Cricket official among new citizens

Moira and Andrew Sainsbury with their native kowhai after the citizenship ceremony in Alexandra....
Moira and Andrew Sainsbury with their native kowhai after the citizenship ceremony in Alexandra. Photo by Sarah Marquet.

Twenty people swore allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II in Alexandra yesterday and became New Zealand citizens.

One of those in the Central Otago record contingent was Otago Country Cricket Association cricket development manager and coaching director Andy Sainsbury.

He left Somerset, England, for New Zealand with wife Moira eight years ago, after gaining his position with the cricket association.

Mrs Sainsbury said Mr Sainsbury's godmother, Hilary Matheson, knowing that he wanted to work elsewhere in the world, had emailed them with three cricket-related jobs she had seen advertised in the Otago Daily Times.

She said they did not hold much hope that he would get the job but late one night he received a phone call. An interview followed and then a week later he was offered the job.

Now living in Alexandra, Mr Sainsbury described it as a "lovely place" with "friendly people" and "outstanding scenery".

Mrs Sainsbury, who works as a grants manager for Central Lakes Trust, said she loved the "massive skies".

Other new citizens are Mr Stanslous Chirenda, Mrs Dzivisai Chirenda and daughter Mufaro Chirenda (of Zimbabwe, now of Roxburgh), Mr Anton Elliot, Mrs Joanne Elliot and son Hayden Elliot (of England, now of Wanaka), Mr Joseph Ferdinands, Mrs Celine Ferdinands and daughter Candice Ferdinands (of India, now of Ranfurly), Mr Michael Smith and son Alex Smith (of England, now of Alexandra), Mr Mark Wellstead (of England, now of Earnscleugh), Mrs Jayne Fitzgerald (of Ireland, now of Cromwell), Mrs Joan Lloyd (of Vanuatu, now of Bannockburn), Mr Cheng Tan, Ms Choy Har and sons Sean Tan and Kleff Tan (of Singapore, now of Cromwell).

Central Otago Mayor Tony Lepper told them they were allowed to support their old country during the Rugby World Cup but if that country was playing New Zealand, they should remember they were now New Zealand citizens.

They all received a New Zealand native kowhai tree to mark the occasion.

The ceremony closed with everyone standing to sing the national anthem, led by pupils from The Terrace Primary School.



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