15 Jul 2023
Hai Phong is the Port City that prides itself on being the land of geniuses. A pride to mention is that the city was honored to welcome President Ho Chi Minh to visit the city nine times. Each time Uncle Ho travelled to the city, He left stories with profound lessons that were indelible in the minds of generations of Hai Phong City’s people.
In the memoir “Unforgettable Days”, General Vo Nguyen Giap said: “at 16:00 on October 20th 1946, the battleship named Dumont d’Urville took President Ho Chi Minh and members of the delegation to Ngu ferry station. A red flag carrying a golden five-petal star was fluttering on a towering mast. The battleship rang such a long whistle. Never before had there been such a whistling that touched the hearts of tens of thousands of people like that afternoon…”
In 1946: From France, President Ho Chi Minh returned home at Hai Phong Port
As told by General Vo Nguyen Giap, Hai Phong welcomed Uncle Ho very considerately, the whole armed forces formed a fence standing along the roads where Uncle Ho passed by. At 17:00, Uncle Ho passed the pier, military music performed the national anthem, the honor guard of National Guard corps dignified under the golden-star red flag. Familiar figure of Uncle Ho appeared with white khaki clothes, then the chant “Long live President Ho” immediately resounded. On the way Uncle Ho got in the car toward the headquarter of the City Administrative Committee, the cheers rose like thunder and many people shed tears when they saw Uncle Ho.
Visiting Hai Phong for the first time, Uncle Ho expressed his confidence in officials, soldiers, employees and people of Hai Phong City: “Thanks to the elders who set examples, brothers and sisters working together, then surely Hai Phong will become an exemplary city of our country”. Also, during the visit, President Ho Chi Minh met again Mr. Thuyet – a sailor who hid Uncle Ho in a ship to France, and lived with Uncle Ho in a photo shop in Paris.
Since that day, Hai Phong had the honor to welcome Uncle Ho 08 more times to visit the City. Each visit of Uncle was an imprint, but the first imprint was still the strongest.
Hai Phong Port was not only the first place Uncle Ho visited upon his arrival in Hai Phong, but also the place honorably welcoming Uncle Ho two more times out of total 09 visits to the Port City.
In 1957: The second time Uncle Ho visited Hai Phong Port
On May 30th 1957, in the context of 02 years after Hai Phong City was liberated, Uncle Ho visited some important economic bases of the city, among which was Hai Phong Port. That was also the time Vietnamese navigators led two French ships going into the pier, Hai Phong Port was marked as the port of Democratic Republic of Viet Nam on an international maritime map. Uncle Ho left valuable advice to officers and workers of Hai Phong Port.
On the second time visiting Hai Phong Port, what did Uncle Ho told the officers and workers of Hai Phong Port that would become the guideline for the Port on the journey “reaching to the great sea”?
After visiting and learning about the life and working situation of the workers, Uncle Ho advised: “Each worker needs to be united wholeheartedly and must uphold the spirit of mastery striving to build the Port”. Uncle Ho pointed out that workers are in contact with many people from around the world, hence, they needed to uphold the international spirit of proletarians and constantly study and improve their qualifications in all aspects to be worthy of being the working class and revolutionary leadership class.
On the relation between individuals and the Nation, Uncle Ho said: “Solidarity is the power, water rises then the ship floats. All uncles, brothers and sisters here are in the same boat on the same wave, therefore you all need to be united together. Individual growth needs to be attached with national interests and working class’s ones. Who wants to seek for his or her own growth separately, then that means he or she separates himself or herself from the ship on the sea, hence he or she does not grow.”
On January 10th 1960, Hai Phong Port once again busily welcomed Uncle Ho in the event of welcoming at the Hai Phong Port the first delegation of oversea Vietnamese returning from Thailand. Since then, taking to heart Uncle Ho’s advice, generations of the Port’s officers and workers have constantly strived and worked hard to make Hai Phong Port become one of the leading symbols of the City in terms of politics, economy and transportation. Status of Hai Phong Port on the international maritime map has been solid and stronger, becoming one of the most 50 ports working effectively across the world, being the biggest port in the Northern area of Viet Nam, the second biggest port in the whole Viet Nam.
President Ho Chi Minh onboard An Phu Ship offering flowers to overseas Vietnamese community
Stretching through three districts including Hong Bang, Ngo Quyen and Hai An, Hai Phong Port has been not only significant in terms of historical, economic and political terms but also a symbolic pride in the mind and heart of each person born in the Port City when mentioning their hometown.
During his lifetime, President Ho Chi Minh once glorified the fighting spirit and extolled the armed forces and people of Hai Phong with a flag embroidered with two words titled “Loyalty and Braveness”. Of the places where He landed his foot on, beside Hai Phong Port, there are other city’s present landmarks such as Hai Phong Cement Plant, Duyen Hai Mechanic Plant, Viet – Tiep Friendship Hospital, all of them have fostered the spirit of “Loyalty and Braveness” that has contributed to common development of Hai Phong City, and has been worthy of the love given by the Father of the Nation.