A Real Sense of Community
I traveled many parts of the world during my career as a welder and pipefitter before coming to Edmonton in 2008. And now I’m happy to call this place home.
I’m originally from Madras in south India. I worked my trade in the construction field for 27 years before moving to Edmonton. It has been a great career; I’ve had the opportunity to work in Singapore, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and other Asian countries, as well as in the United States where I worked for seven years before moving north.
The Plumber and Pipefitters Union Local 488 provided me with a job opportunity here in the city, and after they verified my previous experience and I took a language test, I immigrated. My wife and young son then joined me in Edmonton. It was a big shock for them and my wife was pregnant at the time. But we had a community right away here in Mill Woods where I bought a house. There is a large Indian population here. Our neighbor on one side is Canadian, another is Indian, and another is from the Philippines. They help my wife when I’m working in Fort McMurray. We also go to the Ganapati Temple, a Hindu temple close to our home. That gives us a real sense of community—Canadian people attend the temple also. The location of our home is wonderful—we are close to South Edmonton Common and Mill Woods Town Centre and there is a bus stop right outside.
My youngest daughter was born here in Edmonton and she’s a real Canadian! My son and daughter aren’t afraid of the cold and snow. They love it. We speak Tamil at home and they are also learning English. We feel very much at home here.
Working with the union has been excellent. Because of my industry experience the local 448 sought me out and we’ve formed a good partnership. The work I do is with my hands—pipefitters are very important in oilfield construction. Without pipefitters and welders there is no processing, for the oil needs to flow.
If I can say anything to others seeking to live in Edmonton, it is this: This is the best country in the world to live in. When you come, make sure you have real skills and a good knowledge of English. Don’t be scared to work hard. The safety standards are excellent and so is the work environment. This country provides good wages and excellent training, and living in Alberta’s capital city, I have found many career opportunities.
Sam Vaitheeswaran traveled the world for his career before choosing Edmonton as home for him and his family. He now has a fulfilling career that he thanks the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 488 for. His son and daughter are real Canadians and he is proud that he can incorprate his traditions from India alongside his new Canadian ones.