HOF148: Phan, Khanh Phuong

After the war ended in Vietnam, Phan Khanh Phuong’s father was sent to a re-education camp. Phan, in his early 20s, grew convinced that the new regime had to be opposed. He joined his friends in surreptitious anti-government activities, which resulted in his arrest in 1981. Phan managed to escape, living underground until he found a way to leave Vietnam and arrive in a Malaysian refugee camp. He was granted asylum in Canada and settled in Grande Prairie, Alberta, but due to a lack of job opportunities, he moved to Thunder Bay, Ontario. While working at a friend’s restaurant, he completed his high school studies and enrolled at Lakehead University to study electrical engineering. At that time, his family in Vietnam needed financial support, so Phan left university and opened a restaurant with his wife in order to support them. Phan was still focused on returning to a free and democratic Vietnam, consequently, he and his wife also supported anti-Communist groups committed to realizing that goal.