5th December 2018: RCS Toronto Branch held a celebration dinner to mark the 150th Anniversary of The Royal Commonwealth Society. They held their sesquicentennial celebration at The National Club in Toronto, and were privileged to have Her Majesty’s representative for Ontario, the Lieutenant Governor, The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell in attendance. The evening was a great success with over 100 members and guests. Byron Thomas acted as Master of Ceremonies as well as Chair of the Organizing Committee. It was an evening of celebration of the Commonwealth, the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Canadian Monarchy and the Christmas season. RCS Toronto Branch were privileged to have had wonderful musical entertainment and a number of tributes to the countries of the Commonwealth.
April 2018: RCS Toronto Branch member, Colin Saldanha, MD, upon his return to Toronto after the 2018 CHOGM in London, was invited by Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, The Honorable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, to brief her on the deliberations and outcomes of the Peoples' Forum and the final CHOGM communique. The occasion also provided an opportunity to inform and engage Her Honour about the work of the RCS, in the purpose of which she expressed interest and support.
7 April 2018: The Ottawa edition of 'Nigeria Conversation' was hosted at Infinity Multi-Cultural Event Centre in Ottawa, in partnership with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigeria High Commission in Ottawa. Participants were drawn from different Nigerian - Canadian Associations, Nigerian Professionals, Students and other members of the Nigerian Community in Canada. The event was opened by HE Ambassador Adeyinka Asekun, High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Canada and a presentation on 'Practical Steps to Nigeria Economic Diversification, Consolidation and Sustainability'given by Mr Blackson Olaseni Bayewumi, Chairman, Nigeria Conversation and National Co-ordinator of RCS Branch, the Commonwealth Youth Organisation of Nigeria.
16 March 2018: RCS Barbados Branch partnered with the Barbados Secondary School Athletics Championships (BSSAC) Organising Committee to present 'The Royal Commonwealth Society Trophy' at the 2018 Barbados Secondary School Athletics Championships (BSSAC). In keeping with its mandate and as the second school term focused primarily on sporting activities among the youth, RCS Barbados Branch thought it fitting to honour youth through sport. The Trophy was awarded to the school team found to be best exemplifying the values of the Commonwealth; sportsmanship, team work, equity and fair play, in addition to achieving consistent performance during the BSSAC Championships. The Alleyne Secondary School emerged as the winners of the inaugural RCS Trophy 2018.
The BSSAC Organising Committee was very appreciative of the RCS’ decision to partner with BSSAC as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of The Royal Commonwealth Society.
Pictured (l-r) Principal of the Alleyne School, Ms. Julia Beckles; Chair of the RCS Barbados Branch, Mrs. Cheryll Belle and Chair of the RCS Sports Committee, Ryan Brathwaite.© Nation News.
12 March 2018, Commonwealth Day in Vancouver Island was celebrated with a lunch at which an inspirational message was delivered by Tori Kalyniuk, one of the RCS Vancouver Island branch's Youth Council members who shared her perspective of being a young Commonwealth athlete. Tori was followed by guest speaker Robert Bettauer, CEO of Pacific Institute of Sports Excellence (PISE), who called on all those present to watch and cheer for athletes at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and to support further legacy programmes evolving out of Commonwealth activities.
Commonwealth Day 2018. RCS Manitoba Branch joined with the Very Rev Paul Johnson, Dean of St John’s Cathedral, for an interfaith evening service. RCS member, Reverend Helen Kennedy, of St George’s Transcona, read Her Majesty The Queen’s Commonwealth Day message and Murray Burt, President of RCS Manitoba branch and Vice-Chair of Canada National presented a Status of the Commonwealth report touching on both its growth and on critical issues that will be debated at CHOGM in London. The service was held in the magnificent St. John’s Cathedral, built in 1833 and identified, according to records, as the birthplace of the first Anglican church in Western Canada. The 53 Commonwealth flags were subsequently displayed around the Rotunda in the Legislative Building (pictured).
12 March 2018, Commonwealth Day in the Dominican Republic was held in the AIRD Torre Empresial, during which the British Ambassador, Chris Campbell, read The Queen's Commonwealth Day Message for 2018. Welcoming remarks given by Fernando González Nicolás, the president of the Roundtable of Commonwealth Countries of the Dominican Republic, noted that the organisation's objective is to promote brotherhood and bilateral economic, political and social relations among the 53 Commonwealth countries.
12 March 2018, Commonwealth Day celebration in Jamaica was held at King's House with the Governor-General of Jamaica, the Most Honorable Sir Patrick Allen, and Lady Allen as well as the Chairperson of RCS Jamaica Branch, Indera Persaud and other members of the Society. Pictured: Youth leaders of Jamaica with Governor-General, Sir Patrick Allen.
12 March 2018, Commonwealth Day in Barbados was celebrated by RCS Barbados Branch at a multi-faith service in St Patrick's cathedral. In attendance was Her Excellency Dame Sandra Mason, GCMG, DA, QC Governor-General of Barbados who read The Queen's Commonwealth Day message and pupils from local schools. The Service was followed by a parade of the 53 Commonwealth flags around Bridgetown by uniformed youth groups, accompanied by a marching band.
5 January 2018, RCS Barbados Branch organised a parade through the city and dedicated the last in this series of Christmas Concerts in the Square to the celebration and launch of the 150th Anniversary of The Royal Commonwealth Society. Pictured, the Royal Barbados Police Force Band. Photo credit Richard Grimes. See additional images and article.
January 2017, Barbados: The Honourable Madame Justice Sandra Mason, Justice of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Barbados has been appointed Governor-General of Barbados. Now Dame Sandra Mason, she was recently appointed President of the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal, becoming the first female and first Caribbean appointee to the post having served on the Tribunal since 2013. The Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal operates among members of the Commonwealth of Nations to resolve issues concerning contract disputes. Dame Sandra Mason is a long standing Council Member of The Royal Commonwealth Society, Barbados Branch. Mrs. Cheryll Belle, Chair, the Council and Trustees of the RCS Barbados Branch extend congratulations to Dame Sandra Mason on this achievement.
8 August 2017, Georgetown, Guyana: The Queen's Baton Relay. On Tuesday 8 August, The Queen's Baton visited Georgetown, Guyana. As part of its route through the city, the Baton was carried by five Associate Fellows of the RCS. The group of young leaders took the Baton from the Manatee Pond in the Botanic Gardens to the Guyana Cricket Board entrance on Regent Street, to hand it over to the next team. The Queen's Baton Relay will continue throughout the Commonwealth in the run-up to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018.
1 August 2017, The Queen’s Baton relay stopped in Vancouver where RCS British Columbia (BC) Branch was its host. The Officers of the Society of the Honourable Guard, organised by Branch Chair Shawn Wade (pictured), escorted the Baton to an event organised by the BC Sports Hall of Fame at the Terry Fox Plaza, accompanied by bagpipers. Members of the Guard each took turns carrying the baton and upon arrival an games official gave a talk on the Baton and its significance.
In the evening the Australian and Queensland governments hosted a reception, at which attendees learned more about the Gold Coast and got to see and hold the lit Baton.
28 July, Ontario, Canada: A reception was held at Tim Hortons Field, the site on which the original Commonwealth Games stadium was built. Before its arrival at the official ceremony, the Baton was taken in a relay that visited all three of the original Games sites. At the stadium itself, it was carried in a relay of individuals who had competed for Canada at the Commonwealth Games in every decade since their founding (the 1930's athlete was represented by a descendant). The ceremony included a performance by First Nations singers and was followed by a luncheon. David Haisell attended from RCS Toronto branch.
Photo: Shelly Cameron. Pictured l-r Bradlee Lloyd 'Mr. B' Henry (son of Bluestone Cloud), Wadata:wi (Jadyn) Bomberry of the Mohawk Nation, Monique Taylor, Member of the Provincial Parliament for Hamilton Mountain, Her Honour Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Minaade Sin Aankote (Bluestone Cloud) of the Ojibwe (Bear Clan) – Henvey Inlet First Nation, Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger
21-23 July, Bahamas: Commonwealth Youth Games Athlete Impact Labs: At the Commonwealth Youth Games, The Royal Commonwealth Society, in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat, Commonwealth Games Federation and UNICEF, organised and facilitated a series of workshops for young athletes. These so-called Athlete Impact Labs are interactive sessions designed to help both athletes and Games officials explore how they can protect and promote human rights and make a positive impact across the Commonwealth through sport. Participants explored the core values and principles of the Commonwealth, how sport can make a contribution to global development, the rights and responsibilities of athletes and the role of young people in governing and developing sport. A total of 241 young athletes and officials from 20 countries attended the sessions and provided overwhelmingly positive feedback.
6 July 2017, Jamaica: The Queen's Baton Relay. The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) hosted a cocktail reception for the Queen’s Baton Relay at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston. Members of the sports fraternity and the Minister of Sports and Culture were in attendance as were members of The Royal Commonwealth Society, Jamaica Branch. The following day the Queen’s Baton visited the mountains in St. Ann.
Pictured(l-r) with the Queen’s Baton is President of JOA, Mr. Christopher Samuda; Minister, Olivia Grange; RCS Jamaica Branch Chair, Indera Persaud and branch member Mr. Winston Bayley
1 July, Canada Day, Ottawa: RCS Toronto members Dr Colin and Sheila Saldanha were invited by their Excellencies The Rt Hon David Johnston Governor General of Canada and Mrs Sharon Johnston to join TRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall for the inauguration of 'The Queens Entrance' to Rideau Hall, the official residence of The Governor General of Canada in Ottawa. Among the subjects discussed were the role of the RCS in Canada, the 150 Anniversary of the RCS and the International meeting of branches due to be held in London in 2018.
10-14 June 2017: Bridgetown, Barbados: The Queen's Baton Relay
Two RCS Barbados branch members, Andrew Hutchinson and Ryan Brathwaite, carried the Baton; cyclists and runners carried it in subsequent legs of its route around Bridgetown. Photos: Maurice Giles.
The official ceremony was held at the residence of the Governor General. Pictured L-R Mrs Sandra Osbourne Legal Representative for Commonwealth Games Federation; Mr. James Gardiner Australian Honorary Consul ; His Excellency Sir Elliott Belgrave Governor General of Barbados ; Mr. Steven Stoute President of the Barbados Olympic Association; Mr. Steven Lashley Ministry of Culture ,Sports and Youth Back Row: Lt. Caddle Aide-De-Camp to the Governor General.
In the evening a cocktail reception was hosted by Mr. Steve Stoute President of the Barbados Olympic Association. Pictured L-R Mr. James Gardiner Australian Honorary Consul, Mrs. Cheryll Belle Chairman RCS Barbados Branch and Her Excellency Mrs. Jan Henderson NZ High Commissioner.
14 June 2017, Winnipeg: Norman MacFie, President of RCS Newfoundland Branch, Murray Burt, President of the RCS Manitoba Branch and Elizabeth Burt, Secretary of the RCS Manitoba Branch, met to discuss branch matters at the Manitoba Club, during Mr MacFie's attendance at the Air Cadet League annual convention held in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Top subject: building up a younger membership base for the RCS branches.
16 May 2017: The Roundtable of Commonwealth Countries in the Dominican Republic organised a meeting between the visiting Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness (pictured) and business leaders. Accompanying Mr Holness were Jamaica Foreign Minister, Kamina Johnson Smith; Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett and Economic Affairs Ambassador, Aubyn Hill. Fernandos Gonzales, President of the Roundtable expressed the view that the visit revealed the Jamaicans’ interest in bolstering political and trade relations with the Dominican Republic and said: “It is important to remember that Jamaica is a member of the Commonwealth, that the Dominican Republic also participates with that nation in CARIFORUM, the Association of Caribbean States."
24 April 2017: Barbados a presentation was given by His Excellency Sir Elliott Belgrave, GCMG, KA, Governor General of Barbados to the four Barbadians who have won the Queen's Young Leaders Award, Donnya Piggott, founder of The Association of Barbados Gays, Lesbians and All-Sexuals Against Discrimination (B-GLAD), Firhaana Bulbulia founder of the Barbados Association of Muslim Ladies, Shamelle Rice founder of Jabez House, and Mrs. Jamilla Sealy, Regional Chairperson of the Caribbean Youth Environmental Network (CYEN). The event was attended by His Excellency Guy Hewitt, High Commissioner of Barbados to the United Kingdom, Cheryll Sealy Belle, Chairperson of RCS Barbados Branch and other members of the Society.
April 2017: RCS Manitoba Branch hosted a reception for interested groups to meet British Consul General, Caroline Saunders, visiting the province from Calgary, Alberta. Invited were members of the Canadian International Council along with executive members of the Manitoba and Winnipeg chambers of commerce, the World Trade Centre and Economic Development Winnipeg. Over 60 branch members attended.
Pictured: Jeanette and Dr. James Popplow, Ms Caroline Saunders, British Consul General, Debra Lindeblom, Elizabeth and Murray Burt
14 March 2017: RCS Barbados branch held a reception at the residence of the New Zealand High Commissioner, in celebration of the Commonwealth, in the presence of (pictured l-r) Mr. David Henderson (husband of the NZ High Commissioner), Her Excellency Mrs. Jan Henderson NZ High Commissioner, Sir Anand Satyanand, immediate past Chairman of the Commonwealth Foundation and former Governor of New Zealand, Mrs. Cheryll Belle Chairman of The Royal Commonwealth Society Barbados Branch and Mrs Lady Satyanand.
This followed the annual multi-faith Observance for Commonwealth Day, held in Bridgetown in the presence of His Excellency Sir Elliott Belgrave, GCMG, KA, Governor General of Barbados.
14 March 2017: The Roundtable of Commonwealth Countries in the Dominican Republic gathered diplomats from nations accredited in the Dominican Republic, including presidents of the bi-national chambers of Britain, Canada, Trinidad and India, to mark Commonwealth Day. Matthew Webb, Gt. Britain, read the Commonwealth Day message from HM The Queen; Roundtable President, Fernando González Nicolás, delivered the keynote speech saying that recent trading figures placed Commonwealth countries as the Dominican Republic’s third biggest trading partner, after the United States and Haiti.
2016: RCS Toronto branch held a fundraiser in aid of the Sri Lankan charity Mencafep, which supports people with disabilities. Pictured: Sri Lanka Branch Chair, Shiva Yogendrenathen receives the donation on behalf of Mecafep from RCS Toronto Branch Chair Andrew McMurty at the Arts & Letters Club, Toronto, Canada.
15 October 2016: Nova Scotia branch of the RCS engaged with local students on a scenic bus tour of the South Shore of Nova Scotia, organised by branch member, Stephen Cooper. They were met by the President, Heather MacKinnon in Chester.
Commonwealth Day 2016: RCS Barbados Branch of The held its Annual Multi-Faith Observance for Commonwealth Day at the James Street Methodist Church in Bridgetown.
The Observance, which was conducted by Rev. Tanya Conliffe, the Methodist Chaplain of the Cave Hill Campus of The University of the West Indies assisted by Dean Emeritus, The Very Reverend Dr. Frank Marshall, CBE, featured a meditation by Rev. Dr. Michael Clarke, the Principal of Codrington College, Readings by the Baha'i, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist and Muslim faiths, the latter read by Pandit Thakoor Prashad, the reading of Her Majesty's Commonwealth Day Message by the Governor-General of Barbados, His Excellency Sir Elliott Belgrave, GCMG, KA and the singing of anthem 'Come, See' by the choir of The Coleridge & Parry School.
June 2015: Manitoba Branch At a reception at the Legislature, Manitoba's Lt. Governor, Her Honor Janice Filmon, and Premier, Greg Salinger, unveiled a coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint (in Winnipeg) on the occasion of the Queen becoming Britain's longest reigning Monarch. The picture shows the unveiling of the coin; fitting refreshments of 'cream teas' were served!
Across the Americas region, 13 Queens Young Leaders have been announced - see the list
April 2015: Vancouver Island Branch held a Baby Shower to welcome the new royal baby expected by Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. However, the gifts of brushed cotton ‘receiving blankets’ were for newborns in Vanuatu, one of the most urgent requirements for babies as the islands come to terms with the loss of homes and hospitals in the worst typhoon ever experienced in the South Pacific. Pictured arriving with their blankets are two of Vancouver Island branch’s most faithful members, Mrs Marion Adams, 94 (left) and Mrs Margaret McDougall, 99. Also attending the meeting was Dr Unger of Victoria, who had recently returned from Vanuatu.
Commonwealth Day 2015: Barbados Branch hosted its Annual Multi-Faith Observance at St. Leonard's Church, Bridgetown, in commemoration of Commonwealth Day and in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Branch. His Excellency Sir Elliott Belgrave, GCMG, KA, Governor-General of Barbados and Patron of the Branch read Her Majesty's Commonwealth Day Message. In keeping with the theme 'A Young Commonwealth', Barbados National Youth Parliament representative Miss Saskia Singh and CARICOM Youth Ambassador Mr. Mosiah Hoyte delivered addresses to the audience of nearly 500. Pictured is the choir of the Grantley Prescod Memorial School singing "Chatter with the Angels"
Commonwealth Day 2015: Vancouver Island Branch was celebrated at Government House of British Columbia, hosted by Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Judith Guichon OC. Pictured from left: Robert Rathbun (Society of Officers of the Honourable Guard); Jeneece Edroff, nominee and runner up of the QYLA; Wendy Halliday (President of the Vancouver Island Branch); Pamela Hobbs (Wartime technician of Bletchley Park); Christopher Stanbury (also an Officer of the Honourable Guard) and David Wynne, VI branch member visiting from Singapore. The Honour Guard welcomed visitors at the Porte Cochere of Government House with swords drawn overhead. The luncheon was opened with a procession led by a piper.
Commonwealth Day 2015: Santo Domingo. The Roundtable of Commonwealth Countries in the Dominican Republic, in partnership with the British Embassy hosted a celebration at the New Horizons Bilingual School. British Ambassador, Steven Fisher, read the message from HM The Queen and Head of the Commonwealth and noted that this year's theme was 'A Young Commonwealth' while Commonwealth Roundtable President, Fernando Gonzalez Nicolas, stressed the Commonwealth’s political, social and economic importance for Dominicans.
The Commonwealth Round Table is an organization that promotes bilateral relations between Dominican Republic and the 53 member countries around the world.
Commonwealth Day 2015: RCS Jamaica joined 52 other nations on March 9 with a celebration hosted by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, at King’s House.The event, under the theme: ‘A Young Commonwealth’ was organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, Jamaica Branch, and featured the reading of the Commonwealth message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by the Governor-General, who also raised a toast to the Queen (pictured).
Commonwealth Day 2015: Winnipeg Branch His Honour Philip Lee and Her Honour Anita Lee, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, with Murray Burt, President of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Manitoba Branch.
November 2014: Over the past 25 years the Nova Scotia Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society has been taking Commonwealth Students on a sight-seeing tour of Lunenburg, NS. Pictured here, the latest group taking a short break in the historic village of Chester, NS.
21 October 2014: Toronto Branch presented Commonwealth Speaker Series & Annual AGM on the topic of Commonwealth Legacy - The Westminster Parliamentary System. All are welcome to attend this event featuring special guest speaker and Commonwealth Parliamentary Expert Professor Peter H. Russell, O.C. Click here for more information.
24 September 2014: RCS Ottawa presented Brian MacPherson, Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Games Canada, and Sultana Frizell, Gold Medalist Commonwealth Games, at The Naval Officers’ Mess, 78 Lisgar St, Ottawa, Ontario.
The Commonwealth Games are of major importance to the Commonwealth of Nations and to Canada. Hear from two of Canada's leaders about the Commonwealth Games. Please click here for more information.
September: RCS Branch, Vancouver Island presented local writer and sports commentator, Cleve Dheensaw, who gave a extensive report on the Commonwealth Games. In more than 3 decades of writing about Island athletes, Cleve has covered both the 1996 Atlanta, and 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. He has covered 5 Commonwealth Games, from Auckland in 1990, to the recently concluded 2014 Games in Glasgow, Scotland. He is also the author of 5 books about the Summer Olympics, Commonwealth Games, B.C. Lacrosse, and the history of sport on Vancouver Island. His latest book is about Simon Whitfield.
May 2014, RCS Ottowa 80 high school students and 30 Planning team members from across Canada will come together in the nations capital for the RCS Ottawa's National Student Commonwealth Forum (NSCF). In it's 42nd year, NSCF provides delegates with an opportunity of a life time to debate in Canada's Senate, meet with High Commissioners, hold a model CHOGM, learn about the Commonwealth and its values, and create lasting friendships. Further information is available at NSCF