‘A bygone time’ by Pham Phuong Thao

“Everyone has a time that can never be forgotten, and a number of people whose lives and careers were in ‘a bygone time’ continue to remember them till the present day.”

“Here, I want to talk to you about a friend, a close comrade who had long been working together with my team in Ho Chi Minh City, who had studied two years in the same school with me, under the same roof of the high-level political Nguyen Ai Quoc Academy.”

These words were written by Nguyen Minh Triet, former Politburo member, former secretary of HCMC Party Committee and then former Chairman of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for the author of a book titled ‘A bygone time’ by Pham Phuong Thao, former Deputy Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee and former Chairwoman of the City People's Council.

The cover of the book.( Photo SGGP )

On her part, the author of the book said, “I did not write a memoir or autobiography, I only wanted to record the outline and moments in life and the heroic struggle of the people in the liberation war and in peace time.”

With nearly 300 pages of the book accompanied with pictures of the author's family, the author "wanted to keep forever the warm sentiments” of the people in the Mekong Delta, her home and of the people in Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City, where she had been living for a long time.

In her book, Pham Phuong Thao only wanted to talk about her family, her loved ones, about the silent sacrifices, all the love and trust in life which each person rarely conveys to another in words.

Just "something honest, simple" as the book author confided, a revolutionary cadre mixed with the voice of the whole nation, and inside the heart of the Vietnamese people in "a bygone time" during which she was  trained  for higher ideals and desires.

Reading the book, I understand why a female leader in Ho Chi Minh City has "become a public idol", "a star" and has a lot of "fans" of many age groups and many strata of society. When she goes out of her house, people recognize her and many people love and respect her.

Pham Phuong Thao finds that happiness has come from the attachment with people and that is the happiness of the people she strives for!

“Reading the book, I  also understand more clearly why she followed ideals she has chosen to stick to, overcoming all obstacles on the road, then in the rank of the leaders of Ho Chi Minh City and now even in retirement days, she still continues to follow ‘to strive for the happiness of the people’ said former President Nguyen Minh Triet.

Former President Nguyen Minh Triet stressed, “the more I read this book the more I love people such as Pham Phuong Thao, who are simple, honest, but resourceful, strong-willed leaders, ready to overcome any challenge.  Pham Phuong Thao is a typical woman of her generation. She is ready to do any work assigned to her and all the things even beyond her ability; she understands that working for the Party and State does not mean receiving huge rewards but to serve the people.”
I have to borrow the words of former State President Nguyen Minh Triet on the occasion of the introduction of the book that was published by General Publishing House of Ho Chi Minh City to the readers, and I hope the story of the former Chairwoman of the HCMC People's Council Pham Phuong Thao will always be “believe in the valuable morals in living "for everyone!

Source SGGP, Translated by Dan

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