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A very special Canada Day for Walmart Canada’s newest Canadian

By Jon Rumley, Walmart Canada Corporate Affairs

Canada Day will have a new meaning for a longtime Walmart Canada associate in Victoria this year.

“It’s my first year celebrating Canada Day as a Canadian,” said Paul Tungsiriratana, Co-Manager at the Victoria Supercentre at Uptown Mall. “I’ve lived in many places in my life, but Canada is special. It’s a country of immigrants. I’m one of those people.”

After growing up in Thailand and New Zealand, Paul came to Canada for school. He needed a part-time job, so he applied at Walmart Canada.

And now, 10 years later — it’s the only one he’s ever had in Canada.

“I remember Paul coming to join us for a part-time role 10 years ago,” Store Manager Brad Bester said. “It wasn’t long after that he caught our eye as someone with great potential and he proved us all right.”

The Walmart family was there for Paul when he officially became a Canadian citizen on June 16. After taking his oath of citizenship inside the manager’s office, Paul was greeted by his colleague, Kirsten Sharun, waiting for him with a smile.

“I am incredibly proud of Paul,” the Operations Assistant Manager said. “I remember counting down the days with him. I wanted to be the first face he saw as an official Canadian citizen.”

They celebrated the best way they know how — with a selfie.

Members of the Walmart Canada Leadership Team were also there to join the celebration.

“It turned out to be a very memorable moment,” Paul said. “It’s not every day that you get to celebrate with the Chief Operating Officer of Walmart Canada.”

When he came home, his fiancée surprised him with a homemade poutine, red velvet cookies and the whole house decorated in Canadian flags. His dog even wore a maple leaf bandana.

“I got a little emotional. I didn’t realize how impactful citizenship would be for me,” Paul said. “I’ve lived in Canada for years. It has felt like a home for a long time. Now it’s official.”

And there’s no other place Paul would rather be.

“Canada represents opportunities. I'm managing one of the busiest stores in Canada. I get to mentor our associates and help them reach their career goals. Anything is possible here if we work together and bring all voices to the table,” Paul said.

“We are very fortunate that Paul has chosen Walmart for his career path,” Brad added. “He is one-of-a-kind and one proud Canadian!”