Citizenship celebrated on Canada’s birthday
The first of July will always be more important to the Penagos family from Columbia than just Canada’s birthday, as this was day these residents of Cobourg-area finally acquired Canadian citizenship and swore their oath of commitment to the country.
Residents of Cali, Columbia, parents of Luz Ofelia Maya always wanted to settle in the United States with their family. Some of her family members went there in 1993, but paperwork for her three brothers, her sister and herself just did not come through then.
Though her parents and youngest sister settled in the United States, Ofelia Maya carried her life forward, worked hard and finally married Francisco Hernando Penagos. They learnt that professionals were welcomed by Canada and plans to go to the US were lost. Penagos, a mechanical engineer and Ofelia Maya, who was a business administrator, applied for Canadian visa in 1997.
Three years later, Ofelia’s visa application for the US which was filed by her father was through, but things changed completely by then, as her husband had been to Canada and had made up his mid to live there.
Documents were exchanged time and again between the couple and their lawyer. By the end of year 2000, the couple got the status of landed immigrant. Ofelia was pregnant and close to becoming mother of two as she already had a child. Meanwhile, her husband visited a colleague in Ontario where he got hold of a job, a place to live and a nearby hospital to give birth to their new baby.
The new place in their life was Coburg and the main reason for choosing the place was the help and love of local nurse and doctor, Ofelia said.
On the 1st of July, the family was present in Kingston with eighty other people to officially swear the required oath of commitment to the country.