Errol Hunter is proud to call Australia home.
The 75-year-old fulfilled a long-time wish when he became an Australian citizen last week at a ceremony at Bupa Aged Care in Kyneton.
Born and raised in South Africa to a Swedish mother and a Scottish father, Mr Hunter left home to sail the seas at age 15.
“I sailed all around the world,” he said.
“I started as a junior and ended as a chief engineer on a ship. I travelled all over the world – England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Holland, Belgium, Germany and then later on Japan.
“I worked with the American Bureau of Shipping as an engineer for 35-odd years, which is why we lived in so many countries over the years.
“I lived in Japan for a while and then lived mostly in Korea.”
Mr Hunter first visited Australia on a holiday in 1994. He later moved to Sydney before relocating to Woodend with his family.
“We came here for a better life,” he said.
“I tried to get a citizenship a few years ago, when I retired in 2011. We started the process, but unfortunately I had a stroke and it fell off the list of things to do. But with help from my children, I am proud that I am an Australian citizen,” he said.
Bupa Kyneton’s general manager Aida Salihovic said she was pleased the aged care home, where Mr Hunter is a resident, could host the ceremony.
“It is an accomplishment for Errol and has been a goal of his for quite some time and we feel extremely honoured to be there for him on the day,” she said.
Macedon Ranges mayor Janet Pearce attended the citizenship ceremony last week and congratulated Mr Hunter on his achievement.
“Becoming a citizen is a very happy and moving occasion for Mr Hunter and his family … I am really pleased to have been a part of the ceremony at Bupa Kyneton,” she said.