Reported in the News Letter on March 7, 1957: Ghana takes its place in the Commonwealth

editorial image

In a broadcast on BBC sound and television last night, the Prime Minister, Mr Macmillan, welcomed Ghana into the Commonwealth, and said: “We shall give them all the help we can.

“If they wish to call upon our store of experience and technical skill – or those of our other partners in the Commonwealth – I am certain they will be made available. Ghana in her turn, as a free and equal partner in the Commonwealth, has much to offer in energy, ideas and resources.”

The Queen, in a speech delivered by the Duchess of Kent in Accra, noted that Ghana took her place as a free sovereign and independent country within the Commonwealth that day on the 113th anniversary of the signing of the bond establishing formal relationship between the Gold Coast chiefs and Britain.

The speech concluded: “My Government is confident that a bright and happy future awaits my new State of Ghana. I pray that the blessing of Almighty God will rest upon your deliberations.”

Moving an address of thanks to the Queen, which was unanimously approved, Dr Nkrumah, Prime Minister, said: “We part from the former imperial power, Great Britain, with the warmest feelings of friendship and good will.

“We are proud that we are the first colonial territory in Africa to gain its freedom and to enter in the Commonwealth.”

The new flag of Ghana, in red, green and gold, was raised yesterday over the old Gold Coast offices in Belgrave Square, London, to mark Independence Day. Rain was falling at the time. The Union Jack continued to fly side-by-side with the Ghana flag. Britain’s national anthem and a Ghana hymn were played by the band of the Welsh Guards.

[In 1960, Nkrumah declared Ghana a republic and himself president for life in 1964. He was deposed in 1966 by a military coup.]