Seng Phung’s commitment to residents of Enderby has been longstanding, and on Monday, Jan. 2, mayor and council presented him with an award befitting his years of contributions to the community.
Joined by council members, Mayor Huck Galbraith presented a Lifetime Civic Merit Award to Phung, who is the longtime owner of Red Basket Foods (previously Red Rooster), and who recently sold the business.
Galbraith paid tribute to Phung’s work as a local business owner and employer, on top of his role as a volunteer with the Enderby and District Lions Club.
Phung may have retired from his business, but he’s not retiring from being a volunteer.
“With more time now, I am planning to spend more time with the Lions Club to keep myself busy,” he said.
“In both roles, Seng has dedicated himself and his business to service, particularly with respect to food security and community events,” the city said. “Whether it’s a donation to a local food program or flipping flapjacks at a Lions pancake breakfast, Seng has always been there for the community.”
Phung’s journey to becoming an award-winning Enderby resident started in Laos and Thailand, where he previously lived.
“I’ve always been doing this, volunteering. Even back in Laos, where I grew up, and then in Thailand, from 1975 to 1979, before I came to Canada, I was doing a lot of volunteering. For the first 10 years after I came to Canada, I did not do too much, until I bought the business here in Enderby. Then, Elmer Halvorson got me into the Lions Club, and it never stopped from there,” he laughed.
Phung has no shortage of fond memories in his role as a business owner. He jokes that in retirement, “I think that the hardest thing for me will be training myself not to get up at 2:30 in the morning anymore! But I think that, over time, I will get used to it.
“I feel that there’s a need, no matter what type of volunteering you want to do. Just do what you can. You do it with your heart, and that’s it.”
Council bestows Lifetime Civic Merit Awards to people in the community who, through their local achievements and dedicated volunteerism, have made a tangible difference in the community. It is only awarded by unanimous vote of council.