King's sponsored-refugee employee retires after 36 years
September 27, 2017
Chau Su is retiring after 36 years of dedicated service at King’s. The King’s community celebrated Su’s years of service at a retirement party held in the Vitali Student Lounge Extension on Tuesday, September 26, 2017.
Originally from Vietnam, Su escaped in 1979 to Malaysia by boat with her two teenaged nephews. While in Malaysia as a refugee, King’s sponsored Su and her two nephews and brought them to Canada in 1980. King’s has a sponsorship agreement with the Government of Canada to help support refugees from abroad when they resettle in Canada. Sponsorship Agreement Holders must agree to give emotional and financial support to the refugee for the full sponsorship period –in this case, six months. Su and her nephews were met at the airport and welcomed to Canada by Jeanette Grant, Dr. Jack Morgan and Dr. Paul Werstine of King’s.
Su says it wasn’t easy being in a new country because “I didn’t know the language or culture.” She took any low-paying jobs she could get after her sponsorship period ended. When a housekeeping job in King’s residence townhouses opened up, Su was encouraged by King’s staff to apply. She got the job and has worked at King’s ever since. She has worked both as a housekeeper and in the food services.
Su says she found life in Canada difficult at first because of the language barrier. As she began to interact with students while she worked she practiced her English. Su credits learning English from speaking with King’s students, faculty and staff.
Su “feels lucky to have worked here and to be in Canada”, especially after what she went through to get here. She has enjoyed her time at King’s and states that “King’s feels like family.”
Su’s determination for a better life is reflected in the two nephews she escaped with, as well as the two children she had in Canada with her husband. Su is proud of their accomplishments and reminds her children of the journey she made in order for them to enjoy the lives they have. During retirement, Su plans to help look after her nephews’ children and help out with their family business.
Congratulations, Chau Su. King’s thanks you for your many years of excellent service and wishes you a happy retirement.