I am Canadian: I take the oath at Canadian Citizenship court.
“O Canada, I stand on guard for thee….”
It was my first time at Canadian citizenship court. As a 5th
Generation Canadian, I really never had a reason to go. My
parents were born in Canada, my grandmother was born in Canada.
My great-grandmother came to Canada as a baby in 1899. My
great-great-grandfather came to Canada in 1896.
Eighty people stood in the room, some holding Canadian flags, some
wearing Canadian lapel pins. Citizen court judge Sandra Wilking
presided, and give an inspirational speech about what it means to be a
Canadian. She talked about the responsibilities about becoming a
Canadian, and giving back to this new country. She acknowledged
that some people came from countries that were ravaged by war, while
others came from countries at peace – but all have come to Canada for a
At the end of her address, each row stood up in turn stating their name
and raising their right arm. Then we all stood up together and
took an oath to serve Canada. We next sang O Canada.
Then, Judge Wilking introduced me to the people about to be sworn in as
citizens, as a member from the Canadian Club. She also introduced
me as a 5th Generation Canadian who works tirelessly in community
service, and as an arts advocate. Then she did something she
almost never ever does. She gave me a plug for Gung Haggis Fat
Choy! Judge Wilking just thinks my multicultural Robbie Burns
Chinese New Year dinner is a most Canadian event, and that every
Canadian should attend. You could see the smiles on people's
faces, and the stifled laughters at her description of haggis won-ton,
and the blending of Scottish and Chinese cultures into something
I introduced myself as a director of the Canadian Club founded in 1906
to emphasize Canadian culture and identity when Canada was still very
“British” in nature and manners. But through the years, the
Canadian Club has honoured Canada's best and brightest, it has nurtured
its cultural evolution, as new waves of immigration have added to our
cultural mosaic. We have addressed the hurts of Quebec
separatism, American imperialism, and First Nations issues.
I invited everybody to become active participants as Canadians.
Next, I thanked Judge Wilking for her inspirational address and shared
with everybody in the room, that Judge Wilking had been an immigrant
from South Africa, and she spoke true about committment to our
communities, because she had been the first Chinese-Canadian woman to
serve as a Vancouver City Councillor. I hoped that everybody
could be as inspired by Judge Wilking as I have been.
It was a wonderful day. It was great to be part of helping people become Canadian citizens.
I AM CANADIAN!