On 12 March 2018 the Association of International Accountants (AIA) Chief Executive, Philip Turnbull was honoured to represent our global membership at both the Commonwealth Day Service in Westminster Abbey and the ‘Towards a Common Future’ evening reception at Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London.
Both events were held to celebrate Commonwealth Day. The day offers an opportunity for people in Commonwealth countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, the Pacific and Europe to attend events such as faith and civic gatherings, debates, school assemblies, flag raising ceremonies, street parties and fashion shows. All of which aim to celebrate the vast diversity, strong unity and uplifting values that define the Commonwealth.
The Head of the Commonwealth Queen Elizabeth II was in attendance at the multicultural, multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey. The service which was broadcast live on BBC, featured a procession of Commonwealth flags, with a young flag bearer representing each of the 53 nations of the Commonwealth. In addition there was a mixture of testimonies, performances and readings from throughout the Commonwealth.
Attendees were treated to musical performances from Ghanaian drum collective One-Drum, Ngati Ranana London Maori Club, Portsmouth Gospel Choir, and British musician Liam Payne. Spoken reflections were also given by award-winning spoken word artist Jaspreet Kaur.
The proceeding evening reception at Marlborough House followed the theme ‘Towards a Common Future’, building upon the 2017 theme of 'A Peace-Building Commonwealth'. Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were in attendance for the event which explored how the Commonwealth can address global challenges and work to create a better future for all citizens through sub-themes of sustainability, safety, prosperity and fairness.
AIA Chief Executive, Philip Turnbull, commented “It was a great pleasure and honour to attend and contribute to both the Commonwealth Day service and the ‘Towards a Common Future’ evening reception.
“As AIA celebrates its 90th Anniversary year in 2018, it is vitally important that we continue to embrace our proud heritage which has been built in no small part around our links to the Commonwealth.
“Our values continue to align closely to those of the Commonwealth, with great emphasis on democracy, access to education, gender equality and governance to name a small selection. This I believe is one of the reasons why the AIA continue to have such a strong and prosperous membership base throughout the Commonwealth countries.”