PROUD MOMENT: Councillor Andrew Wilcox presents Balwant and Aishmeen Sandhu and Kanwaljeet Kaur with certificates of citizenship. Photo: Charlotte Lam
PROUD MOMENT: Councillor Andrew Wilcox presents Balwant and Aishmeen Sandhu and Kanwaljeet Kaur with certificates of citizenship. Photo: Charlotte Lam

Boundless cultures shared in ceremony

FIFTEEN new citizens have officially named the Whitsundays home.

They were welcomed at last Wednesday's citizenship ceremony at Cannonvale TAFE.

"As Mayor of Whitsunday Regional Council, I would like to congratulate those who have made the pledge to formally accept Australian Citizenship," Mayor Jennifer Whitney said.

"I hope that each of our new citizens build a life of happy memories here in Whitsundays."

Among the 15 citizens were the Sandhu family, made up of Balwant, Kanwaljeet Kaur and daughter Aishmeen, 5.

Originally from India, the family moved from South Australia to the Whitsundays one and a half years ago.

Ms Kaur said it was a memorable day.

"Probably one of the greatest moments in our lives," she said.

"(The Whitsundays) is a great place to live, there are many places to visit and it's a good place to raise families."

Aishmeen clung tight to her plush toy Wallaby, a souvenir her parents said she would keep for the rest of their lives.

From afar a full-flung Australian accent could be heard as the new citizens retreated to the courtyard for refreshments after the ceremony.

It belonged to Robert Shergold, an unlikely recipient of an Australian citizenship.

"I'm actually from England," he laughed.

Mr Shergold has been in Australia for 49 years and has spent the past three and a half years on Hamilton Island. He became a citizen because he was wanting to travel.

"I can't get a passport unless I'm a citizen even though I've been Bogan for 30 something years," he said.

Mr Shergold looks forward to seeing the world via cruise ships while still calling Australia home.


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