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New British citizens sworn in
3:50pm Monday 14th January 2013 in News
NINETEEN people from 14 different countries were officially recognised as British citizens in a ceremony at the Town Hall.
Darlington Mayor Paul Baldwin said the citizenship ceremony marked “a big step” in the lives of those who had chosen to become British citizens.
The High Sheriff of County Durham, Harry Vane, presented the certificates of British citizenship with Mayor Baldwin and Darlington Borough Council’s deputy leader Stephen Harker.
Among those receiving one was Kambani Diatezua, 39, who swapped the Democratic Republic of Congo for London in 1998 and moved to Darlington two years later when he met his wife.
He said: “I have enjoyed myself in Darlington so far; I am very proud to become a British citizen – it feels like the end of one thing, and the start of another.”
Flora Meredith, 33, moved to Darlington from Sudan in 2008 and said that being able to use a British passport was one of the benefits of becoming a British citizen.
“It has been difficult to travel, this is going to make life a bit easier,” she said.
“Darlington is very different to Sudan – and definitely in a good way – I am very happy here.”
The ceremony was the 171st held at Darlington Town Hall and saw people from countries including China, Iran, Kuwait and the Philippines swear allegiance to Queen and country.