What's your favourite part of the Lieutenant Governor's
Do you try to hit a variety of pavilions?
The last couple of years we haven't been to many because we've had
the pavilion and been busy with it, but in the past, we tried to hit as
many as we could.
How important would you rate music in your life?
Very important, because it got us into a lot of different activities,
a lot of travelling to different places.
How would your life be different if you'd never met your husband
No music. And I probably would not have gone into teaching. Because
he is a teacher, we shared a lot of the same interests and it really jived
with our schedule. If I hadn't met Bill, I probably wouldn't be in music
and wouldn't have become a teacher. Maybe my parents would have pushed
me into medicine or something like that, like lawyer. This is a lot more
Why do you and Bill make such a great team?
We're different, but the same. We're very different personalities,
but we like the same =things. And we really complement each other.
We work together very well.
Give me the names of three famous people in the entertainment industry
you've either met or worked with.
Alan Clark of Dire Straits. Little Jimmy Dickens. George Hamilton
IV. Carroll Baker. Tommy Hunter. That's a lot of the country music
people we've worked with. (See www.hillmanweb.com/odyssey1
What do you remember about the first time you appeared on TV? How
old would you have been?
First time I appeared on TV, I was probably about 19. I sang "Boots
Are Made For Walking" and Leroy Van Dyke's "Walk On By." Two songs.
Were you nervous . . . comfortable?
I think I was quite comfortable because I had been working in the band
with Bill and Barry (Forman) and that bunch for a little while before that
What inspired you to get involved with the Westman Chinese Association?
We were asked to, and I think we really haven't had a lot of representation
in the community, and so when the festival came up, I think it was just
a small table in the global village and as more people came to work at
Maple Leaf, we felt that we should be better represented.
What sort of work does the association do?
We have done a lot of fundraising. We do a lot of facilitating, getting
new immigrants into the community, assisting them with the language and
getting them housing and any kind of social assistance. Not in terms of
monetary, but fitting into the community.
How have things changed over the years as they relate to your job
as a language instructor at Brandon University?
It probably hasn't changed a lot because my students are more university
students. Mind you, prior to last year, I was also teaching down
at the Westman Immigrant Services, so I was doing a lot of life skills
and tried to help them fit into the community. The last year I've focused
more on the academic side.
What are the advantages to the ever-increasing Asian population in
I suppose more food. My whole life is food and music. (laughs) More
variety. More cultural features. We have the Winter Festival and we're
represented. We have the opportunity to present shows like the Sechuan
acrobat group that's coming up.
What's your favourite Chinese food dish?
Hot and sour soup probably.
North American Dish?
When you think back to the 10 years that you ran Soo's Chinese Restaurant
on Tenth Street, do you look at it with fondness or regret?
Fondness. I made a lot of friends. And they're still friends. They're
not just customers. We got to know different generations of families, so
that's really terrific.
What are your children up to these days?
Our oldest son is a massage therapist. That's Ja-on. I'll tell you
a story about him. All our children used to get a lot of 'Oh, you're Bill
and Sue-On's son or 'you're Bill and Sue-On's daughter.' Now, it's 'Oh,
you're Ja-on's mom.' Or 'you're Robin's mom.' Robin, our second son, is
a web designer and our daughter China (Chee-na) will be graduating from
fourth-year medicine come May from the University of Manitoba.
How often have you used your black belt karate skills outside of
the karate class?
Never. I just tell them I have a black belt and that does it. Or else
I'll take off my shoes and that's another step.