No doot aboot it, a big moment for our family, Tom became an official canucklehead this past week.
Yeah okay perpetuating the stereotype. ;)
Tom applied for citizenship last year, took his test in January and received notice of his oath taking right after we got back from our vacation, in fact it was in the pile of mail that was held while we were away.
The notice basically says you have to make the scheduled ceremony or if you can’t it has to be for a very good reason OR you may need to apply all over again. Of course he made sure he had that day off work and well the same for me, goes without saying! This has been a long time coming and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
I was up and dressed early. Fortunately I had just got my hair cut the day before so it was looking less raggedy than normal.
Tom dressed for the occasion wearing a suit and tie, he cleans up nice yes?
The oath was at the local Citizenship office which was nice, no having to go all the way downtown.
We arrived about a half hour earlier than the scheduled time and there was already quite a number of people waiting in the hallway outside of the office. Here we are waiting and looking quite green courtesy of the hallway lighting.
A security guard emerged and started to check each person in the line to make sure they had the required documents and to find out which of us were the visitors and which were in line to take the oath. Those of us that were visitors were directed to an area just outside the door as we would be filing in first and taking our seats. They had it arranged that people with small children/babies were on the side of the office closest to the exit doors. This was so the people taking the oath were able to hear what the judge is saying. People with small kids were clearly told to remove their children, calm them and they could return once they quieted down. Man I wish all places had this rule, including restaurants!
After we took our seats the folks taking the citizenship all filed in to register and get their assigned seats.
They are given assigned seats to ensure that when the certificates were given out the people would be in the order the documents would be. Keeps things flowing efficiently. I lucked out though, where I was sitting I was still able to see/take pictures of Tom.
Each seat had a guide to Canada which most of the applicants read to kill time waiting for everyone to get through the registration process.
The clerk came in and instructed everyone on the process of each step of the ceremony before the judge came in and made her welcome speech.
We were able to take pictures/film at any stage of the ceremony EXCEPT the oath. Not sure why that is but everyone that I saw respected that.
The oath consisted of each person saying “I (their full name)” row by row, person by person until every person in every row was standing. Then each person repeated the oath of citizenship (with our without a holy book) in French then in English. The judge said everyone should say it in both languages recognizing that for some English wasn’t their first language never mind French, but to give it a shot to say every word anyway. She broke it up small enough that most people could make their way through it okay.
Everyone applauded after the swearing-in and her welcome as citizens and then each person, again row by row were called up in seat order to receive their citizenship card and certificate of Citizenship. The judge did a lovely job with her speeches both before and after the handing out of the certs. She was very warm and welcoming.
After the singing of the national anthem by all, it was a done deal.
Everyone was told they could have an individual picture taken with the judge if they wanted to and I’m pretty sure every person took advantage. I was just surprised how many people wore jeans and T-shirts. I mean it is a pretty big occasion you’d think people would want to look nice for it? I know someone who sure looked snazzy…