Sam Chu

Saanich teen turns tide with maritime work

Lambrick greets guests, handles cash and takes the occasional walkabout at the Maritime Museum of B.C.

Sam Chu greets guests, handles cash and takes the occasional walkabout at the Maritime Museum of B.C.

Two years ago, the Lambrick Park secondary student stumbled into a volunteer gig at the Bastion Square destination simply because it sounded interesting. Now he’s the longest-serving youth volunteer, a group that tends to ebb and flow more than the veterans.

“I saw a newspaper ad and I thought it was interesting so I handed in my resumé,” he says.

In the time he’s been at the museum, he’s worked his way up to a position rarely offered to teens because of the heavy responsibility that comes with it.

“Sam evolved into (working in) the visitor centre,” says Jillan Valpy, visitor services and volunteer co-ordinator.  “He’s worked in a lot of different areas of the museum.”

Chu started behind-the-scenes alongside the curator as an assistant, then worked with the programs co-ordinator developing activities for kids. Then Valpy suffered a shortage in volunteers available to man the visitors centre and admissions area, a very public and demanding job.

“That’s a big role,” Valpy says. “For a high school student it’s a big responsibility. You be the tourist guide, because people want to know how to get around Victoria.”

But his calm thoughtfulness proved perfect for the position, and Chu has proven himself capable.

“He’s very dutiful and effective, but he does it in a subtle, quiet way, and people appreciate that,” Valpy says. “He’s reliable, dedicated and committed.”

His professional approach is a “very rare quality for a person of his age,” the volunteer co-ordinator adds.

“He takes it very seriously. He’s made a commitment to be a volunteer at the museum and he treats it like it’s a job.” Next month, Chu will reach the two-year mark as Maritime Museum volunteer.

Perhaps inspired by his work in the Greater Victoria community, this year Chu felt a need to also give back to his school community. Already strong on the academic front, Chu added participating in student council to his workload.

“For Grade 12, I realized I should probably be more involved in school. It’s never too late,” he says. “I’ve been a lot more involved, and I think it’s a responsibility of a student to be active in their school, to give back.”

He’s an active member of the school’s leadership program, heading up courses or groups on larger projects.

“Right now we’re in the process of planning a spring fair for the community,” he says.

In November, he and classmate Eric Mar organized a school talent show that raised $3,000 to go to school-related activities, such as sports team travel or field trips that some students can’t afford. At Christmas, he could be found participating in a food drive for the Mustard Seed Food Bank, handing out flyers to homes in his neighbourhood and returning later to collect donations of food and clothing.

“(Chu is) one of those really organized, thoughtful kids. He does everything without a whole bunch of fanfare,” said Lambrick vice-principal Joan Thain. “He’s not boisterous and loud and stand-out, but if you need a job done and want it done thoroughly he’s the one.”

Valpy holds Chu to a similar standard. Despite his youthful age, the 17-year-old is a dedicated staffer and just as effective and smart as the veteran volunteers.

“He’s become very knowledgeable about the museum and the exhibits and he’s able to talk to people about the exhibits,” Valpy says. “He’s interested in history. He does a little bit of walking around the museum and chatting with people.”

Chu plans to spend time at the Maritime Museum again this summer, helping guide locals and tourists from the visitor’s centre or operating the historic birdcage elevator.

 

“Sam has always been really good about that,” Valpy says. “He’s always willing and capable to just roll up his sleeves and help out wherever he’s needed.”

 

An ear for music

Sam Chu is also an accomplished musician. He recently completed his Grade 8 piano and theory requirements and is now working on Grade 9.

“He has always been a respectful, intelligent and dedicated student with a talent for music,” says his piano teacher, Jenny Anderson. “(He’s) an absolute pleasure to teach.”

Chu has performed in numerous recitals and completed many piano and theory exams. More than a decade into his piano passion, he enjoys jamming with friends and playing during the semi-annual concert at school.

“I like music, making the music and listening to it,” he says.

 

Just Posted

Saanich Mayor says ‘no costs asked of municipality’ for proposed film studio

Mayor Fred Haynes made that comment after questions from watchdog group

RCMP confirm foul play in death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

Police believe crime an isolated incident

Researchers head out from Sidney to explore Canada’s largest underwater volcano

The Explorer Seamount is as large as Greater Vancouver and full of previously undiscovered species

Police seek witnesses after man assaulted at Central Saanich bus stop

Man found Saturday on Keating X Road remains in serious condition at Victoria General Hospital

RCMP identify Sidney bank robbery suspect, believe he is still on Vancouver Island

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Dashcam video captures moment Victoria cyclist struck

Police seeking cyclist captured in video

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Rare white ravens spotted again in mid-Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

Most Read