Page 1

May 2015

COMMUNITY NEWS The Flour Peddler


A global journey into local food

by Paul Reid

Nearly a decade ago, William Kolong came to Canada – one of the famous ‘Lost Boys of Sudan.’, a group of over 20,000 boys of who were displaced during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983–2005) and walked to refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. Countless numbers died along the way due to starvation, dehydration, sickness and disease, some being killed by wild animals or enemy soldiers – but William survived. Years later, William was sponsored as a refugee and came to Canada, where he landed a job on a maintenance crew at Metropolis mall (Metrotown). It was during this time that he met and was supported by Pastor Hergesheimer at Collingwood’s First Lutheran Church. William also became close friends with the family, including the two Hergesheimer brothers, Josh and Chris.

The brothers in South Sudan.

s y Da 1 M d y3 ’t o n o a e o w M sid D g ll i n 2 1 ert In One of the original ‘Lost Boys of Sudan,’ William Kolong C o a y Ins at home in Aweil with his M daughter, Aweki. All Photos is


courtesy of The Flour Peddler

Here is the original Flour Peddler, Chris, on one of his peddle powered grain milling devices with brother Josh. Above, the brothers in South

One of the brothers, Chris, had started a farmers’ market business called the Flour Peddler. For years Chris worked on developing, demonstrating and using a peddle powered grain milling device. It was during a demonstration at a Metrotown mall in 2009 that William saw the grinding device for the first time. In the book, Chris remembers William striding towards him in his Metropolis uniform with all his keys jingling, saying “this pedal mill is a great idea, especially for places with no electricity.” William suggested bringing the bike-mill to his village in South Sudan. In 2013, Chris was accepted into the PhD program at UBC in the Faculty of Land and Continued on page 2






May 2015

RENFREW COLLINGWOOD COMMUNITY NEWS The Flour Peddler - Continued from page 1

Food Systems. After much thought, he decided to shut down the Flour Peddler. But after the urging of his brother, Josh, Chris was convinced to “go out with a bang?” as Josh put it. The brothers decided to take William up on his offer. By that time William had moved back to his home village in the newly formed country of South Sudan. The brothers were able to get William on the phone to tell him that they wanted to come and build a bike-mill there. William agreed, and so the brother set out raising money by selling bags of flour and organizing a crowdfunding campaign. And so in December 2013, they set off with two grain mills and a box full of bike parts – but with no blueprints for how they would build the machine. They had a tip on where they could get help—a Technical school metal shop in a town 800 miles away from their final destination.

local food. This well written pageturner of a tale includes all of the excitement that the Hergesheimer brothers were to encounter on their journey. It also details their struggles as fighting broke out in South Sudan, threatening to tear the young country apart. In Feb 2015, Josh went back to William’s village to evaluate the success of the bike-mill. He found the mill in good repair, still being used, and the villagers hoping that they can organize to build more. He and Chris are now hoping to help bring more mills to Aweil and beyond. To find out how you can participate in their bike-mill revolution, check their website: www.continuouscycle.ca

The brothers trip has been captured in their book, titled The Flour Peddler – a global journey into

VANCOUVER AIKIKAI Aikido is a martial art that emphasizes self-defense and character development through the practice of blending and redirection rather than head-on conflict. Vancouver Aikikai, affiliated with the International Aikido Federation, offers a safe, friendly and expert environment for studying Aikido. Try-out classes are free. Beginners, advanced and weapons classes are taught by Aikido World Headquarters-certified instructors. Our dojo is located in the Renfrew Community Center at 2929 E 22nd Ave in Vancouver. For more information, call 604.802.4853 or visit VancouverAikikai.com.

Bino’s Family Restaurant All-Day Breakfast Special $5.50 Two eggs with choice of bacon, sausage or ham, and hashbrowns & toast or buttermilk pancakes

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May 2015


Meet Diana! An INTERactive connector by Annie Lai Through my own volunteer work with INTERactive, I’ve met some inspirational, dedicated individuals in the Renfrew-Collingwood community— people who want to make a difference in the lives of others. Fortunately, I was able to meet with Di (Diana) Dyck: A lady who puts a tonne of effort into her volunteer work, despite challenges she faces due to a disability. But that doesn’t stop her. What caught my attention was the fact that Di was even able to communicate with another person who does not speak her language. Di has lived in Renfrew-Collingwood for several years and has been an INTERactive connector for over a year, dedicating her spare time to helping Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH). She was originally referred to INTERactive by Sterling James, a member of the INTERactive Community Partners Circle who describes her as a “social butterfly.” “What I like about the community is that it is safe and full of friendly people,” Di says. She reaches out by

talking with new people, and starting conversations about opportunities through CNH and other agencies and community groups. From approaching businesses to providing information pamphlets, Di truly values the importance of getting to know and build a connection with other community members.

Diana Dyck has been an INTERactive connector for more than a year. Photo by Brenda Zeimer

Di also enjoys baking cookies and going for walks around the neighbourhood. She has met many new friends, and has increased self-confidence through her volunteer experience. Di has built upon new skills which she’ll carry with her, throughout life. Annie Lai is a grade 12 student currently enrolled in the Leadership Mini School Program at Windermere Secondary and is involved with INTERactive as a connector.

“Through the 2015 immigration plan we will welcome a record number of individuals who will contribute to our economy and labour market.” - Hon. Chris Alexander, MP

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Respond to Canada’s need for immigrants. Become a Regulated Immigration Consultant

Full-time | Part-time | Online Contact a program adviser to apply.

Don Davies, MP Vancouver Kingsway

Happy Collingwood Days!

Special thanks to all the volunteers for another great community festival!

604.899.0803 | 1.866.759.6006 www.ashtoncollege.com Ashton College

we build careers

2951 Kingsway Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5R 5J4 Tel: 604-775-6263 Email: Don.Davies@parl.gc.ca



May 2015


3 tips to spring clean your job search strategy COMMUNITY NEWS The mission of this non-profit publication is to provide the residents, businesses and organizations of Renfrew/Collingwood with a medium for community communication. Paul Reid: staff writer and layout coordinator Lisa Symons: sales and distribution coordinator Julie Cheng: editorial coordinator Contributors: Collingwood Neighbourhood House, Kat Cureton, Green Thumb Theatre, Bev Ferguson, Norman Hill, Annie Lai, Paul Reid, Mohini Takhar, Vancouver Northeast WorkBC, Susan Wong

We want to hear from you! Yes, You! Send comments, community events, press releases by regular post, fax or e-mail. Suggestions for improving the paper are welcome. We welcome appropriate, unsolicited editorial submissions if accompanied by the author’s real name, address and telephone number. The author should retain the original as we cannot return submissions without prior agreement nor does submission guarantee publication. We reserve the right to make editorial changes.

Next submission deadline: May 10 The Renfrew/Collingwood Community News is an initiative of the Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH).

Yo u C a n F i n d t h e RC Community News @ Libraries, Collingwood Neighbourhood House, Renfrew Park Community Centre, The Italian Cultural Centre, Collingwood Policing Office, other organizations, religious institutions, schools, laundromats, Starbucks, Rona, Superstore, Canadian Tire, Walmart, London Drugs and Safeway coffee shops, restaurants, markets, corner stores, other businesses, and coffee tables all over Renfrew-Collingwood.

Spring time is not only the time of year to tidy up your living space but also an opportunity to clean up your job search strategy. By sprucing up your job search approach you can increase the amount of job opportunities to come your way. 1. Clean up your resume Checking your resume to catch any mistakes is important when job searching. The smallest mistake can cost you an interview. Review your resume several times for correct punctuation and word use. Before you send it to an employer ask a friend who has good English skills to check for any mistakes you may have missed. It is also important to ensure that your resume is properly formatted, with a preferred font size of 11 or 12 point but no less than 10 point. Be sure to use a professional font, either Arial or Times New Roman, and ensure it is consistent throughout your entire resume. A standard resume is one or two pages in length. Remember be concise and only include relevant work experience for the position you are apply for. Finally, it is important to ensure that all your information is up to date including making sure that all certificates such as first aid are current and have not expired.

Ensure that you are posting appropriate content, including the photos that you or others post of you. Avoid being too vocal about your viewpoints; your viewpoints could be another red flag for hiring managers who do not agree with them. Be mindful about the amount of information you are sharing. Telling everyone every little thing you are doing, thinking, reading, watching and listening to can be a big problem, even for the non-job seeker. Not only are your friends and family on your social networks, your future coworkers and supervisors will be there, too.

The Vancouver Northeast WorkBC Employment Services Centre offers workshops to help hone your networking skills as well as opportunities to practice your skills through regular job-seeker networking events. In addition, the Vancouver Northeast WorkBC Employment

This information has been brought to you by the Vancouver Northeast WorkBC Employment Services Centre. For more information on how to clean up your job search strategy and other helpful job search tips and/or information about their services contact 604-708-9300 or visit www.employmentworks.ca

Celebrating 46 years

Phone: 604-435-0323 extension 261 Fax: 604-451-1191

Renfrew/Collingwood Community News Collingwood Neighbourhood House 5288 Joyce Street Vancouver, BC V5R 6C9

3. Tidy up your online presence Did you know that many employers these days Google candidates before making a hiring decision? Social media is not only a job-search tool, it is also something recruiters and hiring managers use to qualify or disqualify candidates. That’s why there are a few things to consider when you are using social media sites.

2. Restock your network It’s not always what you know but who you know. EVERYONE you know is part of your network, including friends, family, professors, instructors and coaches. For every person you make a connection with, remember that they have access to others with potential job leads. Take a look at your contact lists and clear out those who you have lost touch with to make room for new contacts.

Contact the RCCNews

Editorial: rccnews-editorial@cnh.bc.ca Advertising: Phone Lisa Symons at 604.435.0323 email: rccnews-sales@cnh.bc.ca

Services Centre provides employer presentations and hiring fairs that will allow you to expand your network.

Join Us For Mother's Day Traditional Italian and Greek Food We cater to groups of up to 120 people.

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Open for lunch: Weds/Thurs/Fri from 11:00am Open for dinner: Everyday from 4:00pm .

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May 2015

Green Thumb presents all-teen created play Since late September, nine teenagers from around the Lower Mainland have been meeting at the Green Thumb Theatre campus tucked in behind Carleton School to receive theatre training and to create their own original piece of theatre. Now they’re ready to unleash this funny, edgy original script onto the world. The Coat Room tells the story of nine very different young people who all show up at a house party. There’s the newly split up Alpha Couple Jeremy and Jessica; eternally upbeat Christine, who is Jessica’s best friend; comic book nerd Lisa and her sort-of-but-not-really boyfriend Keith; the always-out-of it party host Travis and his cousin Dominic, who seems intent on ratting out the partiers; Tiffany, who’ll do anything to unseat Christine as Jessica’s bestie; and Anvil, the brooding and mysterious poet. As the party unfolds, hidden secrets are revealed, old wounds are reopened and new alliances form. This fun and fast-paced comedy explores not only the world of the teen party and the drama that goes along with it, but also what it means to belong, to try to fit in, and what really matters when it comes to friendship. Under the leadership of Green Thumb’s artistic associate, Shawn Macdonald, the ensemble has been working hard, receiving basic instruction in acting and scene study as well as guidance in the basics of playwriting. The Edge Academy is a program designed for young theatre

artists who are seriously considering a career in the theatre.


“Working in high schools, I’ve noticed that the ones with drive and talent set the bar for everyone else, and so instructors and teachers spend most of their time The Coat Room cast. Photo Green Thumb Theatre and energy I don’t think we could have pulled trying to bring together such a funny and honest everyone up to their level. Those piece if it weren’t for Shawn and his students don’t get challenged amazing advice. Having that kind of enough and aren’t given enough support from a working professional attention to improve or grow. We is like, ‘Oh, so I CAN make a career wanted to find a way to engage with out of this.’ ” them and set them up for the next step,” explains Macdonald. The ensemble features Avery Burrow, Alex Carassco, Jason Chen, Venia “It’s exciting to see these young Chen, Emily Elliott, Noah Heyl, Gabe artists already seeing success. One Nemeth, Brooke Stephens and Daniel student has been accepted into Yang. the Acting for Stage and Screen program at Capilano University. Avery Burrow concludes: “The Edge Another is producing her own Academy has really been a place for work. Others are in the process of us to learn and grow together. I’m auditioning for university programs excited to see where we’re all going to in theatre. It’s thrilling.” go from here.” Edge Academy member Avery For more information on this show Burrow says, “These past eight or for audition information for months collaborating on the writing next year’s Edge Academy, visit the of this show have taught me so much about what goes in to creating Green Thumb Theatre website at greenthumb.bc.ca. a play. It’s been pretty intense, and

Green Thumb Theatre Presents:

THE COAT ROOM Written and Performed by The Edge Academy

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May 2015

Support your local businesses in Renfrew-Collingwood D



J.E.’s Alteration and Dry Cleaning Drop Off #4 3490 Kingswsay Ph:604.434.9677

Renfrew Park Community Centre 2929 E,22nd Ave. 604.257.8388

Collingwood Neighbourhood House 5288 Joyce Street Ph:604.435.0323

Renfrew / Collingwood




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E.22nd Ave. K

E.29th Ave.

E.33rd Ave.


E.41st Ave. The Tipper Restaurant Ph: 604.873.1010


2066 Kingsway


Collingwood Insurance Ph: 604.438.9888







Family Coin Laundry Phone: 604.876.4817



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First Avenue Dental 604.254.5040

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Joyce Hair Design Ph: 604.451.7680

5156 Joyce St.

Papa John’s Pizza Ph: 604.310.PAPA

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World Premiere of Cinderella by Coastal City Ballet by Bev Ferguson I came to Vancouver to create the ballet Hansel and Gretel. Right from the start I enjoyed the highly motivated dancers, the friendly atmosphere and the lovely city of Vancouver.”

Coastal City Ballet performs the world premiere of Cinderella on May 15 at Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver and May 30 at the Surrey Arts Centre. One of the most enduring and beloved tales in the world, Ana Paula Oioli as Irene Schneider’s Cinderella. Photo courtesy Cinderella will of Coastal City Ballet showcase the ballet company’s diverse talents.

Coastal City Ballet, a program of Pacific DanceArts, is a repertory ballet company located in the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood of East Vancouver that offers emerging dancers performance opportunities while continuing their professional career preparations. To learn more visit www.coastalcityballet.com

Coastal City Ballet presents Cinderella

With hauntingly beautiful music by Sergei Prokofiev, this classical full-length ballet is brought to life by the technical finesse of the Coastal City Ballet dancers, beautiful costumes by Stefan Stanisic and the imaginative set created in Germany by Eberhard Matthies. “I am excited to be working again with Coastal City Ballet to create Cinderella,” says Irene Schneider, an independent choreographer who has created over 60 ballets presented in numerous opera houses in Germany and throughout the world. “I first met Li Yaming, artistic director for Coastal City Ballet, at the festival Do Danca in Brazil, where he invited me to come to Canada and work for his company. In 2012,


May 2015


North Vancouver Centennial Theatre, 2300 Lonsdale Ave. North Vancouver, BC Box Office: www.ctcboxoffice@northvanrec. com / 604.984.4484 Friday, May 15, 2015 at 8:00 pm $30 Adults, $22 Students/Seniors $20 for Groups of 10 and Children 12 and under Surrey Surrey Arts Centre, 13750-88 Avenue, Surrey, BC Box Office: www.surrey.ca/theatre /604.501.5566 Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 4:00 pm $30 Adults, $22 Students/Seniors $20 for Groups of 10 and Children 12 and under

Bruce parents raise funds for better learning tools Spring Carnival Friday, May 22 4-8:00 pm Graham Bruce school, 3633 Tanner Street At the basketball courts on Moscrop Avenue (between Joyce and Boundary) Proceeds from Graham Bruce Elementary’s third Spring Carnival go towards the purchase of sports equipment, books, new technology and more. Everybody is invited to join in the carnival games, face painting/tattoos, bouncy castle, dunk tank, balloon pop, hole-in-one golf, cotton candy, popcorn, BBQ hot dogs and more. For more information email Dave Lambert at davelam@shaw.ca

2nd Annual Still Creek Walking and Transit Tour Sunday, May 31; 12:30-2:30 pm

In collaboration with the City of Burnaby, Still Moon Arts Society once again brings you an opportunity to get to know the Still Creek area! The historic tour of Upper Still Creek will be by foot and Skytrain (cost of transit will be covered). It begins from the children’s playground on the northeast side of Swanguard Stadium in Central Park and ends at Still Creek near Grandview Highway. Tour participants will learn about the historical and ecological context of Upper Still Creek watershed and the return of salmon. Please register for this tour by contacting the Burnaby Planning Department at 604-294-7530 or planning@burnaby.ca.

Happy Mother’s Day When kids write about their mom – excerpts from essays about their mothers, written by students in the Creative Writing class, Fridays at Collingwood Neighbourhood House, taught by Rania Hatzioannou “My mom helps me with homework. She is so smart that one day she will be Stephen Hawkings. My mom is amazing.” – Sunny Li, age 9, grade 4 “My mom is amazing, because she cares about me and doesn’t let me play video games that much. She lets me take drum lessons.” – Alexander Zhong, age 9, grade 4

PACIFIC DANCEARTS Vancouver’s Premium Ballet School

Summer Dance Camps From age 3 and up

July 28 - August 1

“My mom is always cheerful. I think she should have a gold medal for being the best mom in the world.” – Kelly Zhang, age 9, grade 4 “She is the smartest mom I ever had. I have never seen a smarter mom. I like to go shopping with my mom to spend more time with her.” – Nick Su, age 9, grade 3 “My mom is funny, hard working, and she takes us on road trips. Her baking is some of the best I ever ate.” – Vincent Hadjioannou, age 12, grade 6 “My mom loves me a lot when I behave good. She wants me to have fun and be smart.” – Julian Wu, age 8, grade 3 “Without my mom, I wouldn’t be doing a lot of things. She teaches me Chinese and signs me up for things to learn. She is terrific.” – Ian Dong, age 11, grade 5

Summer School 2014 From Elementray Level and up

The Joy of Dance

August 11 to 22


Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society is seeking loving and dedicated foster parents who are willing to share their homes and provide foster care for Aboriginal babies, children, and youth in the Greater Vancouver area. We invite Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal applicants. Information Sessions are held on the 1st Tuesday of every month at 6:45pm in our office at 3284 East Broadway, Vancouver. For more information, please email foster@vacfss.com or call 604-216-7447.


8:00 pm

The RCCNews Classified

Centennial Theatre - May 15, 2015 RCCNews

“My mom always asks how my day was, and she tells me how her day was, too. She takes care of me and I love her.” – Diego Gomez, age 10, grad 4 “My mom is wise, amazing, and sometimes a little bit strict. If I had to describe her with one word it would be courageous.” – Tiffany Gong, age 11, grade 6

Email: rccnews-sales@cnh.bc.ca

Neighbourhood Wide Celebrations

May 21 - 31

Art, Music, Performances, FREE FUN!!

Heritage f air with a w h i m si c a l fla i r !

Festival Day

Sat. May 30 11am - 4pm Carleton Elementary Pancake Breakfast Heritage Exhibits

3250 Kingsway, Vancouver

Artisans’ Village BMX Air Prizes and Raffles Food Vendors International Marketplace Music Dance History Collector Cards Horse Squad Heritage Exhibits Cultural Performances Joyces on Joyce Characters

Contact: Collingwood BIA (604)639-4403 info@shopcollingwood.ca www.collingwooddays.com www.facebook.com/collingwooddays Presented by:

Sponsored by:

Lots of Collingwood Days neighbourhood festivities! Sunday


MAY 2 1 – MAY 31

WED. MAY 20 * 10 - 5 p.m. Renfrew-Collingwood Artists on Display. Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 Slocan Street. Exhibition continues to May 25. Free

FRI. MAY 22 * 12 p.m. to Saturday, May 23 12:00 p.m. Love Sounds by Masha Tupitsyn 24 Hour Screening. VIVO Media Arts Centre2625 Kaslo (@ Renfrew Skytrain Station) Free

SAT. MAY 23. * 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Collingwood Neighbourhood House Annex ground-breaking celebrations. Collingwood Neighbourhood House, 5288 Joyce Street

* 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Shadow Puppet Workshop.

Vancouver Storytelling Society. Slocan Park Field House, 2750 East 29th Avenue

* 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Freestyle Rap Alliance Community Jam. Slocan Park Field House, 2750 East 29th Avenue (@ 29th Avenue Skytrain Station) Free

SUN. MAY 24 * 1-4 p.m. Meet the Artists - Renfrew-

TUES. MAY 26 * Noon - 1 p.m. Silver - Ukrainian/Russian Band

Community Lunch, Collingwood Neighbourhood House, 5288 Joyce Street. $5 for seniors, $6.25 for adults, $4 for students, $3.25 for children (<12)

WED. MAY 27 * Surprise visits by the Joyces on Joyce Heritage Performers. Watch for them throughout the neighbourhood!


THUR. MAY 28 * Noon - 1 p.m. Joyces on Joyce Heritage Performers. Luncheon, Collingwood Neighbourhood House 5288 Joyce Street Free

FRI. MAY 29 * 3:30 p.m. Family Film Afternoon, Sir Guy Carlton Elementary, 3250 Kingsway, free event, refreshments available for purchase. Free

* 7 p.m. Athena’s Cabaret, Windermere Secondary

School, 3155 27th Avenue East, refreshments available for purchase. $2.00 admission,


Collingwood Artists on Display . Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 Slocan Street. Free

* 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Collingwood Days Community Festival Day at Sir Guy Carlton Elementary, 3250 Kingsway.

* 1-3 p.m. El Bus de Las 7- On Site Co-op Radio Show with Ramon Flores. Collingwood

SUN. MAY 31 * 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Still Creek Walk, Meet at Swangard

Neighbourhood House, 5288 Joyce Street. Free

Stadium playground beside East parking lot off Kingsway, Burnaby. See http://stillmoon.org/

COLLiNGWOOD DAYS Community Festival

SAT. MAY 30 11am - 4pm at Carlton Elementary (Kingsway AND Joyce)

* check online for more information at


9:00 a.m.- 11:00 a.m.* Pancake breakfast (by donation) 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.* Main Stage- Music and Dance all day! Opening blessing by Wes Nahanee Emcee - Lee Morin Featuring: The Highland Gong Society, Windermere School Choir, Jawani Ka Jhatka, The Zhang Dance Group and lots more FUN FUN FUN! * International Marketplace * Collingwood Heritage Pavilion * Kids Zone activities * Games * Food Court * Artisan Village * vancouver Police Horse Squad * BIA Raffle * Face Painting * Balloon Creations by Bent Air 2:00 p.m.* Watermelon Eating Contest * BMX Airshow 12:30 p.m.,1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Collingwood Days recognizes and honours that the celebrations take place on the traditional territory of the Coast Salish People.


May 2015


Community cultural liaison workers connect newcomers Meet Najia Elacel and Crecien Bencio, Collingwood Neighbourhood House’s new community cultural liaison workers. They help connect newcomers to Canada with settlement services, recreation programs, social activities and other opportunities at CNH or in the community. Life experiences prepared them well As an immigrant woman who fled an abusive marriage, Najia knows the challenges of being a single mother, learning English, making a living and finding her place in Canadian society. Najia faced difficult years after she left her husband. She was fortunate that someone in her housing coop introduced her to the Families Branching Out Program at CNH, a program for multicultural families. As a single mother with two kids, this program was a lifeline for Najia. She started volunteering by helping with food preparation for the program. Over time, Najia’s volunteering at CNH brought recognition of her amazing cooking skills and led to her being hired as CNH’s seniors’ lunch cook. Crecien, whose parents are immigrants and who was shy as a teenager, understands the challenges newcomers face, such as language barriers, isolation and the lack of opportunities for integrating into the community. CNH helped Crecien by connecting him to volunteer opportunities, first in art projects and programs, and later in food security programs. This volunteering eventually led to Crecien becoming a part-time staff member and over time, several paid positions at CNH. Different ways to reach out to newcomers Crecien connects with newcomers in a variety of ways, including using CNH email lists, Facebook posts, and his connections with volunteers, and doing

presentations to various groups. He invites people to participate in CNH and helps match them to relevant programs and services. For example, he recently explained to ESL students how they can volunteer on CNH’s rooftop garden, take photos for CNH’s programs or help cook meals for the community kitchen.

CNH also tries to match people with pathways to employment. It gives them opportunities to become involved in the community and Canadian culture, to receive mentoring, and to access volunteer opportunities to build capacity and job skills, which helps build confidence.

Najia follows a less structured approach to outreach, but she is always focused on explaining CNH’s opportunities to newcomers. She starts conversations naturally, and if she senses that someone might benefit from CNH’s opportunities, she’ll tell them about CNH, no matter where she is. One day while in the sauna at the gym, she even explained to some local women how they could get a Neighbourhood Small Grant to improve their community!

Crecien notes, “Other service providers typically focus on English and job search classes, but these sorts of classes aren’t sufficient to make newcomers feel integrated into or welcome in the community.” CNH draws its strengths from its network of community connections and the relationships it builds. Its approach creates a healthy, welcoming environment and leads to an improved integration process for newcomers.

Crecien and Najia both believe in the importance of helping their neighbours and building community. Crecien values the connections he has made with members of the community, something that he’s reminded of when a senior he’s helped waves to him in the supermarket. It also makes him feel good when he can see in the community the results of the connections he’s helped create.

by Norman Hill

Newcomers are invited to contact Najia or Crecien. They’re happy to help connect people with opportunities!

Crecien and Najia’s life experiences have prepared them well for their new roles Najia Elacel: NElacel@cnh.bc.ca as community cultural liaison workers. Photos by Norman Hill 604-435-0323 Crecien Bencio: CBencio@cnh. bc.ca 604-435-0323

Najia is strongly motivated to reach out to people who need help. She remembers how when she needed help, she didn’t get it at first. She wants to discover other newcomers’ talents, the same way CNH staff discovered her talents, and to connect people to opportunities for sharing their talents and improving their lives. What does CNH have to offer newcomers? In addition to providing settlement services, CNH satisfies newcomers’ needs for recreation, children’s, seniors, family and other programs and gives them a sense of belonging in the community.

Thank you Cindy for18 years of dedication to Collingwood Neighbourhood House April 22, 2015, Collingwood Neighbourhood House held a farewell party for Cindy Ngan, who has been a fixture in the office for 18 years. Thank you, Cindy for your great humour, warmth and friendship over the years. We will miss you. Happy trails! Photo courtesy of Collingwood Neighbourhood House

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mments, questions or co If you have any morabilia or me me so are would like to sh e email us at: contact: send in some old photos, pleas .ca .bc sb @v beaconsfield

“The Jr.BIA was a great experience. We learned a lot. We were able to help others, and it was a great way as good friends to end our high school years.” Emily Ma and Megan Li are two grade 12 students from Windermere Community Secondary School who have been contributing to the Collingwood community through their work in the Collingwood Junior Business Improvement Association (Jr.BIA). Supported by the Collingwood Business Improvement Association, the Jr.BIA constitutes a win/win for both students and local businesses. While students in grades 10 through 12 help support local businesses through many creative initiatives such as free marketing services, they receive in return first-hand experience on what it is to be in business. The team operates on three pillars: connecting youth with the community, supporting small local businesses and building a welcoming community. Their major project of the year was the Vancity High School Case Competition, a business case-study competition held at Windermere school on February 19, 2015. Collaborating with Vancouver City Savings Credit Union and working with the executive branch manager, Angela Lam, the eight teams of high school students from grades 10 to 12 competed in a unique opportunity to challenge their skills from various classes in a real-life business scenario. Teams had under two hours to develop their community project pitch and presented them to judges. The top two teams presented to four Vancity Credit Union judges and an audience of participants and event organizers. The winning team was Project Spirit of Collingwood, led by Ivy Martin-Moore, Michelle Lan, Karan Bharati and Anderson Mok. They were awarded with $200 worth of scholarships from Vancity. The case study and other Jr. BIA experiences are designed to boost selfconfidence, sharpen communication and presentation skills, and give students real-world business experience. They also work with CBIA to produce

CBIA UPDATES COLLINGWOOD DAYS IS HERE! Collingwood Days the Biggest Little Festival in Vancouver. Collingwood Days will be celebrated for one week beginning May 23 and ending May 30 with an all day festival at Carleton Elementary school grounds (Joyce and Kingsway)


EVENT SCHEDULE FOR SATURDAY MAY 30TH 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Pancake Breakfast 11:00 - Opening Ceremonies 11:00 - International Marketplace, Food Court, Kid Zone - Presented by Vancity Credit Union, Artists Village & Heritage Pavilion open 11:30 - 4:00 p.m. - Main Stage Entertainment 12:30, 1:30 & 2:30p.m. - BMX AirShow performances - Presented by G&F Financial Roving performers throughout the event and a special appearance from the Vancouver Police Mounted Horse Unit.

Collingwood Days, the Winter Carnival and Chinese New Year Celebrations. Soon they will have a chance to do short internships with local businesses and be mentored by them. One of the main functions that the Jr.BIA performs for the local business community is to help them with marketing and promotion, particularly the use of social and digital media. “A lot of businesses are owner operated or family-run, so they may not have time to focus on marketing or social media, which our young members do,” says Emily. In this way, the Jr.BIA members connect our local businesses to the community and beyond. May will be a busy month for Emily and Megan. Not only are they in the middle of final exams and getting ready for graduation ceremonies, they also need to get the Jr.BIA ready for Collingwood Days. This is also the month they need to recruit new students for next year’s Jr. BIA. Did they enjoy it? “The Jr.BIA was a great experience. We learned a lot. We were able to help others, and it was a great way for Emily and I as good friends to end our high school years,” says Megan. Members of the Jr.BIA Co-chairs: Emily Ma, Megan Li Human Resources: Michelle Huynh, Jasmine Chau, Jason Chong Operations: Adriel Alama, Shawna Turai Events: Nicholas Yee, Amar Heer Secretary: Jessica Ho Treasurer: Michael Luu Public Relations: Moni Wahid Market Research Directors: Lavina Tam and Angela Ang Marketing Director: Reiza Gabriel

There is something for everyone, come and join your neighbours to celebrate Collingwood’s treasures. WWWCOLLINGWOODDAYS.COM Street Beautification Projects: Banners: There was a delay in the installation of the new spring/summer banners due to the poles getting a fresh new coat of paint. l

Planter Boxes: There will be new planter boxes along Kingsway to brighten up the streets cape. Thank you to Skookum Landscapes. We are looking for businesses to adopt a planter. The new planters will be self watering and will only need a little tender loving care every few days. Follow us on


Twitter and


*This page is sponsored by the Collingwood Business Improvement Association


May 2015


Judy Payne one of Windermere’s secrets to success by Mohini Takhar for assistance and they get Windermere high school does a lot of great things to help students thrive and be successful in all aspects of our lives. Honestly, high school is not the easiest time of a teenager’s life. There`s academics, relationships, extracurriculars and even sports! While balancing all the important things in a student’s life, we tend to feel a little stressed out. Well, more like a lot. Fortunately, Windermere has a variety of places for students to go to receive support, such as tutorial Thursdays, homework club and the resource department. Thursday is the day where blocks are shortened every week so students are able to receive help before or after school. I think this helps students get support in certain areas they are struggling with. Homework club takes place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays where students can go

to receive help after school. The student support assistants (SSAs) are there to circulate around to help students with their academics. The SSAs are also part of Windermere’s Resource Centre. The Resource Centre’s one and only Judy Payne does everything in her power to ensure that her students are getting the resources they need to do their best in everything possible. A short while ago, Payne received a $12,500 grant for Math Academy, which is a program that our grade 8 students use. I decided to have a one-on-one chat with the admirable Payne, not to just discuss the fantastic news but also to get to know her better. “My goal is to change our special education so that we don’t have special ed. Classes, Payne says. “We have places where students can go


Better at Home 家中安享计划 帮助老年人独立自主地生活

Supporting Seniors In Our Community

specialized support but we prefer to have all students be included in every part of the school.” Wouldn’t that be awesome? I think Payne is doing a fantastic job of making it work. So I asked the determined teacher what Math Academy is. I don’t know about Math Academy and you probably don’t know either but Payne and Jeanette Inglis are here to solve the mystery. Inglis is one of the Math 8 teachers and has been using Math Academy for three years. Windermere Resource Centre’s Judy Payne Payne says, “Using the does everything in her power to ensure that Academy of Math has her students are getting the resources they allowed us to identify need to do their best. individual student weaknesses and allow the passes.” Ms. Payne never surrenders! students themselves the I then asked, “What is your numberopportunity to work on what one priority as a resource teacher?” they need to.” Inglis added, She replied,” I really try to have my “The program figures out what door open as much as I can I try to level the student is at and what work with any student who needs different things they need to help.” As you can tell Payne is a very practice and then expect them to hardworking and dedicated teacher! be able to do those skills.” This is exactly what I would use if I Mohini Takhar is a grade 11 Windermere travelled back in time! Lastly, I asked Payne, “What is your number-one thing to do when you’re extremely exhausted?”She responded, “What I do is try to at least get up and move around and at that point it’s just getting up and doing things until the exhaustion

Secondary student and writer-inprogress. “My biggest fear and thrill is public speaking because I strive to inspire people. I was privileged to have the opportunity to speak before three hundred people about myself multiple times on behalf of the Centre for Child Development. Being disabled never holds me back and that’s the best thing about me.”

Renfrew-Collingwood Better at Home provides non-medical support services to promote seniors’ independence. Fees on a sliding-scale based on income; seniors on a low income may be eligible for free service. Free Walking Club 行走俱乐部 Seniors’ Shuttle


Friendly Visiting


Come and cel e b r a t e

Light Housekeeping & 打理轻家务和庭院活儿 Yard Work CNH offers other seniors programs, i.e. seniors’ wellness group, community lunch, yoga, Tai Chi, and more. To learn more, please contact:


Or visit us at 5288 Joyce Street

Suzanne Liddle Sliddle@cnh.bc.ca

Kat Cureton


Better at Home is funded by the Government of British Columbia.

Mother's Day

with us and e n j o y a huge selectio n o f m e n u choices. Serving great h o m e cooked meals everyday.

3684 Lougheed Hwy.




May 2015

The Seniors Connection Join the Monday Fun Day at CNH by Kat Cureton Expect to see more fun programs and activities on Mondayafternoons at Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH). The Forever Young project is coming to an end but this is certainly not the end to exciting intergenerational and intercultural activities. A group of 25 seniors and program staff gathered at CNH on March 16 for a potluck and rousing discussion on new program ideas for Monday afternoons. For close Connie and Eliza invite you to celebrate monthly birthdays and to two decades, a group of seniors play bingo every first Monday of the month at Collingwood have been meeting at CNH for a variety of activities, trips and guest Neighbourhood House. speakers. Sadly several members of this original Seniors Welness So, the original group is very Centre and Collingwood Group have moved away, fallen ill pleased to swing the door wide Neighbourhood House or passed away, and in recent years open to anyone who wants to invite you to participate in the group has shrunk to under 10 join in on the fun. Collectively, the Scooting Seniors event. people. the group decided Monday Scooting Seniors will provide afternoon activities should be for information about the safe The Forever Young project shed people of all ages. One person operation of a mobility light on the many, many seniors said they would even bring their scooter as well as provide an in our community who are looking grandchild, to which the group opportunity to practice driving for engaging daytime activities to replied, “That’s great!” a scooter safely through a get them out of the house. Social course. Join us on Monday, engagement stimulates the mind What are the ideas for the new June 8 from 11 am to 1 pm, and is good for people’s health. As and improved Monday Fun Day beginning at Collingwood one community member shared, for all ages, you ask? Ballroom Neighbourhood House. The “I came three years ago and didn’t dancing, laughter yoga, cooking event will run outdoors on the know anybody. Now I love it and workshops, nutrition seminars, basketball courts in Gaston know lots of people.” various preventive health Park. Lunch will be provided seminars, trips to Steveston, to those who participate in the Another person said, “I live further Buntzen Lake and Bloedel event. FREE but please register away now but still want to continue Conservatory, picnics, painting, by visiting CNH or calling 604coming. It pleases me to no end!” bingo and more dancing! The 435-0323. cost will be $2.50 and include coffee/tea and a nice snack. You can pick up a copy of the monthly schedule from Every first Monday of the the friendly reception staff at month is FREE. We’ll be Collingwood Neighbourhood celebrating birthdays of House, 5288 Joyce Street, or the month with free cake, check it out online: http:// coffee and some dancing. If www.cnh.bc.ca/programs/ you want to stay for bingo, seniors-programs/ You can bring a small prize or $2. also call Kat, the seniors We keep playing until program coordinator, at 604everyone wins a prize or 435-0323 extension 227. She their money back! is currently looking for people who want to help host national We are really excited to Independence Day celebrations tell you about a fun event to honour various countries coming up on Monday, and introduce a variety of June 8: The Collingwood food and traditions to our Community Policing community.

The following is a paid advertisement by Adrian Dix, MLA for Vancouver/Kingsway Congratulations, Gladstone! Led by Head Coach Todd Ablett, the Glastone Secondary Robosavages came in 6th, 7th, and 8th place in the VEX world robotics championships held in Louisville Kentucky. Huge Congratulations! There are now 33 countries with 12,000 teams and over 120,000 students directly involved in vex robotics. With only 25% of teams making the playoffs, and all competing teams having already won a state or national championship, our three Robosavages teams performed incredibly well! I am very proud to call myself the MLA representing Gladstone Secondary School. Housing Troubles? Our office has resources for both landlords and tenants on your rights and responsibilities, available in both English and Chinese text. Please stop by and pick one up. If you’re looking for housing or have recently undergone a difficult transition between residencies, please share your story with us. BC Teachers Institute The Legislative Assembly of BC offers BC teachers a professional development program at the Parliament Buildings in our provincial capital. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2015. Visit www.leg.bc.ca/bcti to apply online. This course includes a meeting with the Speaker of the House, MLAs, senior public officials, and a behindthe-scenes tour of your Parliamentary Buildings. Free Public Access Computer A reminder to those seeking computer access for social assistance applications, BC Housing files, resume creation or housing and job searches: I’ve set up a public computer in my constituency office with quick links to Ministry websites, government services, and community resources. All constituents are welcome to drop by during our office hours (Monday, from 12pm to 7pm, Tuesday to Thursday from 9am to 4pm, and on Friday by appointment). My Constituency Assistants are happy to help with any difficulty. Stay In Touch! My office, located on 5022 Joyce St., is currently staffed with two Constituency Assistants happy to assist with any questions or comments on any provincial or community issues, services or agencies. Please feel free to visit, call me at 604-660-0314 or send an email to adrian.dix.mla@leg.bc.ca.


May 2015


Collingwood Neighbourhood House


CNH focuses on food initiatives

by Norman Hill

Now that we’re moving into the food growing season, Renfrew Collingwood Food Security Institute (RCFSI) food initiatives are picking up! RCFSI works out of CNH’s main location on Joyce Street, but also has activities, initiatives, and partnerships set up in other areas of our neighbourhood. From now until October, volunteers will drop in on Wednesday evenings between 5:00 and 7:00 pm to CNH’s Rooftop Garden. Volunteers can learn about plant varieties and growing techniques, share food and stories about growing food, and connect with their neighbours. By working on the Rooftop Garden, volunteers can also support other CNH initiatives. For example, Rooftop Garden produce is used for the Community Lunch and Community Kitchen programs. Monthly volunteer work parties will be organized for the Norquay Community Learning Orchard, Cheyenne Avenue Gardens, Collingwood Community Gardens, and other local sites. The work parties will include pruning, invasive plant management techniques, and sustainable organic fruit tree maintenance. Norquay Orchard features fruit trees, including cherries, plums, and apples, as well as a range of edible native plants, such as salmon berries, blueberries, and native raspberries. Cheyenne Avenue Gardens offers 29 garden plots with improved accessibility for seniors and people with disabilities. Collingwood Community Gardens is conveniently located beneath the SkyTrain tracks at Joyce Collingwood Station and has 22 garden plots. Anyone interested in volunteering on these food initiatives should contact Stephanie Lim or Jason Hsieh (see below for contact information). If people are interested in doing some personal gardening at Cheyenne or

COMMUNITY LUNCH Collingwood Neighbourhood House invites you to lunch every Tuesday and Thursday. Please note that seniors are served at 12 noon; others are served at 12:10 pm. Full meal prices are $6.25 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for students and $3.25 for children under 12. Items can be purchased a la carte or “to go.”

May lunch menu Tuesday, May 5 Cauliflower soup Turkey Enchilada Salad Brownie Thursday, May 7 Sweet and sour pork with fried noodles Salad Sweet sesame balls Collingwood gardens, they can ask Stephanie or Jason to get on a waiting list for plots. Starting in June, RCFSI will run free food skills workshops twice a month. Topics will include food preservation methods, such as canning, pickling, fermentation, drying, and jam making. People interested in participating must sign up for these workshops as space is limited. RCFSI will be partnering with Renfrew Park Community Association on two initiatives at Renfrew Park Community Centre: canning workshops and a community cooking club. The cooking club will explore how similar staple foods are prepared in different cultures. RCFSI will be working with Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society, the Vancouver Fruit Tree project, and the Renfrew­-Collingwood Aboriginal Youth C.R.E.W. to operate healthy, local food initiatives at the Field House in Norquay Park. There will be cooking demonstrations, fun activities, and celebrations. Further information will be available soon. CNH is excited about its food initiatives. They help spread

knowledge in the community as local residents share through food. They also build on its partnerships with other organizations working to build community and food security. One of the most important things about CNH’s food initiatives is that they create opportunities for local residents—long term residents and newcomers to Canada—to come together around common interests, engage in interesting and fun activities, develop understanding and friendships, and build connections. In this way, food becomes a catalyst for better integrating members of our society and developing a healthy community. For more information on CNH’s food security initiatives, visit http://www. cnh.bc.ca/neighbourhood­stuff­to­do/ foodsecurity/ To register for any food security programs at CNH, contact CNH’s front desk in person or by phone at 604­-435­-0323. For questions on food security initiatives or to sign up as a volunteer, contact Stephanie Lim at 604-435-­0323 ext. 237 or Jason Hsieh at 604-435-­0323 ext. 225.

Tuesday, May 12 Black bean soup Egg salad sandwich Salad Chocolate mousse Thursday, May 14 Shepherd’s pie (meat or vegetarian) Salad Walnut cookies Tuesday, May 19 Corn chowder Roast beef (or eggplant) sandwich Salad Orange cranberry muffin Thursday, May 21 Moroccan chicken with green olives on quinoa Salad Baklava Tuesday, May 26 Mushroom soup Tuna or veggie sandwich Salad Vanilla cupcake Thursday, May 28 Lasagna (meat or vegetarian) Garlic bread Salad Chocolate chip cookies

Share the love: follow us!

CNH’s strength comes from community members. By connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter you can keep up to date on our activities and find out about fun things happening at CNH and in our neighbourhood. LIKE us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cnh.bc.ca This page is sponsored by the Collingwood Neighbourhood House

FOLLOW us on Twitter: @collingwoodnh


May 2015


Come join the parade to a new gathering place in the RenfrewCollingwood neighbourhood! Saturday, May 23, 10 am In late 2017 or early 2018 Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH), on behalf of the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood, will be opening a new multipurpose facility. It will be located in the new development bordered by Boundary Road, Vanness Avenue, Ormidale Street and the Kingsway laneway. “This is one of the most important events in the history of Collingwood Neighbourhood House and of our neighbourhood,” CNH board chair Julie Linkletter said. “As with CNH we’ll be running this facility—our annex— on behalf of everybody living, working and playing in RenfrewCollingwood.” The 10,250-square-foot CNH space will include a children’s room, an art room, a commercialgrade kitchen and a large multipurpose space with a sprung floor, suitable for fitness and dance classes, family dances,

theatrical performances, a community choir and other uses, depending on local residents’ interests. MOSAIC, which provides settlement services for new immigrants, will also be moving its main office into a 23,000-squarefoot space there. It will house MOSAIC’s corporate services and provide community meeting space, settlement and family support, and employment and translation services. “The board and staff of MOSAIC are thrilled to bring complementary and diverse services to the Collingwood community,” MOSAIC executive director Eyob Naizghy said. “I look forward to our contribution to a healthy and inclusive community.” But first there will be a parade and a party! On May 23 at 10 am everybody is welcome to gather at CNH

(5288 Joyce Street) and then join the parade marching over to CNH’s new site at Vanness between Ormidale and Boundary. (MOSAIC’s space will be a little further up the hill, on Boundary Road.) A First Nations elder will bless the site and then there will be speeches followed by the official ground-breaking. Everybody is invited to participate! Please bring a trowel, small shovel, sand shovel or even a big spoon. For the official groundbreaking everybody are welcome to pitch and then smile for the photographer to officially mark the ground-breaking for these new neighbourhood amenities.

Afterwards, the parade will return to CNH for a light lunch. Please keep an eye on CNH’s website (www.cnh.bc.ca) and Facebook page (Collingwood Neighbourhood House (Official)) for updates and further information. Come join the fun on Saturday, May 23 at 10 am at CNH!

    



Special Victoria Day Hours of Operation Pool Sat

May 16


Sun Mon

May 17 May 18

1pm-5pm 1pm-5pm

Fitness CenCentre Area tre 9:30am-4pm 9am-5pm 1pm-5pm 1pm-5pm

11am-6pm Closed

Renfrew Licensed Preschool

Registration - Fri, May 1st

Priority registration is given to siblings and those currently in the program. Forms will be handed out on the day of registration at 6:00am. If you are accepted into the class, an appointed time will be issued for you to return for the orientation, make payments and return completed forms.


Move for Health Day at Thunderbird Community Centre (55+yrs)

Drop by the Community Centre and take part in a Zumba class, tour our Fitness Centre and enjoy some nutritious snacks. Mon 1:00-3:00pm May 11 FREE

Hell’s Gate, Bridal Falls, Othello Tunnel Tour (55+yrs)


May 21


May Flower Luncheon (55+yrs) Wed


May 27

$109/person $9/person

 Creative Dance (3-12yrs)

Does your child love to dance? Bring them to class where their creativity can blossom. We will learn new moves, fun dances and make new friends, all while building confidence, honing our motor control skills and learning to work together. No session on May 18. Mon Apr 12-Jun 15 $48/9 sess 3-5yrs 2:30-3:15pm 6-8yrs 3:30-4:30pm $64/9 sess 8-12yrs 4:30-5:30pm $64/9 sess

Preschool Tumblers (4-6yrs) Tania Lau Children are introduced to the basics of balance, flexibility and strength. Circuits will be created and children will be creatively introduced to a variety of equipment in a safe and fun environment. Tue May 19-Jun 16 $40/5 sess 4-5yrs 4:00-4:45pm 5-6yrs 4:45-5:30pm Cartwheel Kids (6-10yrs) Tania Lau Children are engaged in a variety of different activities to help develop and build balance, strength, agility and flexibility. Children will tumble and twist their way into hours of fun! Tue 5:45-6:45pm May 19-Jun 16 $52.50/5 sess

Hatha Flow Yoga (19+yrs) All levels are welcome. $9.50/drop-in if space. Wed 5:40-6:50pm May 13-Jun 10

Ana Yu $40/5 sess

Hatha Yoga (19+yrs) Hisae McMichael $11/Adults, $10/Seniors - drop-in if space. Thu 7:15-8:30pm May 14-Jun 11 $46.25/5 sess  Yogalates (19+yrs) Espirito Santo Mauricio No experience necessary. $9.50/drop-in if space. Tue 6:00-7:00pm May 19-Jun 16 $40/5 sess Chair Yoga (55+yrs) Bill Mereer Chair yoga requires no prior yoga experience. All you need to do is come with loose-fitting, comfortable clothes and a willingness to improve your body and mind. Tue 3:00-4:00pm May 26-Jun 23 $30/5 sess

Wibit Inflatable Day

Saturday, May 16, 2015 2:00–4:00pm

Come and join in the fun! *Regular admission rates apply


May 2015

In honour of Poh Poh Within the past year, since my father had passed in the fall of 2013, I have been to five funerals. They were mostly all elderly, had lived full and happy lives, and some even lived long enough to see greatgrandchildren. Most recently, I lost my maternal grandmother. Her funeral was held on a Saturday. It was a clear and sunny morning. She had four sons, three daughters, 16 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. She passed on a Sunday. She was 88. My maternal grandmother, Poh Poh, was not the grandmother that cared for me and walked me to school. She was the grandmother I saw on weekends and holidays when my mother had some free time to go for a visit or gather for a meal at a popular Chinese restaurant on Fraser Street in the 1980s where two of her adult sons worked as cooks. So I can’t say I knew her well or even that she greatly influenced my life. But still, she was my mother’s mother and I could see my mother’s face in hers. Mom is her second child, the eldest of her three daughters, and I am her fourth grandchild. My memories only go as far back as when I was about four. When I think about my Poh Poh, I think



by Susan Wong

of the large family gatherings, overcrowded tables full of people laughing and talking, and marvellous grand meals. And when I say marvellous, I mean really marvellous. We were by no means a well-off family, but when it came to meals with my Poh Poh it was never short of a lobster or two. Poh Poh was widowed in her 50s when my maternal grandfather, Gong Gong, became sick and passed away when I was in about grade 3, so that would have been the early 80s. After that, Poh Poh was never quite the same. My memories also entail visits to three houses she lived in over the years with the family. A small red house in East Vancouver; then they moved to a larger mustardcoloured Vancouver special and, finally, a grand three-level house in South Vancouver. She helped her sons with their families when they went to work. She was a good and proud grandmother. Whenever we went for visits, Poh Poh always greeted us with a big smile. She was glad she got to see us all. It made her extremely happy when the whole family came together. The family gatherings during summer holidays resonate with me the most, as it meant her eldest son and his wife came out from Calgary with my two cousins. We would go to White Rock beach and collect mini crabs. Later, the few of us kids had our own mini crab derby races on the back deck of the house.

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As each of her adult children married and had children of their own, our meals got bigger and bigger, and we needed more tables with larger and larger table tops. It was truly a fun and busy time. Poh Poh was happy. Poh Poh’s main goal and hope were to see her children grow up, have families and be well established. Sometimes the expressions of her intentions were unconventional, offputting, or maybe misunderstood; but

Poh poh (in middle in the Chinese collar dress) had three daughters and four sons. deep down inside it was simply just that, like any parent, she wanted the best for her family. What I’ve learnt over the past year and half, while mourning and healing from the loss of my own father, is not to let the times that weren’t so happy and marvellous be what defines our memories. Inevitably, as people grow older, they change. Some happier, some wiser, some gentler and some lonelier. We don’t know their lifetime of private and personal experiences or struggles. Until we walk in the shoes of someone changing, aging, deteriorating and easing towards the latter part of their lives we will have no idea what it truly feels to have your loved ones pass, your body change, your mind clouded, your mobility restricted—to see your life pass before you.

mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and great grandmother. Rest in peace Poh Poh, say hello to Gong Gong for us. We will see you again. With love, Ah-Ping

Poh Poh was full of life and energy, her happiness shone from her face at birthdays, weddings, baby celebrations and holiday gatherings. I remember her smile, her laugh and her soft, black, curly hair. She had a strong character and was an extremely Poh Poh at Susan Wong’s tea ceremony independent and determined woman. She was a daughter, sister, on her wedding day

Profile for Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

Renfrew-Collingwood Community News May 2015  

May 2015 news stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood in East Vancouver. Local news on events, people, history, eating out, recre...

Renfrew-Collingwood Community News May 2015  

May 2015 news stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood in East Vancouver. Local news on events, people, history, eating out, recre...

Profile for rccnews