Winnipeg tailor goes on to celebrate the anniversary of the refugee trip


A Winnipeg tailor celebrated the 41st anniversary of his exodus from Vietnam this weekend and reached out to the community that helped him make a fresh start in a new country.

Tam Nguyen, known as Tam the Tailor throughout the city’s West End, created 100 banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) to feed the needy people of the community.

On Sunday, Nguyen set up outside the Thunderbird House on Main Street to distribute food.

“I feel the joy I have and the best wishes for me,” Tamine Taylor owner Nugin on Ellis Avenue told 680 CJOB.

“It’s a celebration to give back. I know (feeling like hunger), feeling thirsty, feeling scared.

“I’m fine now.” I am good. My family is doing well, so I reach out to share it with everyone and help whoever it may be. “

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On April 30, 41 years ago, Nguyen said that when he first boarded a boat to flee a dangerous situation in Vietnam, and May 4 is when he was “born again”, as a refugee in a new Was starting life.

“When I ran away, a lot of (emotions) were going – I was scared, happy, excited. I would have freedom or I would have died, ”he said.

“It makes it very special, a big day.”

Although Nguyen is now the owner of a well-established business in Winnipeg and a familiar face in the community, he said that when he first arrived in Winnipeg, one of the ways he learned English was to listen to 680 CJOB all day every day.

“When I came here, I had no English, nothing. I did not have a lot of school in Vietnam – only grade 5 or 6 due to the Vietnam War. We would go to school for half a day, then run away from the fight.

“So I listened to CJOB when I came (to Canada). I worked at a tailor shop, and we always listened to CJOB, because my friend said, ‘Tim, this is where you can learn English, because there are so many people talking.

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“I learned English from radio.”


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