My passport expired 4 years ago. I didn’t renew it before it happened. Pure laziness on my part. A few rules had changed in the intervening time which made it more work if not difficulty for me. I had to gather up all my documents, get a guarantor to sign my photos and my application form. After all that, I went off to the nearest Service Canada center which was only minutes away. I was attended to quickly. The only trouble was my name on the citizenship paper was Har Fong Leung. All my other ID documents (driver’s, health card, SIN) was issued to Lily. The woman tending to me was not sure that it would go through. She didn’t want to waste my $160 which was fee for a 10 year passport.So off to the Passport Office I went.

I wasn’t happy to go downtown. Traffic and parking could be a problem. But I took it in stride. I’ve come thus far. I might as well get on and through with it. I have 2 hours before they close. It would be practice navigating through difficulties. Happily, I found parking a block away. The Passport Office accepted my citizenship certicate. Har Fong is the name I  entered the country with. Lily is an assumed name and since all my other documents are in that name, including past passports, it will continue so. In order to have all my documents the same, I would first have to change my legal name to Lily and then to change my citizenship document to Lily. It would cost a bunch of money. I’m happy to continue to assume.

Besides my name issue, there’s my birthplace. They are no longer happy with Canton, China. They want an exact place name – a very small village in China. So, I came out with it phonetically as best as I could – San Eng. Of course the woman could not find it on her Google search. I ask if that meant I’ll be denied, for I don’t have a birth certificate. There is no record of my birth at all. Oh no, she assured me that they put the trust on my word. So then, I wonder at all the fuss. I better write down how I spelled it for next time if I was asked for my birth place. I’ve done well today considering. I didn’t get snagged nor discouraged with all this rigmarole.

So that was yesterday, Friday. Good that I could get it done because it is a long weekend. I wouldn’t be able to do anything until Tuesday otherwise. I was mulling about which is my legal name. I think they both are. Har Fong is the name I entered this country with and it is on my citizenship certificate. All other records list me as Lily – school, church, voter’s list, health card, driver’s, etc. I shall phone Vital Statistics to get the real story. It should not cost me hundreds of dollars to have both my names on my citizenship certificate, should it?

What a bunch of confusion. It’s doing my brain in. I can’t bear to proof read my writing. Hope it is in English and understandable.






2 thoughts on “WHAT’S IN A NAME

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