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Pre-Computer Era: Vietnam War and Minister Joe

pre-computer era: Tebbutt was one of just a few dozen Canadian immigration officials sent after the Vietnam War by then prime minister Joe Clark's Conservative government to remote locales in Southeast Asia with the objective of bringing tens of thousands of Vietnamese boat people to Canada as refugees, according to CBC. After the fall of Saigon in 1975 to the Communist Viet Cong, there was a mass exodus of people out of the country. From there, we loaded ourselves and the cases of files this was pre-computer era onto a fishing boat, and sailed an hour or so to the refugee camp on Pulau Bidong island. Ron Atkey, Canada's immigration minister of the era, called it the largest and most ambitious resettlement effort in Canada's history, and many believe it inspires today's program for Syrian refugees. Margaret Tebbutt was one of a handful of female Canadian visa officers on Pulau Bidong, Malaysia, in 1979. The story of the Vietnamese boat people and the role of Canadian immigration officers has also been made into a Heritage Minute, released last week. ( As reported in the news.