A Parade, Lighting Ceremony And Service Of Thanksgiving And Prayer Celebrates The Coronation Of A New Head Of State And Head Of The Commonwealth
[ANTIGUA, May 8, 2023] – Antigua and Barbuda celebrated the coronation of its new Head of State with a May 7th Coronation Parade through the city of St. John’s followed by a Coronation Lighting Ceremony at Government House.
The May 8th Service of Thanksgiving and Prayer which took place at the St. John’s Pentecostal House of Restoration offered prayer and praise for the leaders of the nation including King Charles III and Queen Camilla.
The events brought together members of the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force, the Ex-servicemen’s Association, and youth paramilitary organizations, including Girl Guides, Boys Scouts, Boys’ Brigade, Girls’ Brigade, Seventh Day Adventist Pathfinders, and Duke of Edinburgh Award.
At 6:20 pm on May 7, the parade started from the Multipurpose Centre, up Market Street, proceeded up Long Street, north on Cross Street, onto Independence Avenue for the eyes right in front of Government House, then right onto Church Street for fall out at the Telephone Exchange.
The salute was taken by His Excellency Governor General’s Deputy, Sir Clare Roberts, who was accompanied by the Chief of Defence Staff, Colonel Telbert Benjamin, and Commissioner of Police Ag, Mr. Albert M. P. Wade.
The north lawn of Government House was the perfect location for the assembly and call to order for the coronation lighting ceremony, which featured a powerful Invocation by Captain Ronald James of Boys’ Brigade.
Other highlights of the event included presentations from the Salvation Army Timbrellists, Seventh Day Adventist Pathfinders, and remarks from HE Sir Clare Roberts, Governor General’s Deputy.
Sir Clare Roberts commended the many young people who are quietly engaged in positive activities and underscored the importance of living a disciplined lifestyle.
The Governor General’s Deputy also commended the service organizations for their work with youths across the nation.
The Fire Lighting Ceremony was a truly inspiring moment as Governor General’s Deputy and representatives from the Antigua and Barbuda Scout Association, lit the Coronation Fire, and youth representatives from the Cadet Corps, Duke of Edinburgh Award, Girl Guides Association, and the SDA Pathfinders lit the “‘O’ ‘1’” sculptures using the source fire.
The metal sculptures which were designed by Assistant Scout Commissioner Kibwe Harris signified a new era for our nation and the first year of reign of King Charles III as Head of State of the UK and 14 Commonwealth Realm Sovereign States and Head of the 56-member Commonwealth of Nations, of which Antigua and Barbuda is a member.
Cabinet Minister with responsibility for community development and citizen’s engagement, The Hon. Sir Molwyn Joseph, and British Resident Commissioner, Her Excellency Lindsy Thompson, assisted by youth representatives from the Girls’ Brigade, lit the Coronation Cake Display, which brought to light the colours of the national flag as a symbol of the sovereignty of the nation of Antigua and Barbuda, which by virtue of its system of government, the constitutional monarchy, recognizes King Charles III as its Head of State.
The weekend activities which provided a further opportunity for citizens to unite and embrace the Commonwealth values, form a part of the 3-month long series of events planned by the Commonwealth/Coronation Planning Committee in recognition of the Commonwealth Year of Youth, the 50th Anniversary of the Commonwealth Youth Programme and the Coronation of the new Head of State and Head of Commonwealth.
Photos: courtesy Photogenesis; Cake Display Design: Office of the Governor General and Fancy Cakes
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