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Take a walk in Blue Bell Woods listen to the sounds around you, of bird song and bees. Smell the flowers and the scent of Spring in the air. Every year is a new beginning and every day a blessing

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Monday, March 11, 2013

The Pink Bits............

In a televised ceremony at Marlborough House in London’s Pall Mall on Monday, the Queen will sign a new Commonwealth charter, setting out for the first time in a single document the organisation’s “core values and the aspiration of its members”. It includes affirmations on democracy, human rights, international peace and security as well as freedom of expression. It also contains a commitment to “gender equality” and “women’s empowerment”.
The charter was agreed last year by heads of government of the 54 member states that belong to one of the world’s most enduring international institutions. The affection and respect felt for the Queen as the head of the Commonwealth has been instrumental in that success,

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The Commonwealth...........when I was in school it was "The Pink Bits". We were not taught that we owned the pink bits but it was as protectors I saw us. We colonized during those years where people were still discovering the world around them. Sure......we were taking from those who already lived there. I see that now. I think back in those days of discovery the explorers saw it as free for the taking and "native" peoples were not the same as us and so the land was up for grabs. Now I see that as just so wrong but back then people were different. They saw themselves as educating and bringing the gospel to them, saw them as children in need of civilizing.

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The opening up to trade............the positive things like that was one thing. The killing of the "native" peoples was something else. When I was growing up in England, English people were still being born in India and coming home to school. They were British and a great many were sent to boarding school for that British education. There were missionaries in China and people were coming back from there too. My uncle and aunt had 4 children and a family like that was very desirable in new lands. They got free passage to Australia if they would stay for 5 years. They stayed forever. Its amazing that Australia was still being settled in the 1950s. In researching my family history I found several who went out to South Africa to work on the railway. They settled and raised family there while the Zulu wars were going on. Great Britain had colony's in so many parts of the world that they said "The Sun never sets on the British empire" It was the greatest Empire in history.
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In many ways life was made better for some of the colonies. As it is today, some of the big companies like The East India company, were greedy exploitative corrupt business who did nothing but pillage in my opinion. Also loosing for the British Empire some of the most loyal countries like India. I believe there is still a strong bond with those countries though. India and Pakistan and all the break off small countries who got independence one way or other. The same with Africa. I think that a lot of English men love Africa, have roots there. When you visit a place like London these days she reflects the Commonwealth in the wonderful array of peoples and costumes that represent those colonies of long ago. Sure we lost America but there is still a special relationship between the countries. I am not sure America is better off (smile)
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British Empire, a worldwide system of dependencies—colonies, protectorates, and other territories—that over a span of some three centuries was brought under the sovereignty of the crown of Great Britain and the administration of the British government. The policy of granting or recognizing significant degrees of self-government by dependencies, which was favoured by the far-flung nature of the empire, led to the development by the 20th century of the notion of a “British Commonwealth,” comprising largely self-governing dependencies that acknowledged an increasingly symbolic British sovereignty. The term was embodied in statute in 1931. Today the Commonwealth includes former elements of the British Empire (encyclopedia Britannica)

Personally I think that especially the small countries greatly benefit from this arrangement. They enjoy support when needed and profit from trade and it makes the world smaller, like a family. The Queen is the head right now and well loved. When she dies, or hopefully before that happens they will vote on who will be the next leader of the Commonwealth, hopefully our next King would be that person.

1 comment:

Noelle the dreamer said...

Good post Janice and I learned a thing or two yet again! Love the British Empire map (we collect maps here)!
Our world is ever changing and the future is as unsure as it was last century! God help us!