Tuesday, 10 March 2015
South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie marks WWI with Single Commemorative Act
A single candle is to remain lit at County Buildings in Ayr for 12 months, symbolically representing darkness falling over Europe as the First World War began in 1914.
The candle was lit on Commonwealth Day, Monday 9 March, by South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie as part of a national ‘Single Commemorative Act’ – an initiative from the National Association of Civic Officers (NACO), which has asked every civic head in the UK to take part, uniting all civic leaders in a unique nationwide event.
An additional candle will be added on Commonwealth Day each year until 2018, until four candles are burning – marking the years 1914-18, the duration of the First World War.
Undertaking the act on Commonwealth Day also reflects the sacrifices made by Commonwealth nations who have lost citizens in conflicts in the last 100 years.
Provost Moonie said: “The Single Commemorative Act is a simple, powerful and poignant statement of hope over fear.
“It echoes the statement made by Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Gray in 1914, when Britain entered the war: “The lights are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.””
“Our first candle is a symbol of hope, that all nations can reach a better understanding of each other and work for the creation of a more peaceful and harmonious world and I’m proud South Ayrshire is represented in the Single Commemorative Act.”
Commonwealth flag flown in
celebration of young people
Also on Monday 9 March, South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie raised the Commonwealth Flag at the St Germain-en-Laye Gardens, Ayr, marking Commonwealth Day 2015.
[Pictured at the Commonwealth flag ceremony are (left to right) Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie and Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire and Arran, John Duncan QPM.]
Commonwealth Day is the annual celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations, with civic dignitaries, local authorities, schools, community groups and charities throughout the British Isles taking part in local flag raising events and ceremonies of dedication.
Every year celebrates a theme and, in 2015, it is ‘A Young Commonwealth’. The flag raising event was attended by pupils and teachers from South Ayrshire schools, members of the South Ayrshire Youth Forum, Active Schools ambassadors and local members of the Scottish Youth Parliament.
Provost Moonie said: “Young people represent the future and those aged under 29 are now the biggest group in the Commonwealth – which means they will be the Commonwealth leaders for tomorrow.
“South Ayrshire is fortunate to have so many active, caring and passionate young citizens, who are already showing they have the skills, passion and dedication to make a real difference for others, now and in the future.”
A special message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was read out by the Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire and Arran, John Duncan QPM and the Commonwealth Affirmation was read by Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council.
Provost Moonie added: "The Commonwealth Flag is a reminder that we are part of a much bigger family – one where we can all learn from each other, sharing ideas, respecting cultures and valuing all people.
“I’m happy our young people know this – and do it so well.
“Today’s flag raising is a celebration of the Commonwealth and our youth – and we’ll do everything we can to support and encourage all our young citizens at every step on their journey towards becoming tomorrow’s Commonwealth.”
South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.