Rich mix of new Aussies
IT was a proud day for a Uki mother and son who became Australian citizens on Saturday, making the Tweed their home after leaving northern Thailand seven years ago. Wanichaya Kanjan and her son Nattapong Kanjan were among the 27 Tweed residents who formally %became Australians at the Tweed Australia Day celebrations on Saturday. “It is a big day for me and very exciting. I am very, very proud to become an Australian,” Wanichaya said. Her son, Nattapong, has just finished his primary schooling at Uki and will this year attend Murwillumbah High School as a fully-fledged Aussie. But each year the family return to Thailand for a four-week catch-up with family where Nattapong attends school to brush up on his native language and customs stemming from Laos. Wanichaya, who speaks Thai, Laotian and English, married an Australian, and is a trained masseuse offering traditional Thai massage as well as running an import business with her husband. English-born William Dangerfield, of Bilambil, %finally took the plunge on Saturday after 20 years of resisting pressure from his wife, Joan, to formalise his commitment to his new home. Joan became an Aussie 18 years ago and wanted her husband to become an Aussie “before it was too late”. With a jar of Vegemite, a pair of thongs, a hat and a handful of corks, Mr Dangerfield embraced his new status, saying after the %ceremony that “I do feel different. I feel very proud”. For Indian-born Jaswinder Kaur, formally from the Punjab and now of Stokers Siding, it was a more sedate ceremony with her husband of five years and her 18-month-old son. Jaswinder said she was happy and proud to at last formally be a part of the community.