New citizens embrace Kiwi-ness in Clutha
Citizenship ceremonies have been coming thick and fast in South Otago in the last year, with the Clutha District Council averaging one every six weeks.
However, what was unusual about the last ceremony on April 6, was that two of the people receiving citizenship chose to speak at their induction about being newcomers.
It was a chance to hear about what they lost as well as what they gained from choosing to move to New Zealand.
Maria Dolores Ogorida, formerly of the Philippines, who had a university administration job, came to join her husband to work on a dairy farm, in 2008.
But, even coming out with her daughter Nicole, now 17, she felt the separation from her Philippines family keenly, and it was especially difficult with Ed working so hard.
‘‘It was a big decision to give up my job, family and country but the sacrifice had to be made, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to seek better opportunities.’’
Anton Van Schalkwyk, who moved to New Zealand 20 years ago, vividly recalls his first night in the country, when he walked around locking the place up, as he would in his native South Africa.
‘‘My kids don’t know a life like that.’’ Involved in the international computer software industry, he chose South Otago and Balclutha as his home.
‘‘This is the place in New Zealand where we really prefer to raise our family.’’
Maria Dolores Ogorida, formerly of the Philippines, at her citizenship ceremony held at Balclutha.
Anton and Elmari Van Schalkwyk, formerly of South Africa, and children, with Clutha District Mayor Bryan Cadogan.
New Kiwis, left. Iese Numia, Anton and Elmari Van Schalkwyk, Edgardo Ogorida, Mayor Bryan Cadogan, Nicole and Maria Ogorida.