Stand on guard for thee

Canada is a richer, more vibrant country today. And no, I’m not referring to yesterday’s election which, while it easily could have been worse, sure as hell could have been a whole lot better.

In between meetings downtown this morning it was my pleasure to watch our good friend Rocio’s oath of citizenship ceremony. I’m hardly a flag-waving patriot, and I sometimes find the concept of ‘citizenship’ problematic (especially when paired with terms such as ‘global’), so colour me impressed with how moved I was by it all. Seeing the simple, genuine pride and excitement of the new Canadians and their families, not to mention Rocio herself, was itself memorable. The presiding judge invited the spectators who were citizens to repeat the oath as well, which I did, probably for the first time (unless I did it as a schoolkid). The first half of the oath was in French, and given my mangled skills with our other official language I may well have pledged undying allegiance to the Dark Lord Zoltar… By the time we sang our national anthem to close I was sincerely emotional, so much so that I resisted the urge to yell “now drop the puck!” when it ended.

We’ve known Rocio since she befriended us while we were living in Mexico. We’ve watched her triumph over the challenges of language, culture and career in a new country. We’ve shared some rocky times and a whole lot of good ones — oh yes, and some epic Mexican meals. At this point, she’s family. Just to bring things full circle, very soon she will be bringing her ample gifts here to UBC, where she’s just been hired. Today clearly meant a lot to her, and sharing this moment was a privilege. It was also a provocative learning experience for me — funny how those can pop up unexpectedly.

The presiding judge was crusty, warm, witty and wise. He began and ended his remarks with the same command to all in attendance: “have a real good party tonight.” You bet your robes we will, Your Honour.

About Brian

I am a Strategist and Discoordinator with UBC's Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. My main blogging space is Abject Learning, and I sporadically update a short bio with publications and presentations over there as well...
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7 Responses to Stand on guard for thee

  1. I’ve attended two citizenship ceremonies and I’ve come away feeling the same pride. It’s something that every person born a Canadian should do. I wouldn’t consider myself, but I guess we do take our country for granted. Thanks for the reminder Brian.

  2. Michael Graham says:

    How thoughtful of you Brian. I am quite impressed (mostly because I have absolutely no clue how you do what you do). I too was very moved by the ceremony and more than anything the amazing people that were there to officially welcome Rocio to Canada. What a special day, and yes, we did have a great party last night with yet again a Mexican feast which I am still drooling over.

    Thanks for sharing Brian.

  3. Brian says:

    Thanks for the comment Wendy!

    Yes Mike, it was quite a party, as expected. I’m glad I was the designated driver or I wouldn’t be getting much done today. I haven’t seen Harry keep partying that late since, well, ever… and I hope Keira posts some of her photos to Flickr, she snagged some good snaps of the gals in full hedonistic flight. I’ll have to get the table-hockey pics up myself. When it was all over, Keira and I were both a bit overwhlemed by the sum of the day’s events.

  4. Margaret says:

    Thanks for sending this to us here on Roatan Island, reading it brings me to tears, I sure wish we could have been there for this occasion. We are so proud that Rocio is part of our family, she’ll be a great asset to our country. We need more people like her. Damn, I’m sorry we missed it all.

  5. Judith Montañez says:

    Felicidades Rocio!!!
    Me da mucho gusto que tengas tu nacionalidad Canadiense como lo habias deseado :
    ), Pero mas gusto me da que haya tanta gente linda que te acompañe y que sean tu familia y compartan estos bellos momentos contigo:).
    Sabes que siempre estas presente aqui en mi corazon y que desde aqui te mando las mejores vibras para todo lo que biene 🙂
    Que buen detalle de Brian de compartir tan atinadamente la reseña del evento. Saludos Kaira y al bebe.

  6. Eva Sievert says:

    Hi all,

    I, too, very much wish I could have been there. I agree with Judith, I’m very glad that Rocio is now Canandian (even if it means she’ll start being more polite), but what makes me much, much happier, is knowing all of the wonderful Canadians who are part of her life in Canada.

    Bruja, felicidades del fondo de mi corazon…

    And I hope to see you all soon!

    Hugs all around.



    I am in search of my grandfather’s family from his first wife. Particulary his son Robert Montanez, spouse Judy Montanez and grandchildren Anthony, Marc and Tamara. If you are the Judy I’m looking for, please contact me.

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