Nova Scotia

Alexander Graham Bell's great-grandson now Canadian

Alexander Graham Bell's great grandson is sworn in as a Canadian citizen at a special citizenship ceremony in Baddeck, N.S.
Hugh Muller and his wife, Jeanne, became Canadian citizens on Friday. They are joined by RCMP Const. Barry Forest and Citizenship Judge Georgette Roy. (CBC)

Alexander Graham Bell's great-grandson was sworn in as a Canadian citizen at a special citizenship ceremony in Baddeck, N.S., on Friday.

Hugh Muller, 79, became a Canadian at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site — home to many of his great-grandfather's inventions.

Muller, who was born in Geneva, Switzerland, is also an American citizen. But since he was a small child, he has spent most summers at the Bell estate, Beinn Bhreagh, just outside Baddeck. The home was built in the late 1880s.

"Oh, man, that's really a trip, isn't it?" Muller said, of his swearing-in at the museum honouring his great-grandfather.

"When I go over there, it's almost like going back to my childhood because all the things that I remember are sort of all through that museum. So, it's like going home."

Muller and his wife, Jeanne, have spent many decades living part-time in Baddeck.

Despite his Bell family connection in the Cape Breton community where the legendary inventor is buried, Muller said he was no "shoo-in" for citizenship.

He and his wife were too old to qualify for regular immigration, so the people of Baddeck formally nominated them for citizenship.

"I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the citizens of Baddeck," Muller said.

Muller said it was also extra special the ceremony was held at a national park site because he and his wife met while they were both employed by the national park system in the United States.

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration and Parks Canada were involved in the ceremony that inducted 35 new Canadian citizens from 16 countries.

The event also helped mark the centennial of Canada's national parks.