Vietnamese Ambassador presents Newhaven with statue of Ho Chi Minh

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The Vietnamese Ambassador Vu Quang Minh presented Newhaven with a three foot high bronze statue of Hoc Chi Minh last weekend.

It celebrated the links between the town and Ho Chi Minh, who worked as a pastry chef on the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry, before his rise to power.

The foundation stone on West Quay. Photo shows the Vietnamese Ambassador, Newhaven mayor, young mayor Charlotte Crookston and president of Chamber of Commerce Annie Lorys. Photo by Rod Main.

The foundation stone on West Quay. Photo shows the Vietnamese Ambassador, Newhaven mayor, young mayor Charlotte Crookston and president of Chamber of Commerce Annie Lorys. Photo by Rod Main.

He led the Vietnamese nationalist movement for more than three decades, fighting first against the Japanese, then the French colonial power and then the US-backed South Vietnamese.

And hopes are high this could mark the beginning of a closer relationship between the port town in East Sussex and Vietnam in South East Asia.

The Mayor of Newhaven Julie Carr said: “This lovely, enjoyable event marked the beginning of what we hope will be a long and fruitful friendship between Newhaven and Vietnam, resulting in exciting business, tourism, educational and cultural opportunities for the town. This could significantly contribute to the regeneration of Newhaven.”

The Ambassador visited Newhaven on Sunday May 19 to celebrate the 123rd birthday of Ho Chi Minh.

The bronze statue of Ho Chi Minh given to Newhaven Town Council.

The bronze statue of Ho Chi Minh given to Newhaven Town Council.

To mark the historic link the Ambassador also presented two framed photographs to Newhaven Museum.

At West Quay he unveiled a banner, detailing Ho Chi Minh’s links with the town, which had been placed there by Newhaven Town Council, and a special foundation stone commemorated the arrival of Ho Chi Minh in Britain in 1913.

Following this a reception was held in Meeching Hall, where guests enjoyed Vietnamese food and entertainment.

Guests at the reception included the High Sheriff of East Sussex, MP Norman Baker MP and president of Newhaven Chamber of Commerce Annie Lorys, the President of the Newhaven Chamber of Commerce.

The Mayor of Newhaven presented the Ambassador with a framed photograph of the port in 1910 and some silver cufflinks made by local seventh-generation goldsmith Mike Shorer.

Curator of Newhaven Museum Tony Helyar presented the Ambassador with a framed photograph of the ferry on which Ho Chi Minh once worked.