Just in time for Canada Day: four new citizens

Jackie and Garry Pendergast (left) and David and Leslie Evans, are set to become Canadian citizens on Friday when a citizenship judge swears them in during a rarely-held-here ceremony at Arrow Heights Elementary School on Friday afternoon. David F. Rooney photo

By David F. Rooney

Just in time for Canada Day, Revelstoke is gaining at least four new citizens — Leslie and David Evans and Jackie and Garry Pendergast.

The four immigrants from the United Kingdom have been busy making a solid contribution to community life for the past few years and will become newly minted citizens on Friday during a Citizenship Ceremony at Arrow Heights Elementary School on Friday, June 25, at 1 pm.

The two couple are not only friends but the women share some oddly parallel experiences (queue the spooky Twilight Zone music here).

“Has Leslie never told you about our connection?” Jackie asked as we walked to the Modern for lunch on Wednesday. “When we first met, she said she was from Worthing (a large seaside town in West Sussex) and I said, ‘So am I!’ She asked me where I went to school and I said ‘Davison (a school for girls.’ To which she said, ‘So did I!’ Then she said, ‘I was head girl’ to which I replied, ‘So was I!’ Then I asked where she went to university. ‘Coventry,’ she said and I replied, ‘So, did I!’ Then she asked what I specialized in and I said, ‘Textiles’ and she said, ‘So did I!’

What an odd series of coincidences. It turned out they were separated by seven years in age and time yet both women ended up in Revelstoke.

Leslie Evans and her husband David own and operate the Nickelodeon Mechanical Music Museum. Garry and Jackie are retired elementary school teachers but are deeply involved in the arts. Jackie is executive director of the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre and chairwoman of the North Columbia Artists’ Cooperative while Garry is the coordinator of the Revelstoke Arts Council.

These four people will not be the only people becoming Canadian citizens on Friday. A total of 48 people are becoming new Canadians during the ceremony, which is rarely seen here in Revelstoke. Leslie thought there might be one more Revelstoke resident who will become a Canadian during this ceremony but she did not know who it would be.

Still and all, this should be an interesting ceremony and it will involve many of the school’s children.

You’ll be able to see photos and a short video of the ceremony on The Current this weekend. In the meantime, my congratulations go out to the Evanses, the Pendergasts and all the other new Canadians.