Welcome to Canada 

Sixty people were sworn in as Canadians at Whistler Olympic Plaza as part of the nation’s sesquicentennial celebrations

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOEL BARDE - WELCOME TO CANADA Sixty new Canadians were sworn in July 19 in Whistler. From left to right, Sgt. Rob Knapton, MP Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Hazel Boyd, Tony Twort, and Charmaine Crooks.
  • Photo by Joel Barde
  • WELCOME TO CANADA Sixty new Canadians were sworn in July 19 in Whistler. From left to right, Sgt. Rob Knapton, MP Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Hazel Boyd, Tony Twort, and Charmaine Crooks.

In a ceremony at Olympic Plaza this week, 60 people were sworn in as new Canadian citizens. Around 150 people were onhand for the event.

"This is one of the proudest days of my life!" exclaimed Tony Twort, who wore a tie emblazoned with dozens of tiny Canadian flags.

A ski instructor for Whistler Blackcomb, Twort lives in Whistler with his wife Hazel Boyd, who was also sworn in.

Charmaine Crooks, a five-time Olympian and Order of Canada Recipient, led the July 19 ceremony.

During her speech, Crooks tied the ceremony to her personal journey — she immigrated to Canada 40 years ago with her family — and Canada 150, the national celebration of Canada's sesquicentennial.

"The 150th anniversary of Confederation is a fitting occasion to celebrate Canada's identity — its ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity, and its rich history and heritage. Canada is a model of diversity. And it's thanks to that diversity, and not in spite of it, that the country is prospering."

The event also highlighted Indigenous voices. Both Josh Anderson of the Lil'wat Nation and Travis Billy of the Squamish Nation took part, with Anderson delivering a prayer to the Creator that opened the event.

MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, looked solemn during the swearing-in ceremony, caught up in the weight of the moment.

"The words are identical to the words you say as a public office holder," she explained after the event. "And it reminded me of not only the personal commitment we are making, but also the public commitment we are making to safeguard that public trust that is Canada."

For more on this story pick up Pique next week or go to www.piquenewsmagazine.com.

Speaking of Canada 150, Pamela Goldsmith-Jones

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