HOF143: VU, Thanh Uyen Tanya

Just days before the fall of Saigon, eight-year-old Tanya Thanh Uyen Vu’s father, a navy officer, took her and the rest of the family on board a navy ship out of Vietnam. After short stays at American military bases in Guam, Hawaii and California, they decided to accept an offer to resettle in Canada. During their first weeks in Edmonton, Alberta, the family wasn’t aware that there were other Vietnamese newcomers in the city. It was after they were interviewed by a journalist from the Edmonton Journal that they encountered other Vietnamese refugees. Their home became a gathering place for the lonely and homesick. Vu’s mother cooked and fed visitors on weekends, and both her parents regularly went to the local hotels where new arrivals were housed to offer them support. As Vu recalls it, during those first years, everyone coming from Vietnam were considered part of her extended family.