New residents celebrated with local culture, games

Party time... Eighteen Gore residents were presented with their permanent residency at a celebration at the Gore Baptist Church, last Sunday. PHOTO:SUPPLIED

A New Zealand-themed permanent residence celebration has marked a milestone for 18 new Gore residents.

The celebration was held this month at the Gore Baptist Church.

Forty people attended the event, including Gore Mayor Ben Bell, Cr Richard McPhail and community strategy manager Anne Pullar.

Organised by the International Connect Group, its founder Andrea Greer was very proud to see so many people get their residency.

‘‘It was just like one big community . . .everybody celebrated each other,’’ Mrs Greer said.

‘‘We wanted to make it really special and a momentous occasion for people.’’

The event was New Zealand-themed to give the new residents a good old local welcome, she said.

Games were played at the celebration, with an egg and spoon race being a favourite.

Sachini Ekanayaka received her residency at the event, for which she was very grateful.

‘‘We were really lucky to get it,’’ Mrs Ekanayaka said.

She and her husband moved to Gore from Sri Lanka four years ago.

The event was enjoyable and a nice way to celebrate her residency, she said.

A cake was created for the event by Heather Tripp.

The cake symbolised the journey everyone had taken to get their residency and featured flags of all of their home countries.