he Mainland of British Columbia Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) is one of the 9 branches of the RCS in Canada. It was founded in 1959 and currently has some 150 members. The Branch adheres to the objectives of the Society which are to promote the spreading of knowledge regarding the peoples and countries of the Commonwealth, and to promote the ideas and principles agreed to by the association of free, sovereign and independent states which together constitute the modern Commonwealth.
For more than 25 years, the Branch managed an Essay Competition. Each year some 500 B.C. high school essays are received, and prizes and certificates are awarded.
The Branch supports through the University of British Columbia Commonwealth Club, an annual three day Student Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference at which some 70 senior high school students assume the roles of leaders of 20 Commonwealth countries.
In March of each year, on Commonwealth Day, a multi-faith observance is held to highlight the faiths and cultures of the Commonwealth.
Other activities include:
• Monthly members’ meetings
• Promotion of support for educational programs in the Commonwealth
• Participation in activities and events with Commonwealth country associations in the Lower Mainland
• Collaboration with local organizations such as the Commonwealth of Learning, the University of British Columbia, and Commonwealth scholars program
• Initiatives with Commonwealth diplomats in Vancouver