Twins Sienna and Sequoia Knott joined Parks Canada coordinator Andrew Bellefontaine as they held the Canadian flag before a flag raising ceremony at the Fort Langley National Historic Site on Canada Day

Fort Langley marks Canada’s 149th birthday

New Canadians shared their after taking the oath during Friday’s citizenship ceremony at the Fort Langley National Historic Site.




Friday, July 1, 2016 is a day 48 people originally from 32 countries will most likely remember for the rest of their lives.

It’s the day when, inside the palisade walls of the Fort Langley National Historic Site, they officially became Canadian citizens.

A highlight of the Fort’s annual Canada Day celebration was the late morning citizenship ceremony officiated by judge Dane Minor.

“To those of you who are about to become citizens, today is an important milestone in your life,” Minor said. “For those of us who are citizens, today is also a special day. Because of you, we celebrate an expansion of our Canadian family.”

Minor told the soon-to-be new Canadians that, “your presence here today confirms you have the courage and the wisdom to make the necessary adaptations and that you made a conscious decision to make Canada as your new home.”

Two of the 48 sworn in as new Canadians were Sudin Bajracharya and Evelyn Reddy.

Bajracharya, whose native country is Nepal, has lived in Canada for seven years. After a lengthy process, he became a citizen with his wife Grishma and 20-month-old daughter Nia in attendance.

“This is very exciting,” he said. “It’s like a new day, a new life.”

The technical support engineer  describes Canada as a “free and open society, an advanced country.”

“Everything is nice, here,” Bajracharya said.

(Read more below)

Reddy, originally from Sri Lanka, had a wide grin on her face after the ceremony.

Asked why it was a big day, she answered with a laugh, “because I’m a citizen, here. It’s a privilege; it’s a beautiful country and they welcome everyone.”

The biggest difference between Canada and Sri Lanka is, she said, the climate. “We were in the hot place and now we’re in the cold place!”

Minor, who, himself, took his citizenship oath in 1976, said the tradition of opening doors to newcomers is as old as Canada itself.

“Many native-born Canadians cannot trace their roots in this country beyond a few generations. Compared to our Aboriginal peoples who claim a far longer historical attachment, most Canadians are relative newcomers.”

One of the things that distinguishes Canada from most countries in the world is how it embraces multiculturalism, Minor added.

Dignitaries taking part in the citizenship ceremony included Fern Gabriel and Dennis Leon from Kwantlen First Nation, Langley MP Mark Warawa, Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese, Surrey-Newton MP Sukh Dhaliwal, RCMP member Sgt. Chad Greig, citizenship officer Suzanne Young, and MC Melissa Banovich, the historic sites manager, Coastal British Columbia Field Unit.

(Read more below)

The citizenship ceremony was one aspect of Canada’s 149th birthday celebration at the Fort. It also included Métis dancers, birthday cake, a petting zoo, Bhangra dancers, a historic weapons demonstration, the singing of O Canada, and a flag raising ceremony.

(Read more below)

Nearby, in front of the Langley Centennial Museum and B.C. Farm Museum and at the Fort Langley Community Hall, Canada Day celebrations continued with facepainting, music, food, and demonstrations by the Thunderbird Fast Draw Club.

• For more photos from the Fort Langley Canada Day celebrations, click here.

Just Posted

COMMUTER ALERT: Serious pedestrian crash closes Pacific Highway

Traffic along 176th Street, 4th to 8th Avenue, is blocked while Mounties continue to investigate.

Giants owner Ron Toigo to get BC Sports Hall of Fame W.A.C. Bennett Award

Head of Langley-based hockey team to be honoured at May induction gala

UPDATED: Touching note left on Langley veteran’s windshield

A veteran hopes the writers of a note know how much he was touched by their kind words. They do.

VIDEO: Young Langley boy uses his grief to help other kids suffering loss

Thursday Langley Hospice hosts its Paint the Town Blue campaign to spotlight child bereavement.

LETTER: Canada should not be selling weapons abroad

A Langley man is critical of Canada for selling arms that are being used to kill civilians.

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Baloney Meter: Will tougher penalties for gang members make Canada safer?

Since 2013, gang-related homicides in Canada’s largest cities have almost doubled

Early data suggests no spike in pot-impaired driving after legalization: police

Some departments said it’s too early to provide data, others said initial numbers suggest stoned driving isn’t on the rise

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Tubing, skating, light display part of new winter festival in Vancouver

Set to open Nov. 23, the six-week festival will take over Vancouver’s Concord Pacific Centre

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Most Read