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Mansfield Courier - - OPINIONS/PEOPLE - By PAM ZIERKMAHON­EY

TWO new Aus­tralians were wel­comed on Aus­tralia Day dur­ing the High Street cel­e­bra­tions, although nei­ther are strangers to Mans­field.

Roy Grafton of Mer­ton and Christa Robin­son of Mans­field both pledged their al­le­giance to their new coun­try.

Mans­field Shire mayor Ray Robin­son con­ducted the cer­e­mony read­ing a mes­sage from the min­is­ter and wel­com­ing them both as new cit­i­zens.

Mr Grafton was born in Birm­ing­ham, Eng­land.

He came to Aus­tralia in 1968, first lived at Don­caster on an or­chard, then lived at War­ren­wood, Ring­wood, Moorool­bark, Gem­brook, Sey­mour and fi­nally to Mer­ton.

He has lived at Mer­ton for the past 14-15 years and has been a mem­ber of the Mer­ton CFA for more than 10 years, but be­fore that was a mem­ber of the Bayswa­ter Fire Bri­gade and fought in the Ash Wed­nes­day fires of 1983.

Christa Robin­son is an exNew Zealan­der be­ing born in Welling­ton.

She has lived in Aus­tralia for the past 27 years and although the ma­jor­ity of this time has been in Mans­field, she has lived in Mel­bourne for a bit.

Christa de­cided it was time to be­come a true Aussie as she now has two chil­dren - both of whom were born here.

“The kids are Aus­tralian so I thought it was time I was too,” she said.

WEL­COME NEW CI­TI­ZENS: Roy Grafton (left) and Christa Robin­son pledged their al­le­giance to Aus­tralia dur­ing the na­tional day cel­e­bra­tions.

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