|The Memorial in honour of President Ho Chi Minh bailing water to prevent drought on Quai Chao field.|
The story about President Ho Chi Minh’s visit is often told, particularly on the occasion of Vietnam’s national events such as the August Revolution and National Day.
President Ho Chi Minh alongside a governmental delegation paid an unannounced visit to Ta Thanh Oai commune at 8:25 am on January 12, 1958.
Elderly locals say as he crossed Quai Chao field, he saw soldiers helping farmers water the fields using bamboo buckets and water wheels. He took off his sandals, rolled up his pants, and waded onto the field.
He offered a helping hand to an old farmer to bail water onto the field using a bucket. He asked Vu Quy, Party Secretary of Ha Dong province, to fetch water with him.
Ngo Manh Quyen, a villager in Ta Thanh Oai, recalled, “Uncle Ho walked onto Quai Chao field to bail water. I was lucky to be there at that moment. Uncle Ho told us that although he hadn’t done any farm work in several years, he still remembered how to use a bamboo bucket to bail water. He taught Mr. Vu Quy to use the bamboo bucket. Young people like me were moved to see him.”
President Ho Chi Minh bailing water to fight against drought inspired the locals to work together to water the fields. In a short amount of time, the faded Quai Chao field was full of water for cultivation.
Mr. Quyen said, “One day after Uncle Ho’s visit, the local Party Committee launched an emulation movement to mobilize all people to bail water and plough fields. Then we organized agricultural cooperatives and irrigation teams.”
The bucket which President Ho Chi Minh used is now on display at the Vietnam Revolutionary Museum. It looks as simple as any other bucket, but holds an important and symbolic value of a President doing farm work.
In 2004, the Hanoi People’s Committee erected a Memorial in honour of President Ho Chi Minh bailing water to prevent drought on Quai Chao field. The Memorial is also a place for farmers to take a rest after a day of work.
Nguyen Huu Manh recalled a memory after 60 years, “Farmers now are happier than in the past. They support the field rezoning policy. Farmers have actively responded to Party movements and social activities, to support poor people and war invalids.”
The once drought-stricken Quai Chao field has become a vast field, now growing high-quality rice varieties. It is surrounded by populous and wealthy villages.
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