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May 20 2013.

The Vietnamese Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Vu Quang Minh, visited Newhaven yesterday to celebrate the 123rd birthday of Ho Chi Minh and his links with the town. As a young man, Ho Chi Minh worked for a while as a pastry chef on the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry.

To mark the historic link, the Ambassador presented a bronze statue of Ho Chi Minh and two framed photographs to Newhaven Museum. The Ambassador also visited West Quay, where he unveiled a banner recently placed there by the Town Council and a special foundation stone commemorating 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, Norman Baker MP and 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. Mr Tony Helyar, Curator of Newhaven Museum presented the Ambassador with a framed photograph of the ferry on which Ho Chi Minh once worked.

The Mayor of Newhaven, Councillor 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".

Pictured above by Rod Main: The Mayor welcomes the Ambassador to Newhaven.