Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Amazing women (Winnifred Paktong of Winnipeg, Canada)

I've wanted to write short blogs about ordinary yet amazing women for awhile now. Here's the first:

Born in 1912, Winnipeg was Winnie's home for the first 24 years, then in 1936 her father took her to China to arrange a marriage to a wealthy Chinese architect she had never met.

After the Nanking Massacre (1937-38) in which Japanese soldiers murdered ~300,000 Chinese, she and her husband started over in French Indochina and in the1950s fled to Hong Kong to escape the Viet Cong insurgency (start of Vietnam War that ended in 1975).

Rather than return to China as her husband wanted, Winnie did the unthinkable: She divorced her husband and returned to Winnipeg in 1955, as a single mother with 5 children and no money nor skills. 

She supported the family with a sewing job in a garment factory. Eventually, she saved enough money to buy a house. Her eldest girl became a nurse, one an academic, and another raised children of her own. Her eldest boy started a construction firm and her youngest son became a civil servant. 

The baby of the family, son Alec (age 68):
“When you realize how much she gave up for us when we were kids, all the hardships she went through for us – as a family we are now five generations in Canada.”  
“Without my mother, none of us would be here. We would not have had the opportunities we have had in Canada. Being born in Winnipeg was a godsend. My mother has led a remarkable life.”
Remarkable woman, who sacrificed much and contributed to the Canadian mosaic.

1 comment:

  1. Joyce4:53 PM

    Hello. What an honour to have my grandma Winnie as your first "amazing woman". Thanks so much for spreading her story. I think she's amazing too!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.