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 desired.
This was only made possible because of the fundraising efforts by our coaches, volunteers and schools.
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 - Arrived at the UN refugee camps in Indonesia
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:
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 Van Tech 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.
Thank you, Canada
You reached out, extended a warm hand and opened up your heart to us 39 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: Financial Services, Healthcare, Law Enforcement and Telecommunications.
On top of that, we are here to give back. We have to give back. We owe you, Canada.
28 Years Apart
We lived in Regina, SK in 1981. We came back in May 2009 for our brother's RCMP ceremony.