Big 'welcome to Canada' for 51 new citizens

Aldergrove Secondary School's gymnasium was packed to the rafters with hundreds of guests who cheered as 51 new Canadians took the oath of citizenship Wednesday morning.

Hosting the ceremony was a first for Aldergrove Secondary, and the audience included almost the entire student bodies of both the secondary school and the adjacent Betty Gilbert Middle School.

It was also only the second time that Citizenship Judge Dane Minor had administered the oath of citizenship inside a school, but it was clear that he enjoyed the experience and will likely do it again.

"It's a particular pleasure to welcome those of you who will soon become Canadian citizens. It's an important day for you, your family and friends, and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to share this day with you," said Judge Minor.

The 51 new citizens, from 24 different countries, also looked as though they enjoyed the ceremony and the singing of the anthems, led by the Aldergrove Secondary choir.

Langley MP Mark Warawa brought greetings from Ottawa, and spoke about the importance of good citizenship.

"Canada is a country where people from every cultural background have bonded together to create one of the most diverse, harmonious and successful societies in the world," said Warawa.

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