Bound­less cul­tures shared in cer­e­mony

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

FIF­TEEN new cit­i­zens have of­fi­cially named the Whit­sun­days home.

They were wel­comed at last Wed­nes­day’s cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­mony at Can­non­vale TAFE.

“As Mayor of Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil, I would like to con­grat­u­late those who have made the pledge to for­mally ac­cept Aus­tralian Cit­i­zen­ship,” Mayor Jen­nifer Whit­ney said.

“I hope that each of our new cit­i­zens build a life of happy mem­o­ries here in Whit­sun­days.”

Among the 15 cit­i­zens were the Sandhu fam­ily, made up of Bal­want, Kan­wal­jeet Kaur and daugh­ter Aish­meen, 5.

Orig­i­nally from In­dia, the fam­ily moved from South Aus­tralia to the Whit­sun­days one and a half years ago.

Ms Kaur said it was a mem­o­rable day.

“Prob­a­bly one of the great­est mo­ments in our lives,” she said.

“(The Whit­sun­days) is a great place to live, there are many places to visit and it’s a good place to raise fam­i­lies.”

Aish­meen clung tight to her plush toy Wal­laby, a sou­venir her par­ents said she would keep for the rest of their lives.

From afar a full-flung Aus­tralian ac­cent could be heard as the new cit­i­zens re­treated to the court­yard for re­fresh- ments af­ter the cer­e­mony.

It be­longed to Robert Shergold, an un­likely re­cip­i­ent of an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen­ship.

“I’m ac­tu­ally from En- gland,” he laughed.

Mr Shergold has been in Aus­tralia for 49 years and has spent the past three and a half years on Hamil­ton Is­land. He be­came a citizen be­cause he was want­ing to travel.

“I can’t get a pass­port un­less I’m a citizen even though I’ve been Bo­gan for 30 some- thing years,” he said.

Mr Shergold looks for­ward to see­ing the world via cruise ships while still call­ing Aus­tralia home.

Photo: Char­lotte Lam

PROUD MO­MENT: Coun­cil­lor An­drew Wil­cox presents Bal­want and Aish­meen Sandhu and Kan­wal­jeet Kaur with cer­tifi­cates of cit­i­zen­ship.

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