Photographers waited to greet the planeload of immigrants arriving in the Canadian city of Calgary the day Jim Chu Xiaosun and his family first set foot in the country. It was 1962 and a picture taken for a newspaper shows an excited group of 30 people from Hong Kong and China arriving to start new lives. One of them - Chu, who was three years old - would, 45 years later, become the first Chinese police chief of a major Canadian city. Of those who arrived that day, Chu's father was the only one who could speak English. He had become fluent in the language 20 years earlier, during the second world war, by talking to American Flying Tigers pilots, who had come to help China fight the Japanese. 'He was taught by the Americans in the air force how to repair typewriters and adding machines,' says Chu. After the war, Chu's father built up a successful typewriter company, one of the largest in Shanghai. But times were tough and Chu and his sister were born into a time of famine. 'My mother had left for Hong Kong. My father then applied for permission to go to Hong Kong. He argued his kids needed their mother. He was granted permission and he turned over all of his assets [to the mainland government],' says Chu. Once in Hong Kong, Chu's father went to the Canadian embassy and asked to immigrate. 'He told the officer he knew about Canada because he was educated by Canadian nuns.' When the family arrived, Chu's father got a job fixing calculators and typewriters, then he became a taxi driver. Two more siblings were born and the Chus moved from Calgary to Peterborough, Ontario, before settling in Vancouver, by which time the future police chief had started high school. 'My friends were East Indians, Germans, Irish, Chinese and Italians,' says Chu. 'It was a real mixed bag and at that time, Chinese kids didn't just hang out with the Chinese kids.' In 1979, Chu entered the Vancouver police force, becoming one of only three Chinese officers at the time, and rose through the ranks. In 2003, he became the deputy chief and got the top job in 2007. He married a fellow police officer, Vicki, who has since retired from the force, and they have four children, aged between 19 and 27. He has become an expert on law enforcement technology and has written a book on the topic. Chu is an in-demand speaker, having delivered speeches as far afield as the Middle East and Europe, but he has yet to return to the country of his birth. Until now. Chu is making the journey to Shanghai this spring. His parents have passed away but he has connected with an elderly second cousin, who has promised to show him around. 'I want to visit the places where my parents lived and where I spent my first years,' says Chu. 'It's been a long time but I want to go back to the place where I have my roots.'