At our staff professional development day on June 8, we celebrated the careers of Thuy Truong and Anna Gregus, who are both retiring this year.
Gerry Mills, Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia Director of Operations, who has known and worked with Thuy for almost 20 years, thanked Thuy and spoke fondly of their time together:
“Thuy joined the organization in 1992. I remember her interview. It was her first interview in Canada. She blew us away in the interview and a little while later when I came out she was still there, waiting to be picked up. I told her she had the job and she gave me the biggest hug and then asked if she should have done that.
That was the beginning of an amazing 19 years working for this organization. Thuy sees 20 year old kids on the street, some kids who have their own kids, who still recognize her. We tried to do a quick count and although not accurate, we believe that in the last 19 years Thuy has welcomed, cared for, nurtured and loved around 654 immigrant children. And knowing Thuy as I do, I bet she could come up with the names of most of them. She has such a great memory and has helped me out on so many occasions with “Thuy, what was the name of that woman who ….?”. She has survived three moves, hundreds of fire drills, countless bus trips with the children, bus trips where I would look around and before children could get bored she would open one of her bags and be walking up and down the bus giving them books or toys to play with. That was Thuy – always prepared, always on, always thinking of the children.
Many of you don’t need to imagine this – you’ve lived it – but imagine coming to a new country, unable to speak the language, you have a baby, a small child, you have never left this child with anybody and you know you’re going to be asked to do this. You don’t know the language, the culture, the food. Will they look after your child? Will they be kind to her? And then you’re greeted by Thuy who in her inimitable manner with a huge smile and such an honest loving and caring way says – “Hi, I’m Thuy. Welcome to our Daycare. Please come in.”
Like others who have been with the organization for so long, Thuy grew with the organization and the organization grew with her. She was more than an early childhood educator and she did so much more than what was on her job description. She painted walls, she cleaned when we moved, she filled in wherever we needed her in the last 19 years. Thuy has worked with so many different and wonderful people but she has been the rock, the foundation, the living memory of our Childcare Centre and we are going to miss her enormously.
On a personal note, my children still remember the incredible kindness that Thuy has shown to them over so many years and my son on more occasions that you would think possible, talks with such passion about Thuy’s spring rolls, hundreds of which she has supplied him with over so many years., hundreds of which he refused to share.
Thuy, your quiet calm, your incredible instincts for what is best for the children, your thoughtful nature are an inspiration. I want to thank your children – David, Leanne and Robert for sharing you with 654 other children and wish you all the very best as you take this oh so very deserved rest.”