When you have changed nationality 3 times which country do you call home?
It is a very hard question to answer. I was born in England,( the Kiwis referred to me as a Pomme but only in a friendly way). I left the UK when only 18 so did not really have time to put down roots. “They”, whom so ever they are, say the country of your birth forever pulls on your heart-strings, that is the place you look on as home.
I came to New Zealand to marry. I fell in love with this country as soon as I arrived. I never felt any twinge of home-sickness for England. New Zealand is an incredibly beautiful place. The people are friendly. The lifestyle is laid back. So I became a kiwi citizen. The ceremony was a very simple affair, after filling in the relevant forms, paying over my citizenship fee, I can’t remember how much it was all these years later, I presented myself to the post master at the local post office and swore my allegiance to Queen and country, no pomp and ceremony, a shake of the hand with the post master, and then I was a Kiwi….
I was here for 37 years and spent many of those years dairy farming in the Waikato. We had 2 beautiful children who still live in New Zealand, hence the reason to visit.
The trip around the South Island was a bonus. I never realised how different it would be to the North Island.
Since 1982 I have been in a new relationship and Jack was an Aussie. He loved New Zealand, but to him Australia was home and he wanted to go back there when he retired. So in 1998 I had a difficult decision to make. Would I be able to adjust to the climate in Australia? It can be very hot and humid in the summer months. I had only travelled over to visit Australia in the winter months.
Well I am pleased to say I just love Australia. This wide brown land, so much space, so much to explore and so many places with air conditioning to take my perspiring body to when the temperature and humidity climbs to unbearable. After 2 years I took out Australian citizenship and became an Aussie. What a different ceremony over here. Filling in the forms and paying your fees was the only similarity to New Zealand. The ceremony was all pomp. About 100+ people of all nationalities gathered in a large hall. We could all bring up to 3 guests. The mayor was there in his ceremonial robes and chain of office. Local MPs and councillors lined the stage. A choir led us singing “Waltzing Matilda” then the “National Anthem” Speeches were given by everyone, before we all filed onto the stage one by one to receive our citizen certificate and small Aussie flag from the Mayor. When we were all duly accepted as Aussies we then had an afternoon tea of Vegemite sandwiches, small meat pies, lamingtons and a cuppa. On the way out we were presented with a native shrub to plant in our gardens.
I have rambled on in this post, but back to my original question, which country do I call home? I love Australia and I now call Australia home,( that is a very emotive song over here )… But New Zealand is still the place that claims my ancestral feeling of home, and where my roots are. So I really love being able to visit all the places I love over here..