I am no longer a stranger in a strange land.
Well, let’s be realistic, it’s still a strange land… but as of today I have legal proof that I belong.
Yep, it’s official. I am now a Kozzie or a Kiwi/Aussie.
The ceremony was uneventful enough, gorgeously punctuated with the innocent cries of “Dee! Dee” from the dear little voice of my godson JJ, warmed also by the support of his muvver Kirk, MissLisa, Shoe and Flick all there to cheer me on, I stood with 50 other candiates and pledged to uphold and promote good Australian values. In return we were all presented with our legal proof and with a native tree for planting in good Australian soil. The symbol of setting down roots, as it were. The whole business was presided over by statesmen and elected representatives, all very important sorts in the grand scheme of things, of course.
It is beyond a doubt a day I’m proud of and one I will celebrate, but I have to confess to a very awkward feeling surrounding this business of becoming a part of Australia, a nation upon which, as a Kiwi, it is my birthright to pour scorn. Truth to tell I find myself caught out when taking the piss because now my credibilty is shot… I mean, how can I beat them if I’ve decided to join ’em?! However, the benefits far outweigh the awkwardness and so I will own that today is a day of auspisciousness.
In its honour and in the absence of the opportunity [v disappointing] to make a speech at the ceremony [I know I’d have been much funnier than the dignitaries], may I just say
…to Australia who has given me such marvellous opportunities I say thank you. You are a generous and hospitable nation… I truly look forward to getting to know you better…
…and to New Zealand who has given me my origin, my blood and my religion I say … you are my past, and while not my present for now, I’ll never rule out that you may yet be in my future… Keep a close eye on my precious family… I will love you always… [sniff] …
…Oh yeah, and before I forget… break out the Steinies, I’ll see you on the 21st!!!