Forty-seven people from 23 countries took the official oath to become Canadians during a citizenship ceremony at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium on Wednesday morning.
Judge Gerald Pash presided over the oath, and told the new Canadians to take the words to heart.
He said that although everyone at the ceremony had very different pasts, “as Canadians we share the same future.”
Patricia and Mario Nakasone, along with their sons Hiroshi and Tsuyoshi, officially became citizens at the ceremony. The Nakasones came to Canada five years ago from Lima, Peru, and have spent the last two years working towards getting citizenship.
“We are really very excited,” said Patricia. “Now Canada is our home.”
Patricia and Mario Nakasone, along with their sons Hiroshi and Tsuyoshi, pose with Judge Gerald Pash (far left) and Mayor Bruce Banman (far right) with their certificates of citizenship.
Maryline Nevy also gained her citizenship at the ceremony after living in Canada for 18 years. The registered nurse is originally from Congo, but said that although she did not have citizenship in Canada, she has long considered it home.
“I think the feeling of being Canadian was always there before, this is just confirmation.”
Mayor Bruce Banman welcomed the new citizens, saying he was happy to be among the first people to greet them as Canadians.
“I want to thank each one of you for your courage… your dedication, your commitment and your determination to make Canada your new home.”
He encouraged people to share their culture and stories with their community, saying that diversity is what makes Canada unique.
The ceremony was followed by a reception for new citizens and their friends and family.