British Citizenship Ceremony.
In January, 2006 I had the great honour of being made a British Citizen in a ceremony in Chelmsford. Last Wednesday, May 23, I had the great privilege to be asked to be a guest speaker at a Citizenship ceremony held in the very same place, the County Chambers in Chelmsford! It was a very emotional day for me and was a good measure of how far I have come in those six years. I looked at all of the people gathered in the chamber, from countries all over the world, and I could see how proud they felt. Some were a little overwhelmed by their emotions as they took the oath of allegiance and sang the National Anthem. To me, this ceremony is very significant - it is a sort of marriage, a partnership, a relationship that is binding on both sides. If you were born here then it is, perhaps, difficult to understand the sacrifice it is to exchange the country of your birth for a new one, and I'm sure everyone present had thought long and hard before making their decision, just as I had in my turn.
When it was my turn to speak I spoke about how proud I am to be British and how hard work and commitment can improve things for everyone. I told them that liberty means responsibility. This is a land of hard working people, and even though times are tough in these days of austerity we can all make the effort to make things better.