New Rose City citizens celebrate true Australian welcome
After nearly a decade living in the Rose City and running their own successful business in the CBD, one Warwick family has finally made it official.
Hari Ram and Ranjit Kaur and their nine-year-old daughter Eshana Khuttan were three of the 15 Warwick residents sworn in at Tuesday’s Australia Day citizenship ceremony.
The couple’s 12-year-old son Aryan is already an Australian citizen and supported his family in the audience.
Since their emigration from India in 2008, the couple said they worked hard to establish themselves and their popular Warwick restaurant, Delights of India.
“Once we moved here, we noticed how nice it was living here and meeting all the nice people,” Mr Ram said.
“We lived in Brisbane before moving here, but (in Warwick) you experience so many different things like the rodeos and Jumpers and Jazz.
“It’s nice to have it made official.”
It’s taken fellow Warwick man Bruce Johnson just over 50 years to become a citizen, but he says he wouldn’t change his journey for anything.
Following in the footsteps of his close friends and relatives, a 12-year-old Mr Johnson left his birthplace of Georgia in the US for Australia in 1970.
Instantly struck by the kindness and generosity of his new Warwick neighbours, Mr Johnson said it was only a few years later as a high school student he met his future wife, Alison.
“We met at Warwick High when we were 15 and 16, and we’ll now be married 43 years this year,” he said.
“It sounds like an awfully long time, but it doesn’t feel that way. It just flies by.”
While the couple moved away to Brisbane for nearly 30 years to raise their two sons, they agreed the Rose City was the only place to make his citizenship official.
“We just thought it was time. When you first move to a country, you wonder whether you’re going to like it or settle in,” he said.
“After a while, when you think of home you think of here, not the US. I couldn’t even see myself going back to visit now.
“This is home, and everyone ends up back home eventually.”
MORE WARWICK NEWS: