Thursday March 5 2015 was a blue-sky, sunny, not-too-cold day; typical Calgary. Mehr joined Ann and me and we drove together to the Harry Hays building, the federal government building in downtown Calgary where Room 201 is the Citizenship Court; the same room where Ann became a Canadian Citizen on its opening day on March 19, 2010. Irene Pfeiffer O.C. presided over the court on this day.
March 5 was Mehr’s turn to become a citizen and we (both immigrants ourselves) were proud to accompany her as her honorary Canadian parents. Mehr grew up in Iran, and she and her family were displaced from their first home by the Iran-Iraq war. Mehr became a physics teacher, then a high school principal, but all the time had to live at home with her parents. She became dissatisfied with life in Iran and in 2009 applied to Concordia University and to Canada to immigrate. She quickly learned English, some French and obtained a Master’s degree in electrical engineering. (As Calgarians have been heard to say, ‘Wow, eh?’)
After graduation, a return visit ‘home’ affirmed that she wanted to live in Canada. In October 2012, Mehr moved from Montreal to make Calgary her home. After a brief spell in a (probably illegal) basement suite and a temporary job in a warehouse, she obtained a ‘real’ job that required commuting to northern Alberta and the oil sands, living in a camp. She rented her own apartment; bought a car; bought her own first condominium apartment; was laid off as the work ‘up north’ slowed down; is upgrading her education to become an Alberta Professional (electrical) Engineer; and on Thursday March 5, 2015, became a Canadian Citizen along with more than 70 others at the same ceremony; one of four held in Calgary that day.
We are proud and privileged to be counted among Mehr’s friends, and are happy to welcome this new Canadian into our midst. We celebrated with lunch at the River Café on Prince’s Island, a far cry from our first meeting over a beer at a Green Drinks MeetUp in a downtown Calgary pub about two years ago!
Welcome to Canada, Mehr. Now you can vote for your members of Parliament and the Legislature, probably as soon as this year!