Interviewer: During the period of running the New Republic,
Can you talk about your experience
with the Vietnamese immigrants
or the Vietnamese boat people?
Such as the New Republic press giving them help
Mr. Hsu: At that time
there was a report
which said that there were discussions and arguments at the mainstream newspapers and radios
about whether Canada should accept
the Vietnamese boat people to come over.
They said that if you accepted one refugee,
a big number of his friends and relatives might follow the way
and immigrate over.
Can it be sustainable?
Later the government said that
private sponsorship was allowed.
So many churches, local churches,
were willing to
sponsor the Vietnamese refugees.
At that time, the Canadian government
sent military airplanes to pick up
from the camps in Malaysia.
Then, how could we, as Chinese immigrants,
show our welcome to the refugees?
So, we initiated the call for
donating gently-used (winter) clothing.
Our slogan was "Support the boat people with warm clothes."
Later, we had lots of clothes donated
and they were piled at the auditorium in the Victoria Chinese School
Everyday someone came to donate clothes.
I thought it was great. At that time, used clothes also had nowhere to go.
Then I took photos of the donated clothes
and published them in the newspaper.
Just as I said, I could publish photos (at The New Republic newspaper).
Later the local media noticed them.
They came over to
do interviews, saying that the Chinese community came up to support (the refugees).
Chinese immigrants are just like other residents.
So for the Vietnam refugees, group by group,
coming over from Vietnam,
at that time, no matter what,
we tried our efforts to help them.
Up to now
I still have some friends who were the Vietnamese boat people.
The newspaper press did such activities.
It had some impact, more or less, on the local politics
because of these activities. (Otherwise, the New Republic press) was a normal Chinese newspaper press.
Without these activities,
people (outside Chinatown) would not know what your newspaper was about.
I think it is really interesting.
Till now, one of these boat people
is still my good friend.
We said "Support boat people with warm clothes."