My holiday gift came early this year! On December 9th, I received my Canadian Citizenship. 😀 Not only did I receive my citizenship – but I was insanely lucky (and honored) to have been 1 of only 50 new citizens invited to attend a very special ceremony hosted by Canada’s Governor General at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
For non-Canadians, the Governor General is the representative of the Queen in Canada and carries out most of her constitutional and ceremonial duties. Our current Governor General is the His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston. Rideau Hall is his residence, the largest official residence in Canada.
The first part of the day was in the Tent Room where we had round table discussions on citizenship. It was neat to meet other people and hear their stories.
The best moment was when the Governor General arrived, he went through the room stopping to talk. Amazingly, he came right by me to say hello! My (odd) hair probably caught his attention first- but my absolutely lovely mother-in-law leaned over and told him to look at my pin because I’d made it. We had a nice chat and when I told him I was trying to do mosaic as a living – he asked for my business card!! I was so nervous I grabbed a wad of them and handed him a bunch
. :? It was like a dream to talk with him, he was so great!
I really had my mother-in-law to thank for the whole exchange. I’m not good at self promotion, it was all due to her that he looked at my pin and found out I’d made it, I’m lucky to have her in my life!
We took our Oath in the ballroom with an orchestra and singer. Also in attendance were the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, 26th Governor General, & John Ralston Saul. It was incredibly emotional – I’m not an outward emotional type but got choked up & nearly teary. Several other people around me were wiping their eyes as well.
Once we all received our citizenship certificates it was time for food and fun! We had a reception with cake, beverages and photo ops. We were given a tour of Rideau Hall, even into in the green houses. In all, we were there 5 hours! My face was sore from smiling so much.
It’s easy to look back on life and make connections – but somehow I think I was always meant to be Canadian. I grew up near Seattle and we got Canadian TV. I watched (the original) Degrassi High and related to the kids on that show more than the USA tv shows. We often visited BC growing up and as an adult I worked for a Canadian company where I first met my future husband. Though if you’d told me at the time I was to marry him 14 years later I’d have never believed it. He often tells me Canada is more suited to my personality. He might be right, my Dad used to get mad at me for apologizing and saying “sorry” all the time. 😉
I’m well aware that my journey to this great country was a smooth and easy one. I wasn’t fleeing any war or horror – it was only love that brought me here (or could have possibly gotten me to trade Florida heat for -30 c winters!). But it doesn’t make my journey any less, I am so beyond proud to be Canadian and thrilled to know I can stay forever. It is the best gift I could have received!
A bunch of pics from our day are below – there is a really cool one of me and the GG on his site, can’t post it here but you can go to this link – it is the 3rd pic in! https://www.gg.ca/gallery.aspx?ID=11391