30 Year Strong Friendship!
I started working in the 911 Centre in April 1981. A couple of my co-workers were talking about their “Litle Sisters” and I wanted to know all about the program. I requested to be matched with a girl who didn’t have a mother (that was important to me at the time). I was soon matched with a little girl who was 10 years old – her name was Chau, and she was from Vietnam.
Having escaped from Vietnam with a group of families, Chau being the middle child was chosen to come to Canada with her father. She was the perfect size to fit in the bottom of the boat where the children were hiding. It was a rough sail for the families as they had to endure the weather, and being robbed while at sea by pirates.
Chau needed the guidance and mother-figure while new to Canada. Chau’s mother, older sister and younger brother were still in Vietnam. It would be four years later when Chau’s family would be able to travel to Canada.
I will always remember the day when meeting Chau for the first time in March 1982. She loved McDonald’s and because it was located conveniently across from where she and her father lived – Wendy set up lunch at her favourite place. I remember vividly walking down Goyeau Street and spotting them on the corner. My caseworker holding a little girl’s hand skipping along smiling and chatting. We had lunch in McDonald’s and instantly bonded.
Although the Big Sister’s program suggested that you spend time with your “Little Sister” once per week, we became inseparable. The year flew by quickly and we had so many Special moments that we shared together.
30 years later, we always enjoy the look on everyone’s face when we introduce each other as “Big and Little Sister”! I was part of Chau’s wedding and she was my Maid of Honour when I married in Hawaii. I am a proud “Aunt” to her two beautiful sons and can’t picture my life without them.
Chau has grown into an amazing woman and I can’t be more proud of her – she has worked hard and became a Pharmacist and then became a Doctor.
-Lou-Anne Hunt, Former Big Sister