This is a very special day for George Isid, his wife Ghada Salsa, and their three children.
The family of five stood and took the oath of citizenship and officially became Canadian citizens on Friday in a Canada Day ceremony in Fort Langley.
“It’s a better life,” Isid said of his reason for moving the family here from Jordan in 2007.
“For the sake of our kids,” added Salsa.
“Canada is famous all over the world – safe country and high living standard,” said Isid.
Getting their citizenship is something that is hard for the family to put into words, Isid said.
“It’s like a new life,” he said.
The 10:30 a.m. citizenship ceremony was presided over in the Fort Langley National Historic Site by Judge Dane Minor.
The judge was just appointed to the bench in February.
“So this is my first Canada Day ceremony,” he said.
“I think it’s one of the best ways you can think of to celebrate Canada Day, to help a hundred new Canadians become citizens,” the judge said.
During the ceremony, he told the new citizens that they were welcome to bring their own traditions to Canada, and to work them into the fabric of their new nation.
“The tradition of opening doors to newcomers is as old as Canada itself,” he said.
“I took my citizenship oath in 1976,” Minor noted.
The ceremony was just one many events held in Fort Langley on Canada Day.
At the nearby Langley Centennial Museum, dozens of volunteers and staff had gathered to put on children’s activities and entertainment for the day.
At the BC Farm Machinery and Agriculture Museum, a working model of a 1915 steam tractor was puffing and chugging away in front of the building.
Music and face painting were provided at several places around the community.