HOF046: VU Van Thai

Vu Van Thai and his family of ten people left Vietnam, April 30, 1975. They had planned their escape for a month. Vu Van Thai had purchased two boats with supplies. On the day of their departure, one of boats was defective, so they used the other one for their journey. During their trip, they encountered many naval officers and offered them space on their boat. In time, they assisted more than 30 individuals. At their arrival in Singapore, the refugees attempted to gain entry to the country but they were denied. Instead, the local authorities provided them with supplies and sent them on their way. Ten days later, the group arrived at Subic Bay in the Philippines. The family remained in the Subic Bay refugee camp for one month. They were sent to Guam where they remained for a week. American officials offered to take them to Camp Pendleton in California, where they stayed for another month.

Vu Van Thai and his family had relatives living in Canada, so they chose to settle there to be close to their family members. They arrived and settled in Montreal, Quebec on August 11, 1975. Once they were settled, Vu Van Thai was employed in many trades while completing a degree in Engineering at l’Université de Montréal in Quebec. 

Vu Van Thai is a well know community leader who has supported the Vietnamese community in Montreal. He sponsored Vietnamese refugees from 1980 to 1990.