Your Dispatches: March 2011 Archives

Listeners respond to Larry Joe

Corinne Smith's documentary on the March 17 program about Larry Joe brought a number of letters. Larry is a South African singer/songwriter released from prison at the same time as his record album.  Aron Turest-Swartz, his producer, is a member of the popular band Freshly Ground. 

Read and hear more about Larry Joe and his CD at http://www.larryjoelive.com



I was listening to your show last night and was fascinated by the piece about Larry Joe, the musician from South Africa.

The music is wonderful, and so was the story. Please pass along my best regards and encouragement to Larry and everyone in South Africa who is helping him turn his life around. He is an inspiration.

All the best

Lorraine Standing, Igloolik, Nunavut


I am a granny who listens to CBC a lot.  Besides the sounds of nature; silence; music I listen to; CBC is the backdrop of my life (esp in the winter) and has been for a number of years.  I miss from time to time, when I travel, but I have no trouble catching up.  I am making a point to comment on my favorites, at least once...why not?
I truly do think of Dispatches as a dispatch....love the music and sounds as well.
The story about Larry Joe is amazing.  I, for one, would love to buy a cd, (I'm still on dial-up) if there ever is one available on line.  Amazing singer-songwriter and very glad to hear he has good people around him.  Love the style, it is extremely inviting.  This man can sing. 
I kept thinking about K'naan.  I kept thinking that K'naan would be a good person for Larry Joe to meet (if they haven't already) and vice versa. 
I love all music, but music that opens up a person's spirit I invite in to my life. 
Thank you for entertaining and informing me so often.
Cathy Daigle, Miramichi, NB




Listening to CBC Radio in the car this afternoon, I heard the segment about Larry Joe.

I am an ex-South African living in Toronto (since 1977), and what caught my attention, is that Aron Turest-Swartz's father, John, is my first cousin.

I have fond memories of John, but never had the opportunity to meet Aron, so this was quite exciting!

Please tell Aron he came across really well, we loved the story & the family in Toronto all wish him, Larry Joe & Freshly Ground everything of the best for ongoing success.

Linda Judelman, Toronto 



Sheila Allen of Fonthill

What a beautiful voice and a heartwarming story.  I lived in S.A for 4 years and loved the country but wanted to come back to Canada because of the violence.  This story gives hope of people helping one another and living together in harmony.  I would like to know where I could find Larry's CD?


I always love your dispatches, but particularly found this one heartwarming. I hope it works for all of them.

Tracey Mardon

Mendoza, Argentina...a witness to brutality

Marshall Leslie of Toronto heard Alison Crawford's documentary about Rosa and Antonio, torture victims in a secret Argentina detention centre in 1976  (in the March 10 program). Turns out he was there.

Camped outside of San Luis, Argentina, twenty other tourists and I woke to the sound of gunshots and yells.

Pretty soon it became clear that the shouts were orders - to get down and stay down. We had been surrounded by police and were under arrest.

As we came out of the interrogation rooms into the dark of the early morning we saw lines of men in the courtyard -- almost every one, young like us -- who had been picked up by the police during the night. Standing in silent rows they were being questioned, yelled at, and hit.

After they were finally released, he writes...

The British consul in the city...showed us how the state police had already planted a story in the daily paper. It said our group had been arrested while trying to illegally climb nearby Mount Aconcagua. These guys were good at covering their tracks.

Your story shows that some of them have been at it for 35 years. It also raises the possibility that Antonio Savone could have been one of the young men I passed, lined up in the Mendoza police courtyard early that morning.

I understand why 35 years won't erase Antonio's memories - even my vicarious ones still linger with me. And as my little anecdote ended, his more harrowing story was just beginning. I'm thankful that Antonio Savone's is finally nearing its resolution.


Xinjiang, China...getting around here

Fred Richardson writes from the "San Juan Islands, half-way between Victoria and Vancouver, on the wrong side of the line." Fred has some experience of his own to add to Anthony Germain's March 10 report of stepped-up policing of journalists in China.

Hi Rick,

 Just listened for the second time to your discussion with Anthony Germain on the new (or current) restrictions and controls on journalists. I travel in China on a tourist visa, much more flexible than a 'journalist' visa (I wouldn't want to travel with one of those in any country!). For years, I've used a name card to tell people something about myself, and to give my email address. The card has Chinese on one side, English on the other and says in four lines: All Electric; Road Construction and Excavation; Precision Explosives Work; and last, Author.

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Cozumel...the plastic here and Lobster Charley

Lynne Lubek of Toronto heard the promotion for "Lament of Lobster Charley" which aired on the March 10 Dispatches   She writes...

I had returned the evening before from a 2-week snorkeling/scuba trip to beautiful Cozumel.  Last week I spent a day at Chankanaab National Park, home of various dolphin/manatee/sea lion encounter experiences.  Towards the end of the day I decided to spend an hour swimming in the cove located close to the lovely Chankanaab reef.  I quickly noticed that the water in the cove didn't look right, and closer inspection revealed considerable transparent plastic floating in the water. 

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Plaza del Mayo... marching, remembering

Phyllis Webster of Toronto heard Alison Crawford's October 10 documentary about Antonio and Rosa -- reuniting to testify against the people who tortured them and repeatedly raped Rosa for months, in a secret Argentina detention centre in 1976.

I am in Argentina as a volunteer teacher for a few months.  This afternoon, I went to the Plaza de Mayo to watch las  abuelas ( the grandmothers) and others who had lost family members during the Dirty War walk  slowly around the plaza for 20 minutes. It was very hot and very emotional as hundreds of us watched respectfully, occasionally applauding as they marched.  Students from the University set up in honour of those who had lost family members joined them also.

I returned to listen to Dispatches, a program I have loved over the years, on CBC Radio Victoria on my computer and heard Rosa and Antonio's story and I wept again.

It has been a day to remember two things:how inhumane we can be to our fellow beings and, on the other hand, how caring we can be as demonstrated by Rosa and Antonio.  Thirdly, it reminds me that we all have to be vigilant about human rights... in Argentina, in Canada and in all the countries of the world.