In their own words – reminiscing with alumni
Milias Halim, Civil Engineering, Class of 1976:
“My passion for Canada and Canadians began with my acceptance at summer school at the University of Manitoba in 1972. Raised in Indonesia, the province of Manitoba was really unknown to me at the time. Imagine my surprise when I fell in love with Manitoba! The population of Manitoba is as diverse as its physical environment; it is a rich blend of people of all origins and ancestries. The people are warm and very hospitable and welcomed me with open hearts. Manitoba is situated at the very heart of the continent, in the center of Canada. As you travel through the province, you can see the landscape change from rolling hills to fields of waving grain; from rushing rivers to a huge in land sea (where I saw my first polar bears!), from the bright city lights of Winnipeg to northern tundra and unspoiled wilderness.
Like many of my classmates at the University, I made a lot of Canadian friends and those friendships were long lasting until this day. I treasure the visits of Canadian friends and their families and enjoy receiving them in my home.
Much of what I have done in my life I can attribute to the fine education I received at the University of Manitoba. In 2002, I was able to give something back with a contribution to new research facilities for the Faculty of Engineering.
When the tsunami hit Aceh in 2005, I accompanied the Canadian Ambassador to Aceh to witness the signing of the MOU between the Aceh Reconstruction Authority (BRR) and the Canadian Embassy. I was then invited by Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd. to visit British Columbia with the possibility of using Canadian
prefabricated low cost wooden-housing technology that was earthquake resistant. The visit was successful and we were awarded a contract to build ten units with an architectural design resembling local traditions. The initial models were accepted and we were asked to build 200 more units, then another 350 – all with materials coming from beautiful British Columbia!
Thank you Manitoba, and thank you to the University of Manitoba. Perhaps the best tribute I can give the province is that two of my sons also graduated from the Faculty of Engineering, having studied in the same hallowed halls I did.”