwealth, by not only holding its annual Dinner and Register Office events but in the morning, its and Birmingham’s first Commonwealth Day Service, held in the Banqueting Suite, Birmingham City Council.
The service, attended by some 70 invited guests, was a celebration of the 54 commonwealth member states: their differences, their common ground, what they have achieved together and what they hope to achieve in the future. Guests included the Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Yvonne Mosquito, The Vice Lord-Lieutenant for the West Midlands, Dr Beverly Lindsay OBE OD, The Rt Reverend David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, Commonwealth Diplomats from India, Bangladesh and Jamaica and Faith Leaders.
Commenting upon the service, Keith Stokes-Smith, the association’s Chairman, said ” This was the first service we have organised. It went very well thanks to the contributions made not only by our speakers but those who supported the event being the Birmingham City Council Choir and their musical director, Mariana Rosas and pianist, James Keefe, the City of Birmingham Brass Band, Eternal Taal-the UK’s all-female team of Dhol players, Clare Noakes, Siobhan Patton and David Board. The Choir, the soloists, the Band were exceptional and really added to the success of the event. We were also pleased to be joined by pupils from Nishkam High School, two of their pupils who read the ‘Act of Affirmation to the Commonwealth’, and King Solomon International Business School.
Early afternoon the BCA attended the Register Office in Birmingham where some 30 non-UK nationals were to receive their UK citizenship. This event again is a one-off each year only being held on Commonwealth Day. Those receiving their citizenship are all commonwealth citizens. The BCA adds value to the event by presenting each new UK national with their own personalised certificate baring all 54 Commonwealth flags as well as the 16 commonwealth values and principles.
Then, to conclude the day, the BCA held its annual dinner attended by over 120 guests at the Park Regis Hotel in Broad St, Birmingham with guest speakers Tessa Sanderson, MBE, OBE, CBE and David Grady, Chief Financial Officer for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games”