Alexander Graham Bell's great-grandson sworn in as new citizen
A swearing-in ceremony welcoming new Canadians to the Maritimes was held in Baddeck today, and the ceremony location resonated with one new Canadian in particular.
This is the first time the citizenship ceremony has been held at the historic Alexander Graham Bell Museum in Baddeck, Cape Breton; an appropriate setting for new Canadian, Hugh Bell Muller.
Muller is a direct descendant of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, who made Baddeck his second home.
"As we welcome you all as new Canadians to the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, it is quite remarkable to note that one of the new Canadians that we are welcoming is Bell's great-grandson," said museum superintendent Ed Kennedy at the ceremony.
Muller's grandmother was Daisy Fairchild, the younger of the great Scottish inventor's two daughters.
She spent long summers at Beinn Bhreagh, the Bell estate in Baddeck, and Muller and his wife were also seasonal residents in the area until they decided to move there permanently seven years ago.
Muller, a retired U.S. park ranger, says he inherited his great-grandfather's affection for Canada and its people.
"This was the country he loved, and chose," says Muller. "He loved the people, he loved the climate and he found within this community of Baddeck, for example, all the different skills that were necessary for him to carry out his experiments."
Muller says he remembers playing with experimental kites and other artifacts, which are now housed in the Alexander Graham Bell Museum, as a child.
There are 100 descendants who make seasonal visits to the 18 homes on the Bell estate, but Muller is the only Canadian, and the only permanent resident.
"I think it's great for the community," says County Warden Bruce Morrison. "We are very pleased to welcome them to Baddeck as Canadian citizens, especially with the role Alexander Graham Bell had to do with Baddeck and Victoria County."
A total of 35 new Canadians from 16 different countries were sworn in by a citizenship judge at the ceremony.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Randy MacDonald