Embroidered Picture - Another Story of Uncle Ho

The embroidered picture (L) returns coincidently with the 116th birthday anniversary Uncle Ho (Photo: T.C)

The embroidery picture was a present of Uncle Ho to the late US colonel Stephen L.Nordlinger 60 years ago. It is a surprise that the whole family of the colonel, up to three generations, have kept it as a precious thing for many years in the living room.

"Best greetings from Ho Chi Minh"

The memorable picture is made from a large silk cloth sized of 58x205cm, onto which a crane taking a perch on a pine twig and a message “Best greetings from Ho Chi Minh Oct 1945” were cleverly stitched.

Back in the 40s of the 20th century, the U.S. colonel Stephen L.Nordlinger was in Viet Nam as head of the American social aid unit that was in charge of medicine for detainees imprisoned by the Japanese in Viet Nam. He himself gave a hand to transport the food and supplies from the South to the North.

The embroidered piece of art that Uncle Ho presented to the colonel at that time had demonstrated and strengthened the friendship between the two comrades.

Jane Coyle, a relative of the late colonel, said that the picture had been hanging in her living room for several generations, from her husband’s grandfather years up till now.

That is a precious gift, a proof of the love and admiration of an American family to President Ho Chi Minh, but her family still decided to give the artwork to the Ho Chi Minh Museum.

How did the embroidery return to Viet Nam?

As an officer of the Vietnamese fund for musical education, Jane Coyle had spent many years working in Viet Nam but she knew nothing about the embroidered artwork.

Her friend, Mr. Nguyen Nha Duc, on a working visit to the US discovered the picture at her house and the news rapidly traveled to the Ho Chi Minh museum. The Viet Nam’s side immediately made contact and collected as much information as possible about the gift with a hope that the picture would return to its fatherland some day.

Jane Coyle's understanding and willingness to return the picture at first met with strong objections from some of her family members. Thanks to the persistent efforts by Jane Coyle and the Vietnamese side, the important day eventually arrived.

On March 3, 2006 - the day that marked the historic moment of the picture, a letter by Jane Coyle was sent to Viet Nam. Enclosed with the letter was a CD containing 10 photographs of the embroidered gift taken from different angles.

In her letter, she said that she was in possession of the embroidered artwork, a gift of President Ho Chi Minh to her husband’s grandfather – the colonel Stephen L.Nordlinger at Ha Noi in 1945. Beside the embroidery, there were many letters and objects given by the President. The embroidered picture and some other valuable souvenirs, which were collected when he worked in Indochina and the Europe, have been hanging in her house for many years. And then, her family decided to hand it back to the Vietnamese people.

The friendship itself has helped the embroidery navigate its return journey to coincide with the 116th birthday anniversary of the beloved President.

Henceforth, Vietnamese and overseas visitors to the museum will hear another  intriguing story about Uncle Ho, illustrated by the embroidered artwork which is standing for the peace and amity between nations in the world. 
 

By TH - Translated by Van Hanh

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