New cit­i­zens em­brace Kiwi-ness in Clutha

Clutha Leader - - MEANWHILE, OUTSIDE AUCKLAND - MARY-JO TOHILL

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.’’

MARY-JO TOHILL

Maria Dolores Ogorida, for­merly of the Philip­pines, at her ci­ti­zen­ship cer­e­mony held at Bal­clutha.

MARY-JO TOHILL

An­ton and El­mari Van Schalk­wyk, for­merly of South Africa, and chil­dren, with Clutha Dis­trict Mayor Bryan Cado­gan.

MARY-JO TOHILL

New Ki­wis, left. Iese Nu­mia, An­ton and El­mari Van Schalk­wyk, Edgardo Ogorida, Mayor Bryan Cado­gan, Ni­cole and Maria Ogorida.

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