Canadians ranks swell

Andrew Mitchell hails from England but has lived in Canada for 39 years.

ABOUT 70 PEOPLE from all corners of the world were granted Canadian citizenship Wednesday at the Filberg Centre in a special ceremony to commemorate Remembrance Day.

ABOUT 70 PEOPLE from all corners of the world were granted Canadian citizenship Wednesday at the Filberg Centre in a special ceremony to commemorate Remembrance Day.

Andrew Mitchell hails from England but has lived in Canada for 39 years. Wednesday at the Filberg Centre, the Bowser resident officially became Canadian at a special citizenship ceremony to commemorate Remembrance Day.”I thought it was about time I did allegiance to the country I came to,” said Mitchell, who spent 28 years in Port Alberni before moving to Bowser.He was hobbled by a cast at the ceremony.”I did 27 years as a firefighter, and then very embarrassingly fell off a ladder and broke my leg,” he said. “I should really know better.”The move to Canada was prompted by his father’s desire to transfer from the army to the air force back in the war years. Upon completing his flying training this side of the water, Mitchell’s father later worked for British Petroleum in Montreal and Toronto. When he was still at school, Mitchell “fell in love with Canada” while visiting during summer vacation.”I always wanted to come back, as did my father,” he said. “When I got married, my wife had a relative out here as well and so over we came.”The couple has three daughters — whom Mitchell jokingly calls Trouble, Double Trouble and Oh My God — all of whom were born in Canada and all of whom live on the Island. “We love Vancouver Island,” he said. “And we love Canada.”Fellow firefighter Danny Wyatt, who hails from Essex, England, also became a Canadian citizen Wednesday, as did his mother, father and brother. The family has lived in Courtenay for eight years.”They (parents) were looking for a retirement place,” said Wyatt, 23, who attended Highland Secondary in Comox and who volunteers with the Courtenay Fire Department. “We’d been looking for a while and then we came to visit Canada and just loved the place, the four of us. It’s so beautiful here.” About 70 individuals from all corners of the world were granted Canadian citizenship Wednesday. Judge George Gibault presided over the ceremony, welcoming the newcomers to their “new family” in Canada. Comox Valley MLA Don McRae and Second World War veteran Gustave Albert Baudais of Comox also attended.reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com