Sunday, April 20, 2008

British Citizenship Service - mark 2

I took a break from campaigning today to take part in my second British Citizenship Conferral Service.

You may recall my blogging about my having been invited to take part and then telling you about how my first service went.

I was determined to get it just right this time, having read the comments in the visitor's book last time, so I changed a few parts of my speech. I am pleased to say that we got six very warm comments today. It is such a special day for the new citizens, there were 19 created today and about half of a dozen of them were lovely children. There were people from the Phillipines, Russia, Somalia, Iraq, Canada, Zimbabwe, Egypt and other countries this time.

At the end of the service we all stand for the national anthem and some have asked in recent months that they be invited to sing, rather than stand quietly. The staff and I have been talking about how this might be done, with them perhaps printing out the words and putting them on the seats so that they can sing if they want to, but need not if they don't. Also we can change the music so that it is a sung version they listen to, not just the music.

I shall have to sing along of course, if this goes forward, despite my pronounced republican views. Sometimes you just have to do the appropriate thing however you feel personally.

If anyone ever sends me a photo they have taken at one of the ceremonies I have taken part in, I will post it up for you. We have the pictures in front of the Union Jack flag, in one of the larger "marriage" rooms in the Register office, it is a lovely setting.

I cannot think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon, personally.

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