Thank you, Canada.

You reached out, extended a warm hand and opened up your heart to us 35 years ago. You gave this boat family the opportunity to let their kids play their hearts out growing up, live fulfilling lives and build their own "Canadian Dreams".

A special "Thank You" to all those involved in youth sports and fundraising. The countless hours organizing, hosting, and raising money by coaches, parents, and volunteers is tremendously appreciated!

Now, we'd like you to know that we proudly serve our communities in the following areas: Healthcare, Financial Services, Law Enforcement and Social Work.

On top of that, we are here to give back. We have to give back. We owe you, Canada.

  

 

Our Story

We arrived here with absolutely nothing. My parents gave everything up to escape a communist takeover in our homeland. Yet, despite these financial barriers, my brothers and I played our hearts out in any sport that we wanted to be a part of. This was only made possible because of the fundraising efforts by our coaches, volunteers and schools. Now, we're all grown up and have careers in various professions from social work to healthcare, law enforcement and financial services.

We have not forgotten all that has been given to us by youth sports and Canada. We're here to give back to show our appreciation!

 

Timeline of Our Journey to Canada

May 18, 1979

  

Departed Saigon, Vietnam

May 23, 1979

 

Survived a miraculous boat journey and arrived at the UN refugee camps in Indonesia. Many others perished at sea (boat capsized, pirate attacks, sickness).

January 14, 1980

 

Re-located to Singapore while awaiting sponsorship

A family from a little town called Moosomin in Saskatchewan sponsored us. We were saved.

The countries that accepted the most boat refugees were:

  • United States: 823,000
  • Australia and Canada: 137,000 each
  • France: 96,000
  • Germany and UK: 19,000 each

January 18, 1980

 

Flight from Singapore to Edmonton, Alberta

Canada had set up two staging areas at military barracks near Edmonton and Montreal.  Here refugees were processed, given medical exams and a crash course on Canadian culture.

January 22, 1980

 

Picked up by our sponsor family

The Slugoskis drove us to their home. Not a day goes by that we don't think about all that they did for us.

Thank You So Much!

Learn more about the plight of the Vietnamese Refugees:

 

The Early Years in Canada:  1981 to 1984

 

From 1984 to the Present

My brothers Minh (who was just one when we arrived to Canada), Hil and Tim (both born in Regina) and I participated in a wide range of sports and activities growing up. Between us we share successes and a lifetime of memories spanning from track & field, soccer, basketball, volleyball to open gym time at community centres.

A Very Special and Memorable Sports Highlight:

Making it to the Agridome! We, Van Tech, made the provincials in basketball and pulled off possibly the greatest upset in tourney history by knocking out the #1 Seed (Terry Fox) in the 1st round!

History Of The B.C.H.S.B.B.A Tournament:

Recap: "1995 was the year of the upsets. Terry Fox Ravens and the Richmond Colts were the favourites. Terry Fox lost to Vancouver Technical but bounced back to take 6th place. Richmond lost their 2nd game to the eventual champions, Ladysmith, and then lost again to SMU in the 3rd round." 

A special "Thank You" to our coaches, Gene Cormier and Kevin Grant for organizing the fundraising needed throughout the year for uniforms but especially for the two unforgettable tourneys down south. Most of us on the team couldn't afford the trip. You made it happen. There were invaluable team and life lessons taught that we will carry throughout our lives.

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