LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF
Private Members Statement by
Greg Nesbitt, MLA for Riding Mountain
as delivered in the Legislative
Assembly of Manitoba
on Tuesday, the 3rd of November,
Bill and Sue-On Hillman
A love affair with each other and
music that began in the mid-1960s, continues on today.
Bill and Sue-On Hillman were
married on August 29, 1966 beginning their life-long love for each other
and the opportunity to enjoy their passion for music together.
At the age of two, her mother
pressed Sue-On Choy into the arms of a neighbour fleeing to Hong Kong from
the oppression of the communist government in China. Even after mother
Jade managed to join her in Hong Kong, it would be eight more confusing
years until the family, including her father Soo, could be reunited in
Canada. The family made their way to Newdale, Manitoba, where Sue-On eventually
went to school and worked at the family-owned Paris Cafe.
At the age of 15 she fell in
love with a Strathclair boy and musician -- Bill Hillman -- and they married
when she turned 18. Both attended Brandon University and performed nightly
in Brandon nightspots to earn enough money to earn five university degrees
and become high school teachers. Bill taught in Strathclair for 30 years.
Together with Barry Forman of
Rivers, the Hillmans formed The Western Union, performing at area dances,
touring Western Canada, the United States and England during the summer
and recording albums in the early 1970s. In total, the couple cut 12 albums
of original music and were featured regularly on CBC television.
The Hillmans also found the time
to raise three children: Ja-On, Robin and China-Li, who are all actively
involved in music.
Madam Speaker, on behalf of all
Manitobans, I want to recognize Bill and Sue-On Hillman for their 54 years
of marriage and their contribution to the vibrant music industry in Manitoba
over the past six decades.
Greg Nesbitt, MLA
Riding Mountain Constituency