Immigrant can relate to trying times

Dear editor,

While reading the many recent articles relating to homelessness and refugees, I was reminded of my own story.

When I entered Canada as an immigrant in 1971 we were well received. Even though I could not speak English, I tried to make ends meet.

This was accomplished by taking on various jobs much different to those I was used to in the Netherlands which were all related to sales positions with heavy equipment. I began working for commission, selling vacuum cleaners. I had a good run on it, however, when it came to closing the deal I was not successful because earlier on in Holland I had learned not to depend on credit. Selling vacuum cleaners could only be successful if you adopted that concept. I declined to do that so I decided to work on a labour job in construction. After six weeks, just prior to Christmas I was laid off. I tried hard to get other employment, but to no avail.

However, we were very blessed. Just a few days before the Christmas celebrations began we were surprised by Canadian friendship and generosity. Our Christmas was overwhelming in comparison to what we had been used to in Holland. Turkey and all the trimmings, a decorated tree, and gifts for all were quietly and secretly delivered to our home.

I still remember today that previous to this I had contacted Social Services in Calgary because we needed financial help. It was a humiliating move but there were very few questions asked and our daily needs were provided for. As a family, we remember those days of humanitarian generosity and kindness as the best experience of all time in the worst of circumstances.

I wish that all the refugees and homeless people hopefully can have a similar experience. Let us show with all the goodness in our hearts that we can reach out and make a difference to those who are most needy at this time in their lives.

Ary Sala

Fanny Bay

 

Just Posted

Last Simms Park concert of the season to double as a food bank fundraiser

Bring a donation for the food bank to the My Generation concert, Sunday, Aug. 25

City of Courtenay adds pickleball courts Martin Park lacrosse box

Lacrosse, pickleball, and recreational ball hockey players in the Comox Valley can… Continue reading

Stage 3 water restrictions in the Comox Valley beginning September 3

Restrictions in effect until Sept. 27 for BC Hydro scheduled maintenance

Fanny Bay Challenge asks visitors to support businesses during highway closure

Community rallies as part of Highway 19A closes for six weeks due to culvert project

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Cross-examination begins for B.C. dad accused of killing young daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Community organizes drop-in cricket game

Alan Dafoe and a few other caring members of the community arranged… Continue reading

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

Opinions vary about single-use plastics

Local governments in the Comox Valley are enacting bylaws to regulate single-use… Continue reading

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Most Read