The "Ting" family originated from China. Our father, Boonma, is the fourth son to Koon Seng and Jua Kgeol, both from Chow JO, China. Koon Seng is well known for his Chinese sausage, "Gong Chiang" and BBQ duck. Boonma was born on October 5, 1931 in Khon Kaen, Thailand.
Our mother, Dang("Red"), was the third daughter to Lim Pai and Nu La. Lim Pai brewed wine and ran a convenience store. Dang was born on June 6, 1936 in Vientiane, Laos.
Dang and Boonma never completed their junior high education. Dang finished her grade 2, while Boonma finished his grade 4. At 17, Boonma started his first job as a labourer, which lasted about 1 year. For the next eight years, Boonma worked for Ah Luao Jeg, who introduced his niece, Dang, to him. They quickly fell in love. Dang, 18, married Boonma, 23. They gave birth to a twin, who passed away at a very early age. Altogether, they have 10 wonderful children, 6 boys and 4 girls. We lived in the capital of Laos, Vientiane. Our native language is Laotian/Chinese.
In 1959, age 28 and with three small children, Boonma got arrested and jailed for 4-1/2 months for the possession of a firearm. The gun belonged to a neighbour, but the authority did not believe him. Interrogation took place with a rifle held to his head.
In 1964, Boonma worked in the theater. In 1966, a big flood hit Vientiane. In 1968, Boonma had a small wire of gold lucky charm embedded in his left biceps. This was to protect him from any harm.
In 1971, Seng, Boonma's eldest son, went to Taiwan to continue his high school education. In 1973, Seng moved to Japan because of better opportunities. In 1977, Seng got arrested for illegal entry and was jailed for 6 months. Japanese authority could not depot him back to Laos because his family no longer lived there.
In 1975, many of Boonma's children[Suchada, Leng, Huat(James), Ngim(Kim), and Huang(Andy)] moved to Thailand. Kim and Andy stayed with their uncle Siam Jeg, Boonma's older brother. Leng and James worked as laborer at various locations. Kim helped uncle in the kitchen to prepare food for the market everyday after school and on weekends. Andy often helped out with sweeping the floors. Kim would tell bedtime stories to Andy to help him fall asleep.
On the morning of August 12, 1976, a fallen hydro pole knocked Boonma unconscious as he was returning home on a bicycle. He was in a coma for 1 day. Since then, Boonma could not lift his arm past his shoulder without experiencing pain. In 1990, Boonma had undergone accu-pressure treatment to relieved his pain. Today, he is able to lift his arm above his shoulder with little or no pain.
On October of 1977, the rest of the family moved to a refugee camp in Nong Kai, Thailand. Boonma, Dang, Huy(Eric), Cheuan(Jen), Heng(Eng), and Kiak lived in a small hut. Dang sold small items such as coals, cigarettes, shampoos, and candies to the locals. Andy later joined his family in 1978. In November of 1979, our family were tranfered to another refugee camp in Bankok, awaiting immigration status.
We moved to Canada on February 18, 1980. At the time, Boonma decided that we needed a unique surname. He renamed "Ting" to "Tingchaleun", pronounced "Ting-ja-learn". "Chaleun" is Thai and it means prosperity. We were sponsored by a group of wonderful church families in Belleville, Ontario. Today, most of us live in and around Toronto.
We still have our older sister, Suchada, who lives in Bhan Pai, Thailand. We also have our aunts and uncles in Thailand, Laos, France, and the USA. Our favorite aunt is Hui Mui Soom, who lives in Chula Vista, San Diego.
Our beloved mother, Dang, passed away on April 22, 1977 from ovarian cancer. Boonma now has 11 grand children. The oldest is "A" in Bhan Pai, Thailand and the youngest is Thomas in Guelph, Ontario. "A" earned a two years scholarship to study her Masters in Chemical Engineering in Bankok, Thailand.