Heinrich Metzger is June’s Community Champion from Respect Works Here, an inititiave of the Social Planning Council of the North Okanagan. (photo submitted)

Call for adventure leads couple ‘home’

Heinrich Metzger is the June Community Champion, presented by Respect Works Here - an initiative of the Social Planning Council of the North Okanagan

The monthly Community Champion feature is submitted by Respect Works Here, which is an initiative of the Social Planning Council of the North Okanagan. It is also the host agency for the Local Immigration Partnership Council and the Thompson Okanagan Respect Network.

When Heinrich Metzger and his wife Claudia Mueller moved to Vernon in 2011, they were on an adventure, following his dream of living in a new country, outside of Germany. Well established and successful in their town of Bielefeld, just between Dortmund and Hanover, they decided to uproot themselves, sell everything and start over again in Vernon.

“We had been to Canada several times,” explains Metzger, his happiness warmly evident in his voice. “We fell in love with this nice country and the people.”

With the decision made to immigrate, they applied to Canadian Immigration and it took two years for the approval to come through. Then they had to move quickly as the approval stipulated that they must land in Canada within six months. They made it in time, but they had to return to Germany for a short time to finalize the sale of things and to complete their obligations there.

On settling in Vernon, they felt welcomed immediately with new neighbours quickly becoming good friends. It seems that Canadian people have probably made the biggest impression on Metzger.

He references the impact and difference they have made to his experience frequently.

It took Metzger only a year for Vernon to become home, and although a bit longer for his wife, they are both settled now.

Metzger credits the Vernon and District Immigrant and Community Services Society with a key part of their settlement by offering support to newcomers, especially through language classes.

“This is one thing that other countries could learn from Canada,” he says. “How to treat immigrants or how to get them settled.”

Once he felt confident in his language skills, Metzger began the recertification process for his structural engineering credentials. After two years, he received his Canadian professional designation and could start working here. Through his connections at the Kalamalka Rotary Club, Metzger learned of a local engineer, Paul Fillipi, who had been looking for some time for someone to take over his client base and look after them.

It was a great connection to make and the two engineers have been working together very well, with Fillipi phasing into retirement and Metzger, stretching into taking on more of the clients.

“He is such a nice guy. He is not selfish – he gave me his books, and all I need,” says Metzger.

“He still helps me if I have questions. And this is one thing that I love here too – I found that the people here are far more friendly or as we would say, warm-hearted, than in Germany.”

For Metzger, it is evident that he is “all in” and excited to call Vernon home. The call for adventure was answered in the most delightful way and he is raring to give back to the community that so warmly welcomed him.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Heavy rain in Okanagan results in slowest start to fire season in four years

119 hectares of land burned so far this year, compared to 991 ha in 2019, and 3,835 ha in 2018

Lake Country mine makes way for industrial project

Council holds a special meeting to rezone property

Water floods Vernon skate park, playground

Polson Park remains closed following Tuesday storms

Lumby man gives back for Canada Day

Food packages given away to those living on the streets in Vernon

Fond farewell to retiring Vernon teachers

Special socially-distant ceremony thanks St. James teachers

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Dog rescued from rocky ledge in Summerland

Penticton Search and Rescue members perform high angle rescue

Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River chinook stocks

The Nation wants to partner with DFO to rebuild and recover the stocks

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

In photos and video: Colourful Canada Day parade rolls through Sicamous

Patriotic procession allows community to celebrate together while maintaining distance

Northbound lane of Coquihalla closed after vehicle incident near Hope

A northbound lane is closed just north of the Great Bear Snowshed, according to DriveBC

Two rescued from tipped sailboat in Okanagan Lake near Kelowna

The two men were quickly brought to shore by a marine rescue crew

Most Read