HOF024: Charlie LIM

In 1976, Charlie was fifteen. He was sent to an overcrowded concentration camp, where he was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment for peeling bamboo sticks for food. At the camp, he was beaten and accused of stealing a pumpkin, but the real perpetrator was found and executed.

After his sentence, he returned to the village where his family was. Once a thriving village of 14,000 people now dwindled to only 4,000. Due to corrupt management, nearly all of his family members passed away from starvation, which included eight siblings, his parents, and grandfather. Only one of his sisters remained, who was spared because she was at the labouring front lines.

After the war, they returned to Phnom Penh and he took on many jobs. From one connection to the other, he found himself heading towards the Thai border. Since arriving in Canada, he has taken a variety of menial jobs and has taught himself English and economics. Now, he owns several businesses and is married with two children.