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A Canada Day thirty one new Canadians will never forget. Made Canadian citizens by an immigrant.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON July 1, 2011 – To fully appreciate what it is to be, or to become, a Canadian citizen, one had only to listen to Peter Appleyard as he led people about to be made Canadian citizens during a Citizenship Court assembled in Spencer Smith Park on Canada Day

Peter Appleyard was born in England and came to Canada in 1951 and enjoyed a very full career as a musician. In 1992 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

An immigrant to Canada in 1951, Peter Appleyard went on to enjoy considerable success as a musician and in 1992 was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.  Appleyard led 31 new Canadians through a Citizenship Court session in Spencer Smith Park.

An immigrant to Canada in 1951, Peter Appleyard went on to enjoy considerable success as a musician and in 1992 was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Appleyard led 31 new Canadians through a Citizenship Court session in Spencer Smith Park.

On an absolutely glorious day filled with sunshine, standing at the edge of Lake Ontario where one of the great aboriginals built a home that we now use as a museum, thirty one people became citizens of Canada. Appleyard must have wondered as he conducted the Citizenship Court what those assembled before him would go on to become as they were made citizens.

Appleyard said to those assembled:

I am pleased to welcome you to this Court of Canadian Citizenship. I welcome those of you who will shortly become New Canadian citizens and also your families and friends.

Today is a very important milestone in your life. On this occasion you will be given the most valuable gift from Canada – Canadian citizenship.

Canadian citizenship has only been in existence since 1947, but the spirit that gives Canadians their special identity has lived since the early days of confederation..

The process of nation building stated with confederation. It started with people of different races, cultures and languages, agreeing on a form of government and a legal system whereby people could live and work together in harmony. They laid the foundation for the carving of a new country from the forest and the vast prairie. They laid the foundation so that we can be here today.

Former Ontario Lt. Governor Lincoln Alexander was a guest at the Citizenship Court and joined the 31 people becoming citizens along with their guests during a renewal of their Oath of Allegiance.

Former Ontario Lt. Governor Lincoln Alexander was a guest at the Citizenship Court and joined the 31 people becoming citizens along with their guests during a renewal of their Oath of Allegiance.

I know that for many of you the journey to the Court room has not been easy. Some of you had to escape from war torn homelands. Some had to leave friends and family members behind Some of you had to uproot professions an start all over again; while others have experienced great difficulties in adapting to a new life in Canada.

However your presence here confirms to us that you have the courage and the wisdom to make the necessary adaptations and that you have made a conscious decision in favour of Canada. Now Canada has declared in favour of you, and today you will join us as citizens with all the attendant rights, privileges and responsibilities.

Citizenship implies the possession of an ideal; a sense of values; and a theory of what life in Canada might become. It takes in the whole scale of thought, knowledge and behavior.

Citizenship in Canada is not just a technical qualification for voting for getting a passport, or for qualifying for some employment. It is not a prize for new arrivals. It is a right and responsibility for all of us. What becomes of this country and of us depends on each persons own idea of citizenship – multiplied nearly 29 million times.

Today you are publicly making a commitment to the future of Canada. As citizens of this country you will become partners in exercising the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. You will now become shareholders in a larger world. How you act, what you do or what you do not do can effect the live of countless people now and in the future.

We effect lives by the way we participate in the community and the country we now enjoy, and that one day we will pass on to another generation. Commitment therefore to the values that underlie our Canadian citizenship needs thought and care so that the values are not lost through careless indifference.

In a few moment you will take the oath of Canadian citizenship. In it you will promise to be loyal and bear true allegiance to her majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada. Next you will promise that you will faithfully observe the laws of Canada. Finally, you will promise to fulfill your duties as Canadian citizens.

After being sworn in, the 31 New Canadians were given their Certificates of Citizenship and greeted warmly by Mike Wallace, MP, Joyce Savoline, MPP, Gary Carr, Chair of the Region of Halton and Rick Goldring, Mayor of Burlington – and then bid welcome to Canada by a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

After being sworn in, the 31 New Canadians were given their Certificates of Citizenship and greeted warmly by Mike Wallace, MP, Joyce Savoline, MPP, Gary Carr, Chair of the Region of Halton and Rick Goldring, Mayor of Burlington – and then bid welcome to Canada by a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

But what are you really saying? I hope you are saying that you want to belong to the Canadian family, that you want to be a member of a society, a citizen of a country which looks forward, toward the future, but does not forget from where they have come; a society which protects with pride and preserves with care their past traditions and accomplishments.

I hope that you want to be a citizen of a country where you are equal with all other citizens, where you have equal treatment under the law to freedom of speech, freedom to worship, freedom from persecution and the right to protection against discrimination. That it will be your responsibility to protect those rights, to cherish ands safeguard them against any who would abuse them, remembering always that the protection of your rights begins with the protection of those of your neighbours

That your responsibility is to contribute to understanding and harmony between yourselves and your fellow citizens whether it be in your public and professional life or in the simple courtesies and considerations of everyday life.

Such responsibilities and such rights are ours to exercise every day of our lives and the degree to which we do so plays a major role in the continuing development of a Canada founded upon fairness and dignity for all her members. If ever there was a time in this nation’s history when responsibilities play an important role, the time is now. As a country, we are facing great challenges. Challenges that will surely affect our lives now and in the future.

The essence of our citizenship is found in its values; its moral commitments; its deep loyalties.

This might be a good time for all Canadians to look again at the values and principles which have been associated with Canada, for ti is these vital principles that have earned Canada the reputation as clearly one of the best countries in the world in which to live.

Now, as you prepare to assume your new rights and privileges freely and proudly, I hope that you will make a conscious decision to add your talents, your strengths, your dreams and your hopes to the great treasure trove which is your Canadian heritage so that together we can build an even better Canada.

I trust you will reflect on this as you take the oath of Canadian citizenship.

Canada Day 2011 was as good as the weather gets in Ontario during the summer.  A light breeze with ice cream and hot dogs available for the hungry and various service available to others.  A free health test was obviously of interest to one young man.

Canada Day 2011 was as good as the weather gets in Ontario during the summer. A light breeze with ice cream and hot dogs available for the hungry and various service available to others. A free health test was obviously of interest to one young man.

At that point in the ceremonies the thirty one new Canadians were sworn in and made Canadian citizens. Appleyard invited everyone in attendance to use the occasion to renew their oath and the audience was joined by former Ontario Lt. Governor Lincoln Alexander who raised his hand and renewed is oath of allegiance to a country he has served so well.

 

Spencer Smith Park was filled with the usual merchants selling ice cream and hot dogs and offering various services.

That day was rounded out with a performance of The Spoons and a spectacular fireworks display.

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