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Watch worn on the HONG HAI voyage

Date: c 1978
Dimensions:
Overall: 0.1 kg
Medium: Stainless steel
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Truong Van Soi
Object Name: Watch
Object No: 00015619
Place Manufactured:Schweiz

User Terms

    Description
    This watch was worn by Truong Van Soi, Captain of the HONG HAI during its voyage to Australia in 1978. HONG HAI was a Vietnamese fishing vessel which carried 38 refugees from Vietnam to Australia after the Vietnam War.
    SignificanceCaptain Truong Van Soi used this watch to determine position and time of day whilst navigating HONG HAI from Vietnam to Australia in 1978.
    HistoryThe Vietnam War ended on 30 April 1975 with the fall of Saigon to Communist forces and the reunification of North and South Vietnam. In the late 1970s thousands of Vietnamese fled the new Communist regime, escaping the country in small boats to places such as the USA, Canada and Australia.

    The first Vietnamese 'boat people' arrived in Darwin in 1976. By the end of 1979, 2,011 people had undertaken the perilous sea voyage from Vietnam to Australia. Many more died trying.

    The first wave of boat people arrived at a time of dramatic social upheaval in Australia, with spirited debate about our involvement in the Vietnam War, the new concept of multiculturalism, the breaking of many of Australia's traditional ties to Britain and the forging of new links with Asia. Despite some opposition from the wider community, the relaxation of immigration restrictions meant that most were allowed to stay.

    HONG HAI was a Vietnamese fishing vessel that carried 38 refugees from Vietnam to Australia in 1978. It departed Kien Giang, Vietnam, on 24 September 1978, and stopped at 12 points, including Malaysia and Indonesia, during its 51 day voyage. HONG HAI was escorted into Darwin, Northern Territory, by a Royal Australian Navy patrol boat on 13 November 1978.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Watch belonging to Truong Van Soi

    Web title: Watch worn on the HONG HAI voyage

    Related People
    Maker: Rado

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