For the first time, a citizenship ceremony was held on Friday in Cobourg. Although Cobourg hosted the event and organizing it was partially by Northumberland County, the 38 participants were from a number of places and not just the county. County CAO Jennifer Moore said that it helped to showcase the County and Mayor John Henderson said he was pleased to be participating in the event held in Cobourg’s Victoria Hall. Previous M.P. Paul Macklin, Warden Bob Crate and Mayor John Henderson gave speeches welcoming the new Canadians. Councillors Adam Bureau, Nicole Beatty and Emily Chorley were amongst the guests. There were no children participating in the ceremony although there were several as guests. I understand that children of new Canadians do not automatically become citizens – they must apply separately.
The ceremony was led by a Citizenship judge who spoke mostly in English but occasionally in French. He said that he came originally from Pakistan with his parents at the age of 15. He said that the 38 participants were from 27 countries. He led the new citizens in their oath of allegiance with their right hands raised. It was first in French, then in English.
I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada, and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.
He finished with “Congratulations, you are now Canadian Citizens”. They then all came forward to receive their certificates plus a flag from Paul Macklin, a Town of Cobourg pin from Mayor Henderson and a citizenship pin from Warden Crate. They signed their certificates witnessed by Government of Canada employees and were told they could apply for a passport in 2 business days.
In his speech, Mayor John Henderson first acknowledged the Councillors in the room and County CAO Jennifer Moore. He said that many saw Canada as being a place with Mounties, Maple Syrup, Hockey and Poutine but he said that our values include being kind and polite and we also value multiculturalism and a diverse community.
After the speeches, the Concert Band of Cobourg (also known as the Royal Marines) marched in and led the crowd in the National anthem.
The event was expecting 50 participants but only 38 turned up.
After the ceremony, many new Canadians posed for photos with the dignitaries and then had some of the cake provided – see the photos below.