A TEACHER from the Ukraine was among 19 people who were welcomed to Calderdale and the UK at a special jubilee citizenship ceremony at Halifax Town Hall.
Anya Glew met the man who was to become her husband, Todmorden musician, Billy Glew, when he was playing a series of gigs in the Ukraine in 2008.
“I was teaching English in Ukraine when I was asked to help Billy and the rest of the band,” she said.
Anya and Billy were married in August of that year.
“We were married in Ukraine and I moved to the UK with Billy about two weeks later,” said Anya, who now works as a translator.
She was presented with a specially struck Jubilee medal and a Certificate of Naturalisation by the Mayor of Calderdale, Coun John Hardy, and Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Chris Harris.
“To receive a certificate, you need to be resident in the UK for at least three years and you also have to pass quite a difficult test on what you know about the UK,” said Anya.
“That was interesting, because it introduced me to the history and culture of the UK.
“I’m really pleased to become a UK citizen and receive the certificate and the medal,” she said.
Councillor Hardy gave a warm welcome to all of 19 citizens, the majorty of which were from Pakistan.
“We in Yorkshire have a long tradition of welcoming newcomers and as you look round, you will find people from so many creeds and cultures living and working together.”
To make the occasion even more memorable, Siddal Primary School choir sang special songs for the new citizens along with the National Anthem.
*From 1 January 2004, all new applicants for British citizenship by naturalisation or registration aged 18 or over, if their application is successful, must attend a citizenship ceremony and either make an affirmation or take an oath of allegiance to the monarch, and also make a pledge to the United Kingdom.
Citizenship ceremonies are normally organised by local councils in England, Scotland, and Wales.
About 200,000 are granted British citizenship every year.
For those who applied for British citizenship before 2004 the oath of allegiance was administered privately through signing a witnessed form in front of a solicitor or other accredited person.