#ThrowbackThursday: When rock singer Paul Rodgers became a Canadian citizen in Surrey

Voice of Bad Company and Queen sang 'O Canada' at event at Central City tower

Paul Rodgers (left) with the Now’s Tom Zillich at the rock singer’s citizenship ceremony in Surrey in 2011.

Paul Rodgers (left) with the Now’s Tom Zillich at the rock singer’s citizenship ceremony in Surrey in 2011.

On a Friday morning in October of 2011, Paul Rodgers became a Canadian citizen in Surrey.

The British-born rock singer was among dozens of people given Canadian citizenship during an hour-long ceremony in the federal government office at the Central City tower.

Rodgers is best known as vocalist for Bad Company, Free and, for a time following Freddie Mercury’s death, Queen.

Reading from a lyric sheet, Rodgers led attendees in a version of ‘O Canada’ during the event in Surrey.

“To be honest with you, I know most of the words (to ‘O Canada’), and I think I can get by,” Rodgers told the Now before he sang. “I don’t know the English national anthem too well, either. I’ll be doing my own version,” he added with a laugh.

At the time, Rodgers has called Canada home for close to 14 years. He and his wife, Cynthia, spent some of their days living in a home in the Crescent Beach area.

“It may not be my native land, but Canada is surely now my home,” Rodgers said at the citizenship ceremony.

“While I’ll always be an Englishman, Canada has given me so much for which I am grateful: My beautiful wife, a former Miss Canada, a new extended family and the chance to be truly free in a country that, with its quiet strength, combines the best of so many worlds. I am proud to be a Canuck.”

Rodgers’ voice has graced dozens of hit rock songs, including Bad Company’s “Feel Like Making Love” and “Can’t Get Enough.”

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com