A crowd of more than 40 people recently gathered at Bundaberg Regional Council’s citizenship ceremony to support Reverend Stuart Bosch, who now proudly and officially calls the region home after moving from South Africa in 2017.
Mr Bosch was ordained in the Methodist Church of South Africa and ministered there for 20 years before joining the Uniting Church of Australia after arriving in Bundaberg
He said he and his family were extremely honoured to call themselves Australian Citizens after the initial goal of gaining permanent residency was not as straight forward as first thought.
“It meant probably more than I could ever express but it was something we had been working towards for about six years,” Mr Bosch said.
“The first goal was actually permanent residency, and we had an interesting time of it because we came across on a temporary visa.
“At the time, that was the only thing that was available to us to Australia, and it was a step of faith coming across and saying, ‘well, when we get there, we think that there's this pathway to residency’.
“We were only here for a short while and the pathway got closed because the visa we were looking at got cancelled, so we had to figure out a different way and we ran a dual process.”
Mr Bosch and his family received permanent residency a year ago, with the news for their recent citizenship status turning into a community celebration.
“It was a real celebration for us as a community because during those six years we tried to get involved as much in the community as possible, as we believe strongly that our role is to serve and to bring God's love in a practical way,” he said.
“We got involved with the community and got to know people in the community and so for us to get citizenship eventually was like a community celebration.”
Mr Bosch said Bundaberg was now their home, and he was looking forward to continuing to make the most of living in the region.
“We love the fact that when we landed here Bundaberg the community knew we had moved away from our family, and so they became our family,” he said.
“Bundaberg is home for us.
“We will continue to find ways that we can contribute and serve and feel like valued members of society, that's really what we want to do.”
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