Romanian family pass 'final test'
A Romanian family and 14 other people became Marlborough's newest New Zealanders yesterday after pledging allegiance to the Queen in a ceremony held at the Marlborough District Council chambers.
Mayor Alistair Sowman presided over the ceremony, held before smiling family and friends.
After the pledge, officers from the navy and the army saluted the flag while a young man led the gathering through the Maori and English versions of the national anthem.
"I'm not sure if you were aware, but that [singing the anthem] was your final test," Mr Sowman said.
He thoroughly enjoyed the swearing-in ceremonies, he said.
"There are mixed emotions. Some people struggle to say the words, while others have tears in their eyes."
Ella Damian said New Zealanders asked her a lot of questions when they found out she was from Transylvania.
Her family used to live just 16 kilometres from the castle where the famous vampire, Dracula, was said to reside.
The family moved to New Zealand seven years ago to get away from the low wages and corruption endemic in their home country, she said.
"We are happy to be in Marlborough," she said. "The weather is beautiful."
Her husband, Mihai, works at Safe Air as an aircraft engineer and her twin boys, Nicolae and Gabriel, 27, were looking for work in computing.
Nicolae said he and Gabriel did degrees in information technology at the Southern Institute of Technology. "We are like a team, we never fight. What one [twin] cannot do, the [other] one helps," he said.
"I don't understand why siblings squabble. Our other brother is also like a third twin."
He did not miss the cold in his native country.
"Winters used to get down to minus 20 degrees. If you leave your hands out in the cold, they would get little cuts in them."
Mr Renier Ackermann- South Africa
Mrs Clare Louise Cameron- British
Mrs Sheila Doreen Cunningham- Canada
Ms Hannah Kathleen Cunningham- Canada
Mr Mihai Damian- Romania
Mrs Ella Antonica Damian- Romania
Mr Nicolae Emanuel Damian- Romania
Mr Gabriel Dan Damian- Romania
Mr Radu Mihai Damian- Romania
Mrs Celia Jane Higginson- Britian
Mr Ian Norman Higginson- Britian
Master James Alistair Higginson- Britian
Miss Hannah Elizabeth Higginson- Britian
Ms Jill Marguerite Hollingum- Canada
Mr John Davidson Leith- Britian
Mr Darren Roy Watts- Britian
Mrs Angela Watts- Britian
Miss Abigail Philippa Watts- Britian
Master Joshua William Watts- Britian
The Marlborough Express