Sunderland welcomes its newest citizens

Sunderland's newest residents were officially welcomed by its first citizen in a special ceremony.

Friday, 22nd April 2016, 1:17 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd April 2016, 3:40 pm
The Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear Mrs Susan Winfield, OBE, and Mayor of Sunderland Coun Barry Curran, with, from left, Kwanta Wilson, Johan Severin and Nelson Camarce.

More than 20 people from across the world joined the Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland, Coun Barry and Carol Curran with their guest of honour the Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Susan Winfield OBE, for yesterday’s citizenship ceremony, organised by the council’s Registration Service.

Before the ceremony, applicants have to demonstrate knowledge and appreciation of their adopted home country, by passing a 45-minute test covering government, society and practical issues by answering 75% of the questions correctly.

Since 2010, Sunderland has welcomed more than 1,300 adults from more than 50 countries.

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Among those becoming a UK citizen is Nelson Camarce, 44, who moved to the city in 2011 from the Philippines, to join wife Celeste, who was working as a nurse at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Another who has made Sunderland his home is Johan Severin, who is originally from St Lucia, and who serves in the Yorkshire Regiment.

Others included Kwanta Wilson, 30, who moved to Sunderland from Thailand five years ago, after getting married to her husband Barry. The couple live in Ashbrooke.

The Mayor said: “Sunderland prides itself on its rich cultural heritage and the contribution being made to its future, by the diversity and shared talents of our people.

“I have met some fantastic people at these ceremonies and wish all our new citizens the best of luck in the future, I’m sure that they will do themselves, their families and our city and country proud.”