life rattle Radio show no. 1164

aired on CKLN Sunday, August 7, 2011


Hosted by Virginia Ashberry


"An Express Funeral"
"The Secret of Boat 52-110 Mindanao"

written by Hien The Chu
and read by Arnie Achtman.


tonight's writer and stories

Tonight's program features two stories by Hien The Chu, taken from his experiences as an interpreter in the Palawan Camp where he worked as an interpreter.

Tonight’s stories may be difficult for most people to hear. Listener discretion is advised.

Hien The Chu was born in 1966 in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, one of eight children. Hien’s father’s was a career officer in the defeated South Vietnamese army. He commanded an infantry platoon, and was imprisoned after the fall of the Saigon regime. Hien Chu finished high school in Saigon in 1984. Hien attempted to escape his country because of the bleak future that awaited him if he stayed. He was caught, arrested and imprisoned.

In May, 1988 Hien Chu fled his country in a small boat with eighty other people on board. They were rescued by a French ship after six days at sea and taken to Palawan refugee camp in the Philippines. Hien Chu came to Canada in 1991. After eight months he returned to the refugee camp he had left, to work as an interpreter for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Hien Chu worked at Palawan Camp for fourteen months before he returned to Canada to study at the University of Toronto. He is completed a degree in economics, computer science and writing, and went on to continue for his masters in information studies.