BOLTON’S dignitaries joined in with celebrations across the world to mark Commonwealth Day in Victoria Square.

The flag of the Commonwealth was raised over the Town Hall to mark the day, which was set up to celebrate the unity and diversity of the network of nations.

Led by Reverend Canon Matt Thompson, the vicar of Bolton Parish Church, councillors and officers listened to leader of Bolton Council Cllr Cliff Morris as he read out the Commonwealth affirmation yesterday.

The Mayor of Bolton Cllr Colin Shaw also read out a message from the Queen to shoppers who stopped to listen.

The Commonwealth is a voluntary organisation of 53 states, mostly territories of the former British Empire, which promotes representative democracy, liberty and equality.