The Commonwealth of Nations known as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states; the Commonwealth dates back to the first half of the 20th century with the decolonisation of the British Empire through increased self-governance of its territories. It was created as the British Commonwealth of Nations through the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference, formalised by the United Kingdom through the Statute of Westminster in 1931; the current Commonwealth of Nations was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, which modernised the community and established the member states as "free and equal". The human symbol of this free association is the Head of the Commonwealth Queen Elizabeth II, the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting appointed Charles, Prince of Wales to be her designated successor, although the position is not technically hereditary.
The Queen is the head of state of 16 member states, known as the Commonwealth realms, while 33 other members are republics and five others have different monarchs. Member states have no legal obligations to one another, but are connected through their use of the English language and historical ties, their stated shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law are enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter and promoted by the quadrennial Commonwealth Games. The countries of the Commonwealth cover more than 29,958,050 km2, equivalent to 20% of the world's land area, span all six inhabited continents. Queen Elizabeth II, in her address to Canada on Dominion Day in 1959, pointed out that the confederation of Canada on 1 July 1867 had been the birth of the "first independent country within the British Empire", she declared: "So, it marks the beginning of that free association of independent states, now known as the Commonwealth of Nations." As long ago as 1884 Lord Rosebery, while visiting Australia, had described the changing British Empire, as some of its colonies became more independent, as a "Commonwealth of Nations".
Conferences of British and colonial prime ministers occurred periodically from the first one in 1887, leading to the creation of the Imperial Conferences in 1911. The Commonwealth developed from the imperial conferences. A specific proposal was presented by Jan Smuts in 1917 when he coined the term "the British Commonwealth of Nations" and envisioned the "future constitutional relations and readjustments in essence" at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, attended by delegates from the Dominions as well as Britain; the term first received imperial statutory recognition in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, when the term British Commonwealth of Nations was substituted for British Empire in the wording of the oath taken by members of parliament of the Irish Free State. In the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference and its dominions agreed they were "equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by common allegiance to the Crown, associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations".
The term "Commonwealth" was adopted to describe the community. These aspects to the relationship were formalised by the Statute of Westminster in 1931, which applied to Canada without the need for ratification, but Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland had to ratify the statute for it to take effect. Newfoundland never did, as on 16 February 1934, with the consent of its parliament, the government of Newfoundland voluntarily ended and governance reverted to direct control from London. Newfoundland joined Canada as its 10th province in 1949. Australia and New Zealand ratified the Statute in 1947 respectively. Although the Union of South Africa was not among the Dominions that needed to adopt the Statute of Westminster for it to take effect, two laws—the Status of the Union Act, 1934, the Royal Executive Functions and Seals Act of 1934—were passed to confirm South Africa's status as a sovereign state. After the Second World War ended, the British Empire was dismantled. Most of its components have become independent countries, whether Commonwealth realms or republics, members of the Commonwealth.
There remain the 14 self-governing British overseas territories which retain some political association with the United Kingdom. In April 1949, following the London Declaration, the word "British" was dropped from the title of the Commonwealth to reflect its changing nature. Burma and Aden are the only states that were British colonies at the time of the war not to have joined the Commonwealth upon independence. Former British protectorates and mandates that did not become members of the Commonwealth are Egypt, Transjordan, Sudan, British Somaliland, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates; the postwar Commonwealth was given a fresh mission by Queen Elizabeth in her Christmas Day 1953 broadcast, in which she envisioned the Commonwealth as "an new conception – built on the highest qualities of the Spirit of Man: friendship and the desire for freedom and peace". Hoped-for success was reinforced by such achievements as climbing Mount Everest in 1953, breaking the four-minute mile in
Heinrich Lübbe was a German engineer working for Dutch aircraft designer Anthony Fokker during the First World War. He devised the pioneering Stangensteuerung gun synchronizer which enabled a machine gun to fire through the arc of a fighter aircraft's propeller without the bullets striking the propeller's blades, it was first fitted to Leutnant Otto Parschau's Fokker A. III bearing IdFlieg military serial number A.16/15 in the late spring of 1915, to create the prototype of the entire line of Fokker Eindecker single-seat fighters to come. In 1921 Lübbe purchased the bankrupt Friedrichshafen naval yards which had manufactured aircraft during the war. In 1925 he renamed the company Arado but his refusal to join the Nazi Party in 1936 led to his removal when Arado was nationalized
Wor–Wic Community College is a two-year institution located in Salisbury in the Eastern Shore region of Maryland, offering both credit and continuing education classes. The college's name is a portmanteau of Maryland's Wicomico counties, it was founded in 1975, operated as a "college without walls" in the two counties for 20 years before constructing a campus in Salisbury in 1994. In 1989, state legislation was enacted to allow Somerset County residents to attend Wor-Wic at the in-county tuition rate. In the Fall 2011 semester there were 4,063 students enrolled in credit courses and 2,382 students enrolled in non-credit courses. 92% of credit students came from the tri-county area. See the college website for current Facts & Figures. Wor-Wic is popular with students who plan on transferring to Salisbury University because of its proximity, inexpensive tuition, the similarity of its general education courses to those of Salisbury University. Wor-Wic is accredited by the Middle States Association of Schools.
Its nursing programs are approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing. The radiologic technology program is nationally accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology. Wor-Wic leases or owns various facilities which provide office and laboratory space. Ocean Resorts Golf Club - Turf Management and Hospitality courses McCready Memorial Hospital - Emergency Medical Technician laboratory Parkside High School - Manufacturing Technology laboratory As of the Fall 2017 semester, the tuition cost is $108 per credit hour for in-county residents, $241 per credit hour for other Maryland residents, $297 per credit hour for out-of-state students; the Maryland Higher Education Commission oversees and coordinates higher education in the State of Maryland including academic and financial policies at the College. A seven-member Board of Trustees, appointed by the Governor of the State of Maryland, governs the College; the College has Local Sponsors, which include the Worcester County Council, the Wicomico County Council, the Wicomico County Executive.
Wor-Wic has numerous Advisory Boards and Committees. The college is a member of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges. Matthew A. Maciarello - Maryland Circuit Court Judge Official Site