A native of London, England, Peter Lathwell has considered himself a Canadian since moving here permanently in 2010.
Now he is officially one after he and 18 other new Canadians were sworn in and took the Oath of Citizenship during a ceremony at Corner Brook’s city hall Tuesday.
While he has lived here sporadically since 2006, he said when he returned in 2010 it was with a different feeling — one matched only by the thrill of Tuesday’s ceremony.
“It was exhilarating — I felt rocket powered,” Lathwell said with a chuckle Wednesday from his residence in Corner Brook.
“When I came here the second time, I felt like I was coming home and now it’s officially my home.”
Lathwell applied for citizenship last summer and said the decision was the best one for he and his wife Anna Maynard.
“My wife is Canadian and she has no desire to live in England,” he said. “I love living here, so that solves that problem quite easily. And having citizenship makes it easier to travel if we choose to do so later on.”
Coincidentally, the ceremony coincided with a visit from his son, Alan, who still lives in England, something Lathwell said made the event more special.
As someone over the age of 55, Lathwell also wasn’t required to memorize Canadian history or take a test, so the day wasn’t as stressful as it might have been.
“I was lucky enough to be on the right side of the age thing,” he said with a laugh.
Graham Ardley was another new Canadian sworn in along with Lathwell at the ceremony. Originally from, Chatham, Kent in England, Ardley first moved to the city in 1977, has lived here permanently since 1981 and his wife, Louise, hails from the area.
Unlike Latham, Ardley endured a four-year application process but said the wait was ultimately worth it.
“I was over the moon yesterday,” Ardley said. “You get the feeling that you can be a proud Canadian at last.
“When I got that piece of paper I said, ‘My goodness, I finally got there.’”