Several reasons to smile at ceremony

Judith de Mabasa Mitchell, from the Philippines, became a New Zealand citizen in Dunedin this...
Judith de Mabasa Mitchell, from the Philippines, became a New Zealand citizen in Dunedin this week. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Just a few months on from facing significant health challenges, Judith de Mabasa Mitchell is in a happier place.

Mrs Mitchell, of Mosgiel, was beaming in Filipino dress at a New Zealand citizenship ceremony in Dunedin this week.

She had suffered two strokes while having her second operation for a brain aneurysm in November, her husband Lance Mitchell said.

She was showing no ill effects at the ceremony, the Dunedin taxi driver noted.

The pair met online and married about 10 years ago in the Philippines, Mrs Mitchell said.

They had lived in New Zealand for about eight years.

Mrs Mitchell, a caregiver, said she cried for joy when her application to become a New Zealand citizen was accepted.

Dunedin nurse Ajimon Jose Thundathil was at the ceremony to support family.

His wife Ruby Ajimon and two of their children, Julia (7) and Joanna (5), became New Zealand citizens.

Mr Thundathil, from Kerali in southern India, had become a New Zealand citizen at a previous ceremony and the couple’s youngest child, Jacinta (2), was a citizen by birth.

He had worked in Dunedin since 2009 and his wife, a rest-home healthcare assistant, joined him in 2013.

Other new citizens.— Sera Binu (India), Isa Binu (India), Karen Reyes Graham (Philippines), Annelies Inghelbrecht (Belgium), Jed Johnson (United States), Anna-Marie Schopp (United States), Joseph Hazel (India), Kelly Ann Kirkpatrick Koykka (United States), Tom Harlan Koykka (United States), Sherlock Anthony Licorish (Guyana), Philip Anthony Mattocks (England), Michael James McHugh (Australia), Katie Marguerite Nelson (Ireland), George Montgomery Partridge (England), Gipsymole Manayath Paulose (India), Binu Poulose (India), Sarah Hazel Redfearn (England), Andrew Frank Redfearn (England), Melanie Clare Remy (United States), Stewart Peter Robertson (United Kingdom), Rhonda Joy Rosengren (United States), Telesia Seumanu (Samoa), Nigel Brendan St Louis (Canada), Ethel Discaya Yu-Oriel (Philippines).

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