Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Making of Australians

On Australia Day I was delighted to attend my second Citizenship Ceremony where immigrants to Australia become Australian citizens.

The first was at Tennant Creek in the early 60s when two of my work mates became Australian citizens. Both were from Europe; Austria, I think and it was simply a matter of attending the Tennant Creek Court House where the Clerk of the Court handed each a Certificate of Naturalisation, welcomed them to our mob and shook their hands.

It was a low key affair that took 10 minutes; no speeches, no celebratory drinks or any fanfare, although I do recall the two who were naturalised and a large number of their friends did migrate to the Tennant Creek Memorial Club where they drank and made merry until the early hours of the morning.

Australia Day 2015 was a much nicer affair. Fifty-three people accepted the gift of Australian Citizenship and all that entails. Among them were friends of our family, Vivek and Tina and their two children Shaun and Reanne whom you can see in the photo above. 

The family is of Indian origin from Mumbai, however, they lived for many years in Kuwait before immigrating to Australia.

At the ceremony, which was planned, organised and executed by the Kenmore Rotary Club, a welcoming speech was given by a local government member, new citizens read one of two pledges, the first for those who believe in God and the second a secular pledge with almost identical wording. 

Our newest citizens were then called to the stage where they were handed their Certificates of Citizenship, congratulated and photographed with the Australian, Queensland and City of Brisbane flags in the background.

Our friend Tina presented an excellent speech of thanks on behalf of the new Australians that elicited a warm and loud round of applause from the crowd of a hundred or more people.

A female singer sang the Australian Song, the chorus of which is “I am, you are, we are Australian” and of course at one stage we sang our beautiful National Anthem, Advance Australia Fair.

Both new and old Australians were invited to recite a general pledge of elegiance to Australia which we did enthusiastically.

Light refreshments followed as people milled about having additional photographs taken, congratulating our newest citizens and enjoying the special moment in the lives of those for whom the ceremony was held.

While I don’t know any of the other 49 people whose citizenship was confirmed, I believe my friends are an example of the kind of immigrants Australia needs and can benefit from. They work, pay taxes, comply with Australian laws and support our values which are very similar to those of India. It’s certainly a matter of India’s loss and our gain, however, India with its larger population probably hardly notices they aren’t there.

Numbers of Australians, even some who were immigrants from Italy and Greece or the rest of Europe post-WWII are against immigration and would like to see it stopped. Most of us realise the benefits that come from increasing our population with intelligent, educated, hard-working people who share our values and principles.

It’s probably true to say that Australia needs immigrants more than the immigrants need Australia.

We were only 26 days into our new year and already this was a great start to what we hope will be a wonderful year ... The Making of Australians.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Delights of New Year's Roast

Over the Christmas/New Year period Christina and I decided to keep our food and cooking to the bare minimum so we wouldn't do what we usually do and find ourselves with a lot of left-overs after the festivities.

In past years we've had left-overs lost in the dark depths of our refrigerator and too many eventually end up in the bin. We hate wasting food, water or anything else for that matter.

Did that work? Almost.

We did manage to keep our left-overs to a minimum, but then on New Year's Day, I cooked a rather large part leg of salted pork.

It was much larger than we wanted, but it was all we could get at Woolworths, so Chris bought it and I put it on the BBQ for a couple of hours and the above is the result. It was absolutely delicious.

Only yesterday we sliced off the little bit of pork left on the bone and have frozen it to eat at a later date. Christina put the bone into a pressure cooker and knocked up a brew of soup with chick peas, onions, carrots and a few other vegetables.

Why have I posted this? Not to make you hungry, but to tell you that contrary to what Christina says, I DO COOK sometimes.

Hope your New Year is progressing well as is ours.