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Thursday, 30 May, 2002, 11:18 GMT 12:18 UK
Global party for Golden Jubilee
The Queen in Brunei, 1998
Brunei is among countries with jubilee events

Britons may think of it as a uniquely British event but the Queen's Golden Jubilee is going to be celebrated across the globe.

Not just the 54 Commonwealth members but many more, from Vietnam to Greece to the United States, will see some kind of jubilee event.

The variety of ways people have chosen to celebrate is enormous too and includes beacon lighting, barbecues, cocktail parties and sports days.

Official co-ordinator Bruno Peek told BBC News Online: "The Queen wanted to involve as many different people as possible and as many different communities as possible.

The UK will be the cake, the international events will be the icing on that cake

Bruno Peek
That's something we tried to do in not just the UK but as many countries around the world.

The coolest party, excuse the pun, is in Antarctica and, at the other end of the world, the British schools exploring society is marking it's 100th expedition with 23 children building a huge bonfire beacon out of Arctic driftwood.

But there are also some fantastic celebrations planned in places like Africa and I just wish I could be at some - the locations will be amazing."

As head of the organisation called the Golden Jubilee Summer Party, which is also co-ordinating hundreds of street parties across the UK, Mr Peek will be working on the day itself.

Proudest achievement

His main task is to present two girls with posies to the Queen on the Mall.

But his proudest achievement is arranging for at least one Golden Jubilee beacon to be lit in every Commonwealth country.

"In 1977 only 102 beacons were lit. In 2002 over 1,800 beacons are being lit throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Commonwealth and other countries.

"To me that really shows the support the Queen has in her 50th year."

Some beacons will be at remote locations like a safari lodge in Lesotho or the British scientific research base in Antarctica.

Many will be at more conventional places, including British High Commissions in Bangladesh, Jamaica and Papua New Guinea.

International troops of the Guide and Scout associations - of which the Queen is patron - mean places such as Ghana, Pakistan and Uganda are also represented on the list.

British military personnel will be celebrating in Bosnia, Belize, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, the Falklands, Germany, Gibraltar, Kosovo, Portugal and even Russia, where the Royal Navy frigate HMS Chatham is visiting Baltiysk naval base in Kaliningrad.

We propose to be on the beach surrounded in our Union finery, generally having a jolly good British time!

Julie Blackwell
Greece party organiser
In Vietnam a member of the Voluntary Service Overseas team is hosting a garden party in Hanoi with dancing, a live band and a rendition of the national anthem.

Celebrations at the Dog and Duck pub in Mount Pleasant, south Carolina, USA, include a beacon, tree planting, bagpipers and a dance plus an awards ceremony to honour local community volunteers.

Some people are marking the jubilee in a more personal way, such as Julie Blackwell and family who are getting together for a reunion on the island of Evia in Greece.

The Londoner told BBC News Online: "We shall have three generations altogether, and of course the first England World Cup game will also be played that weekend, so we shall be more than usually patriotic I guess.

Obviously with Prince Philip being of Greek extraction, we are in a good place to celebrate."

Typical of the more conventional celebrations is the event organised by Judy Ansell-Grindrod, president of the Royal Society of St George in the Bahamas.

As part of the celebrations "in true Bahamian style" there will be a bonfire and fireworks overlooking Nassau harbour followed by food and drinks for guests including the British High Commissioner and the newly-elected prime minister Perry Christie.

Media coverage

Mrs Ansell-Grindrod says: "In true British tradition, we will be barbecuing sausages served with baked beans and baked potatoes. English beer has also been imported for the occasion."

Good local media coverage is predicted.

The planning for the Golden Jubilee by Bruno Peek and his team has taken more than two years.

He is sure of the legacy it will leave.

"We're bringing communities, families and people from 60-odd countries together in one celebration so I think we have achieved a real milestone here that won't be forgotten for a long, long time."

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23 Apr 02 | UK
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