Yorkshire couple almost Aussies

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Liam CroyThe West Australian
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Mark, Charlie and Victoria Boynton are on the brink of becoming Aussie citizens.
Camera IconMark, Charlie and Victoria Boynton are on the brink of becoming Aussie citizens. Credit: Liam Croy

Victoria Boynton did not realise how much Sunday’s citizenship ceremony would mean to her until she opened her invitation.

“I was quite tearful,” she said.

“I was excited but a little bit choked up as well. It just felt really nice. We are invested in being here and we’ve been accepted. We’re where we want to be.”

The Boyntons moved here more than a decade ago, leaving behind the grey skies of Yorkshire for the wide open spaces and not-so-grey skies of Albany.

“I don’t like the heat too much. I get a bit hot. I’m a bit of an English rose,” Victoria Boynton said.

“I like it down here because you do get to wear a jumper on days like this.”

Her son, Charlie, was born in Albany, raised here and is fast closing in on 10 years of age.

But he will not be an Aussie — officially — until Australia Day.

They have put down roots in the region since their big migration Down Under, getting involved with the Denmark Surf Life Saving Club and settling on a hobby farm in Youngs Siding.

The Boyntons have lived in the Great Southern for more than a decade.
Camera IconThe Boyntons have lived in the Great Southern for more than a decade. Credit: Liam Croy

Mark Boynton had wanted to live in Australia since his first trip here at the age of 26, when he worked on farms as a backpacker across the country.

The south coast of WA, with its rugged landscape and relatively mild climate, struck a chord with him.

The lifestyle was a pleasant change, too.

“It’s something I did in my 20s for a bit of a change and to see the world and I just loved it here. Everything’s a bit easier and a bit more friendly,” Mr Boynton said.

“The reason we moved here was to be more Australian, to live a little bit more relaxed.”

The Boyntons are well aware of the stereotypes Australians like to perpetuate, about “whinging poms”, for example.

They do not necessarily disagree with them.

“There’s a lot of grumpy people (back in England), a lot of dissatisfaction, I guess ... There are a lot more people over there going for fewer jobs,” Mr Boynton said.

“There is more aggression, even just on the roads.”

The soon-to-be Australian citizens still miss the charms of Ol’ Blighty every now and then, and they remain partial to Yorkshire Tea, Jaffa Cakes and Marmite.

They say their accents are far less broad than they used to be, but Mr Boynton’s students at the WA College of Agriculture — Denmark get a giggle out of him, asking him to say words like “puddle” and “yoghurt”.

They are happy that the drama of Brexit is thousands of kilometres away — “we just try to stay out of it, really,” Mr Boynton says.

As for Megxit, they are all for it.

“I like Harry. Harry’s all right,” Mr Boynton said.

Twenty-three residents will become Australian citizens at the City of Albany Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony and Citizen of the Year Awards, which start at 10am at the Albany Entertainment Centre.

LONG WEEKEND GUIDE

White Star Hotel's Kiera Yzerman ahead of the lamington eating competition.
Camera IconWhite Star Hotel's Kiera Yzerman ahead of the lamington eating competition. Credit: Shannon Smith

Friday January 24

Yoga Flow Friday, Middleton Beach, 6am.

Sustainability by the Sea, Middleton Beach, 9am-1pm.

More Middleton Beach Festival activities including Virtual Reality, Side Show Alley and Bicycle and Paddleboard Hire, Middleton Beach, 10am-3pm.

Albany Artisan Collective Twilight Markets, Middleton Beach, 3pm-7pm.

Katie White, Due South, 5pm.

Even Ayres, Garrison, 6.30pm.

Jordy Morcom, Earl of Spencer, 7pm.

6D Original Music Showcase with Flood the Moon, Dig the Dust and Kris Nelson, Six Degrees, 8pm.

Saturday January 25

HBF Summer Fitness, Eyre Park, 7.15am.

Mt Clarence Parkrun, Mt Clarence, 8am.

Midds Mutts Markets, Eyre Park, 9am-1pm.

More Middleton Beach Festival activities including Virtual Reality, Side Show Alley and Bicycle and Paddleboard Hire, Middleton Beach, 10am-3pm.

Sunday January 26

Rotary Big Breakfast, Middleton Beach, 7am.

Albany Boardriders Retro Surf Competition, location TBA, 7am-2pm.

Australia Day Beach Rolls 2020, Hang out, train and eat good food from the barbecue, Emu Point Beach, 10am.

More Middleton Beach Festival activities, including Dodgeball, live music, lawn games, free exercise classes, Virtual Reality, Side Show Alley and Bicycle and Paddleboard Hire, Middleton Beach, 10am-3pm.

Australia Day with entertainment, Hybla Tavern, 11am.

Australia Day event with lamington eating comp, White Star Hotel noon.

Australia Day Live Music and Barbecue The Albany Club, 1pm-6pm.

Rob V, Due South, 4pm.

Sunday Sunset Session, Garrison, 4pm.

Pinstripe, Six Degrees, 6pm.

Outdoor Cinema, Middleton Beach, Sunset.

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