Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Đinh Ngọc Thỉ’s most prized souvenir is the red neckerchief President Hồ Chí Minh gave him.
Yesterday the 65-year-old donated the neckerchief to the Hồ Chí Minh Museum in Hà Nội for public exhibition.
Thỉ was born in the central province of Quảng Trị and served as head of the Young Bamboo Shoots Duy Viên Co-operative, a group of Young Pioneers founded in 1958. He and his comrades helped take care of war invalids and worked in rice fields.
Duy Viên Co-operative’s achievements were acknowledged on Radio the Voice of Việt Nam. Hearing the news, President Hồ decided to honour the young pioneers, and Thỉ was summoned to represent the co-operative in Hà Nội to meet President Hồ in 1966.
Thỉ still remembers when the President embraced him and said, “I know that children in Vĩnh Linh District are suffering hardship due to the US lethal weapons. You should try more, learn hard as in the future, you will rebuild the country and your homeland more beautiful.”
“President Hồ brought many candies, he presented them on the table and ate with us,” said Thỉ. “He gave me a bag of candies and asked me to share them with my friends at the co-operative when I came back home.”
“President Hồ also gave me a guitar, his badge and a red neckerchief,” said Thỉ.
The guitar and the badge were lost due to bombing raids. The neckerchief is the only souvenir Thỉ left.
“I felt lucky and happy to receive that gift from the President,” he said.
“I just wore it one time in my whole life. Now I bring it to the museum with an expectation that people will know more about the great personality of President Hồ and his care for children.”
A ceremony was held at the museum to receive 80 memorabilia including souvenirs, paintings and documents donated to the museum.
The objects also include a pistol President Hồ granted to Minister of Health Hoàng Tích Trí (1903 - 58), four letters President Hồ sent to Minister Trí, and a painting of President Hồ by Bulgarian painter Stefan Petrov in 1957.
Petrov met President Hồ when he paid Bulgaria a State visit in 1957. When the painter passed away, his family preserved the painting.
Last year, leaders of the Hồ Chí Minh Museum attended an exhibition on the President in Bulgaria and met Petrov’s family. The painting was then handed to the museum as a sign of respect from Petrov’s family in particular and Bulgarian people in general.
Vũ Mạnh Hà, director of the museum, said the donated objects enriched the exhibits of the museum.
“We appreciate a lot that these donated memorabilia give more stories and information about the life and career of the President Hồ,” he said.
“We want to collect, preserve and promote the value of objects relating to President Hồ at home and abroad.” — VNS