life rattle Radio show no. 1136

Aired on CKLN FM 88.1 january 23, 2011


Hosted by Nadeem Basaria



"Going to the Airport"

by Denny Hunte

tonight's writer and Story

Denny Hunte was born in 1954, the younger son and second eldest of five children, in Barbados. Hunte's family shared a four-bedroom house with his paternal grandmother and his father's sister, Aunt Joan. Denny Hunte came to Canada with his brother and sisters in 1969, when he was twelve and a half years old. The Hunte family lived in the west central part of Toronto, in the Harbord/Bathurst and St. Clair/Oakwood districts. Denny Hunte graduated from Harbord Collegiate, went to York University then Ryerson where he studied business then switched to social work. He has worked for Metro Social Services since the early eighties.

Denny Hunte has written a series of stories set in Barbados from the point of view of a twelve-year-old boy who learns that his parents are leaving him, his brother and sisters with their grandmother and aunt, while they try to establish themselves in Canada before they send for the children.

In an earlier story "The Immigration Papers" the narrator told how his mother wrote away for papers for the family to immigrate to Canada, with support from the grandmother and Aunt Joan, BUT with opposition from his father, who was reluctant to leave his life as a respected mason and week-end barber, and to leave his friends at Mr. Knight's Rum Shop where he drank every knight after work in his village of Ellerton, St. George, in Barbados.

"Only stupid people would want to leave Barbados to live in a cold-ass place like Canada," Denny's father said to his wife and sister and mother when they tried to persuade him to emigrate. Denny's mother persisted and received permission for her and her husband to emigrate to Canada in March 1966.

Tonight’s story, “Going to the Airport” picks up at the point where his parents are making final plans to emigrate.

You can listen to Hunte’s account of his and his siblings departure a year and a half later on Life Rattle Number 1365.