Competition to design monument to honour Ho Chi Minh’s connection with Newhaven

Ho Chi Minh memorial at West Quay Newhaven from which he sailed as crew on the ferry to Dieppe.
Ho Chi Minh memorial at West Quay Newhaven from which he sailed as crew on the ferry to Dieppe.

He became a revolutionary leader of Vietnam.

But few people will know that Ho Chi Minh who ruled the country for more than three decades had more humble beginnings in Newhaven. The former leader worked on the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry as a pastry chef after the First World War.

Now to mark the connection between Newhaven and Vietnam, students are being asked to design a monument in his honour.

There is already a memorial to Ho Chi Minh in Newhaven, donated by Vietnam in 2013.

The Vietnamese Ambassador launched the contest during a visit to the University of Sussex, where he also discussed stronger links between the University and Vietnam.

Ambassador Nguyen Van Thao will challenge students at the University of Sussex and West Dean College, one of the University’s partner colleges, to design a monument celebrating the communist leader’s connection with Newhaven.

This new monument aims to celebrate those historical links and look to the future, using the University’s strong international standing to encourage Vietnam’s next generation to choose Sussex for their education.

Ho Chi Min also made a number of trips to Newhaven during the period he worked on the ferry.

The winning design will be created in Vietnam and then displayed in the West Quay area of the port town later in 2015 – 125 years after Ho Chi Minh’s birth.

And the successful student will win a trip to Vietnam, including a visit to the factory where the sculpture will be created.

Meanwhile, the University will announce a new Junior Research Associate scholarship for an undergraduate student at Sussex to explore Ho Chi Minh’s relationship with the county, as well as exploring the possibility of an exceptional Vietnamese student to join this project.

The University has increasingly strong ties with south-east Asia, welcoming hundreds of students and carrying out joint research with institutions from across the region every year. This year has seen a project on migration launched with Mahidol University Thailand and a new staff appointment in the international team.