Julia Yu

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Sun, 2011-05-01

Julia Yu

I was fortunate enough to spend a few years living in China. Julia Yu immediately reminded me of the fine qualities of the Chinese people. Dedication. Hard work. Simplicity. A drive to do better and create a better life for family. Commitment to friends, family, country and culture.

Right away you can tell that Julia has drive and is committed to making the best life for herself and her family. You can also tell who her priority is: Meet at 1pm on Tuesday? OK, but not too late because I have to go pick up my kids at school.

Julia is humble. Could you describe your success story? I don’t think I’m successful – I’m just a normal person doing what I need to get along with life.

Julia comes from Dandong city in Liaoning province in the North East part of China, right on the border with North Korea.  With just under three quarters of a million people, Dandong is a small city by Chinese standards.  It’s quite a change coming to a town of forty thousand, so why make the move?

Before coming to Campbell River she lived in Vancouver for three years.  However, the substantial immigrant population in Vancouver left Julia feeling lost in the immigrant community there.  Moving to Campbell River has breathed fresh air into her life as a Canadian.  Here she feels connected to the community and the people of it.

In Vancouver it was easy to get stuck in the immigrant community and feel isolated.  By contrast, here she can connect with locals more easily and as a result feels much more happy with life here.

Julia likes Campbell River because she feels the people are nice and the small community creates a feeling of being in a family.  It is much easier to feel closer to other people.  She finds it easier to find her way around and easier to get to know everyone.

There is a strong sense of inclusiveness in the community, and Julia has felt comfortable to participate in community events such as the Community Dialogue at the Maritime Heritage Center, Inclusive Leadership Adventure, and community parades such as Canada Day, Remembrance Day, and the Annual Walk Away from Racism.

The small community of Campbell River has also given Julia a great opportunity to improve her English.  Julia finds it much easier to practice and improve English in the community because of the easy-going nature of the residents.  As well, the lack of a substantial immigrant population has forced her to learn to rely on her own language abilities.  Julia emphasizes that she has greatly improved English ability because of coming here and she is very proud of that fact that she can now speak two languages, while her friends back home still only speak one.

Julia loves the environment of Campbell River, especially the trees, mountain and sea.

In Chinese culture, mountains, water and trees are often referenced in poetry and literature as comprising the ideal habitat. Paintings with mountains, water and trees serve to further promote the dream and mystery of such places.

It would seem that living in a place like Campbell River, with its abundance of rich evergreen forests, vast green seas and majestic snow-capped peaks, is like living in a dream land.

Julia is a fully qualified and experienced high school science teacher, but unfortunately Julia has been unable to find work in her profession.  Language ability is still a barrier, but so is ourcountry’s acceptance of her education and experience.  But being in such an environment, with its kind people and peaceful atmosphere has inspired Julia to volunteer as a tutor with the Campbell River Christian School.

Julia and her family have really accepted life here and consider Campbell River and Canada to be their home. She sincerely hopes to be able to use her skills as a teacher but for now is content to volunteer as a tutor.

She sees that Campbell River has much opportunity in the future. Its growing population can only mean more opportunity and new ideas. She wonders why we export so many of our raw materials. All the products in the stores are made in China, but made from our resources, she observes. Why not build furniture here?  We have the wood and the carpenters. We have our own unique native-influenced art. It’s time for Canada to start using its skills, not just give the world its resources.

I’m sure that Julia Yu is going to help us figure out how to do that.

Interviewed and prepared by the volunteer Mr. Dave Brown

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Fun Fact

From 1972-1986 the image on the Canadian $5 Bill was a boat called the BCP45. Built in 1927 and after 68 years of service, was restored and is on display inside the Maritime Heritage Centre.

Alternative education uses ways of teaching that are not mainstream. They are often more flexible and community based such as home schooling and alternate schools.

The Great Earthquake In 1946 Vancouver Island experienced an earthquake which is Canada's largest historic onshore earthquake. Fortunately it caused minimal damage. Learn more!

Strathcona Park was British Columbia’s first Provincial Park and was established in 1911. 

Vancouver Island boasts some of the best caving in the world offering thousand of caves. A few magnificent ones are the Upana Caves, Little Huson Cave Park and Horne Lake Caves.

Vancouver Island is home to some of the largest trees in the world such as the Sitka Spruce tree. The largest Sitka ever recorded stands in the Carmanah Provincial Park. Learn more!

The tallest waterfall in Canada, Della Falls, is located a few hours from Campbell River in Strathcona Provincial Park. The waterfall is fed by Della Lake which sits among mountain Big Interior, Mt. Septimus, and Nine Peaks.

The Discovery Pier was built in Campbell River in 1987 and was Canada’s first salt water fishing pier. It extends 150 feet from shore and is 600 feet long also making it the longest pier in Canada.

The Tyee Club of BC began in 1924 with a group of anglers returning to Campbell River each year in pursuit of the elusive "Tyee" (a coastal First Nations word meaning "chief") which is a Chinook salmon 30 pounds or larger. The largest Tyee caught in 2010 was a 54 pounds! http://www.tyeeclub.org/

In 1896 we got the name ‘Salmon Capital of the World’ when a First Nations guide took Sir Richard Musgrave fishing. He caught a 70lb Chinook and wrote about it in a magazine. Large Tyee Salmon are still caught today. http://www.sonoraresort.com/pdf/articles/comoxValleyRecord_sept2010.pdf

The H.M.C.S. Columbia ship is now an artificial reef and fantastic dive site just off the coast of Maude Island near Campbell River. The 366 foot ship was sunk June 20th 1996.

To celebrate 10 years of twinning with our sister city Ishikari, Japan, we were given a Torii Gate. A Shinto tradition, the gate recognizes a special location. It is located in Sequoia Park across from the museum. Our gift to Ishikari was a totem pole carved by renowned artist Bill Henderson.

Ripple Rock, a famous rock in Seymour Narrows sunk 120 boats, was blown up in 1958 and holds the record for the world’s largest non-atomic blast. Its destruction is still considered a marvel of engineering.

Look for the gorgeous carvings located outside of Campbell River businesses. The carvings, created at the annual Shoreline Arts Chainsaw Carving Competition, have been adopted by local business for display. Read about “Octy,” the carving that started it all! http://www.crshorelinearts.ca

Visit ‘Logger Mike’, a famous landmark. Originally placed atop a Cedar pole above the main bus stop in 1984 he represents the logging industry. The bus stop has since been relocated and a Spirit Square was built around the Logger Mike’s pole. He now sits atop his ‘new’ 460 year old Cedar pole.

Look for beautiful hand painted banners on street light poles around town on display from May to October. Since 1992, The Arts Council has partnered with local schools, groups, First Nations, artists, and the community to create Campbell River's unique banners.

"Lest We Forget"- The Veteran’s Memorial Cenotaph rests in the Spirit Square. It remembers those who laid down their lives in World Wars. 

You can visit the 50th Parallel Marker along the SeaWalk. The Marker was originally placed in 1975 by the Rotary and a time capsule was buried underneath it. The capsule was made from a saw blade from the old Raven Mill. A new marker was put in place in 2007 but the time capsule was never found.

Orcas, known as Killer Whales, are actually dolphins and not particularly violent. Orcas are black and white and up to 26 feet long. They are classified into pods, the local pod is called J-pod and has around 29 Orcas. Some of them are thought to be around 100 years old! http://www.orcanetwork.org

Salmon Capital of the World! The waterways of the Pacific North-West region are funneled into the Discovery Passage. Marine life must pass through this passage during each tide cycle and the turbulence from these powerful tides stirs up nutrients which causes feeding frenzy.

Road Ethics- If you see or hear an emergency vehicle such as police, ambulance or fire truck with sirens or lights flashing, immediately yield to the vehicle by pulling over to the side of the road and coming to a complete stop, you can be fined if you fail to do this.

In June of 2008 the Mercer Report ranked Vancouver 4th in the world for the cleanest air! Here in Campbell River the air is even cleaner as we have a smaller population, fewer cars and less industrial pollution.

British Columbian communities often win awards for having the best tap water in the world!

Vancouver Island has what is known as an ‘Oceanic Climate.”

Look for First Nations carved Totem Poles located throughout downtown Campbell River.

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