Verity Gibson always knew she wanted to become an Australian citizen and dreamt of becoming a mother — but she never could have imagined the two would almost happen at the same time. The Lake Clifton woman, who hails from North Yorkshire, England, felt her water break late on the night before she was set to become a citizen at the Shire of Waroona’s Australia Day ceremony. Mrs Gibson was determined to show up and receive the certificate she had waited a decade for, despite being in labour. “I knew I had my citizenship ceremony and I didn’t want to miss it,” she said. At 9am on the big day, Waroona residents were gathering at Memorial Hall for the ceremony which was set to begin at 9.30am — but that was about to change. Mrs Gibson’s contractions were 10 minutes apart and Waroona Shire president Mike Walmsley was told by executive assistant Merrin Kirk things would need to be sped up. “We had some apprehensions before the day because we knew we had a heavily pregnant lady doing her citizenship,” Cr Walmsley said. “Not long before we started, Merrin (Kirk) said she had gone into labour and that she was still here. “I thought that was interesting, but we got stuck into it and got started before everything else started. “Everyone was already gathering and we told them we had a change in the programming and were going to do an emergency citizenship. After officially becoming a citizen, Mrs Gibson and her Australian husband Ben headed home and then to the hospital. In the early hours of Thursday morning, they welcomed to the world their baby girl, Quinn Jae Gibson. “It was all a bit of a whirlwind,” the new mother said. “I’m glad I became a citizen before she was born; that’s why I did it when I did. “I have been (in Australia) 10 years and was going to have a baby, so it was time.” Mrs Gibson said she and her husband had even laughed about something like this happening as the day approached. After the early excitement, the Waroona Australia Day ceremony continued smoothly, with three more people being made citizens and several locals rewarded for their efforts in the community. Daisy Brown, Davis Ramones Jr and John Villanueva all became Australian citizens after Cr Walmsley handed out four meritorious awards. Grace Pisconeri was given a meritorious award for her contribution to the sporting community and her mentorship, alongside Rod Davis who was awarded for his extensive volunteering, Donna Walmsley, who was recognised for her role in the Waroona Agricultural society, and Sarah Robertson, who was thanked for her service on several committees. The Waroona Agricultural Society was given an Australia Day Council of WA award for its record-breaking 90th show, alongside Noel Dew, who was congratulated for more than 22 years of service to the community.