New citizens welcomed

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Nineteen people swore allegiance to the Queen and were formally welcomed to the Waitaki district at yesterday’s citizenship ceremony in Oamaru.

Among them was Elbert Gargar and his family from the Philippines, who came to New Zealand in 2007 to work on a dairy farm in Ngapara.

Mr Gargar said it was a very important day and a big accomplishment to have New Zealand citizenship after being in the country for seven years.

“It’s a happy moment for us,” he said.

Mr Gargar said to become a kiwi is a big thing as many people they work with have been so happy for them.

“In return we should be ourselves and work hard to be a good New Zealander.”

After completing three seasons on the same dairy farm, Mr Gargar completed a Master of Agricultural Science in cattle fertility at Lincoln University and now works between Ashburton and Oamaru for Veehof Dairy Services as a hoof specialist.

The Gargar family also started Generation FM, a radio station based in Oamaru.

Other people to get New Zealand citizenship yesterday were – Susan Douglas (Britain), Julia Gearhart (America), Bart and Natalie Geypen (Belgium), Sofaia Leaaetoa (Tonga), Sem, Daisy, Christian and Patricia Olaguer (Philippines), Anne Harrison (Australia/Britain), Filimoemaka and Losa Kautai (Tonga), Thomas Mourtada (Czechoslovakia), Seini Ta’ufo’ouleha (Tonga).

By LINDA MCCARTHY

PHOTO: LINDA MCCARTHY

WELL PRESENTED: Dressed in the Filopino national costume is the Gargar family who were sworn in as New Zealand citizens at the Waitaki District Council yesterday. Pictured (from left) is Elbert, Forevil, Dawn, Doughbert and Douglas Gargar.