Proud to be Canadian

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McGill Reporter
September 27, 2007 - Volume 40 Number 03
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Proud to be Canadian

Caption follows

Xiao Peng Liu, MA 2007 electrical and computer engineering, waves proudly after he and his daughter Xin Quan Liu receive their certificates of Canadian citizenship from Citizenship Judge Barbara Seal (with Xin Quan Liu).
Owen Egan

It is a very special club that turns 60 this year. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King was its first member—the first of millions. Since then, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat whose efforts saved the lives of thousands of Hungarian Jews during the Second World War, have been granted honorary memberships, which might tell you a little something about the values this club holds dear. And on Tuesday, September 18, 60 members of the McGill community joined the club: they became Canadian citizens.

In honour of the 60th anniversary, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has been holding special citizenship ceremonies across the land. McGill's Faculty of Law jumped at the opportunity to host such an event, offering a warm welcome to the 60 candidates who hailed from 22 different countries.

Citizenship Judge Barbara Seal presided over the ceremony, which saw the group swear an oath together, receive their certificates and partake in a rousing rendition of their new national anthem.

When participant Diego Perreira left his native Brazil to "seek better opportunities in life," he considered Australia, but, after a bit of research, chose Canada. He has since completed his Law degree at McGill, is now working on a French competency diploma from the Department of Continuing Education, and plans to stay in Montreal. He has no regrets. "Canada is a very receptive country," he says. "Despite the initial difficulties that I had here in terms of adjusting to a new life, I find it has been a wonderful, wonderful experience. I am very glad to have taken this step."

As for describing his reaction upon learning that he would receive his citizenship in the same building he received his legal education, Perreira could barely contain his excitement: "Amazing," he says. "McGill has marked my life in many ways, and this has been a milestone for me. To have graduated from this outstanding university, to have gotten my citizenship in here; it has been just great. I am very grateful; I love this country."

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