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The Immigration Story of Paul Francis Callaghan (Scottish immigrant)

The Museum reviews and accepts donated personal or family memories and histories into its collection. As a learning institution, the accounts help us understand how individuals recollect, interpret, or construct meaning from lived experiences. The stories are not modified by Museum staff. The point of view expressed is that of the author and not that of the Museum.

Category: 
Culture : 
Country of Origin: 
Port of Arrival: 
Date of Arrival: 
June 23 2007
Language: 
English
Creative Commons: 
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Accession Number: 
S2014.183.1

Story Text: 

When I met Eryka, I had absolutely no interest in coming to Canada, I was very proud to be Scottish.  We met while she was on holiday in Scotland in 2002, it was truly love at first sight. We ended up spending the entire summer together, and she managed to talk me into visiting Canada.  So I booked a week long stay in Ottawa.  I arrived in Ottawa one cold rainy November evening and my life was forever changed.  I was taken aback by the kindness and beauty of the place. I loved every second.  In 2003 Eryka moved to Scotland to be with me.  We traveled back whenever we could, but it was never enough.  We married in 2005 in Ottawa, but returned home to Glasgow shortly after.

In 2006 we found out we were expecting our first child, and reality hit home. I wanted my children to grow up in a country that was tolerant and fair. A place where kids can be innocent and carefree for many years. So we decided to take the plunge. It was the scariest and most exciting decision of my life. I applied from the UK and it took 5 months start to finish. Our son was born, we sold our house and car. Quit our jobs and never looked back.  We landed in Ottawa, with two suitcases each, our 3 month old son and our cat "Momo ". We had a wonderful experience at immigration.  They were very welcoming and even retrieved our cat for us because our son was VERY tired. Everyone we met shared our excitement at our new life.

Five years on I am now a Canadian citizen. The citizenship application took 16 months start to finish and was very straight forward. We are home owners and now have 4 children. We feel lucky that they are all growing up in the most wonderful country in the world.  And Momo the cat is still with us!

I will always remember where I came from but it is who I am now that matters.  And that is part of a tolerant, diversified, multicultural nation that I am very proud to be a citizen of.  I feel very lucky to be here. It was the best decision of my life (aside from marrying my wife of course).