Recently, the 65-year-old donated the neckerchief to the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi for public exhibition.
Thi was born in the central province of Quang Tri and served as head of the Young Bamboo Shoots Duy Vien Cooperative, a group of Young Pioneers founded in 1958. He and his comrades helped take care of war invalids and worked in rice fields.
Duy Vien Cooperative’s achievements were acknowledged on Radio the Voice of Vietnam. Hearing the news, President Ho decided to honour the young pioneers, and Thi was summoned to represent the cooperative in Hanoi to meet President Ho in 1966.
Thi still remembers when the President embraced him and said, “I know that children in Vinh Linh district are suffering hardship due to the US lethal weapons. You should try more, learn hard as in the future, you will rebuild the country and your homeland more beautiful.”
“President Ho brought many candies, he presented them on the table and ate with us,” said Thi. “He gave me a bag of candies and asked me to share them with my friends at the cooperative when I came back home.”
“President Ho also gave me a guitar, his badge and a red neckerchief,” said Thi.
The guitar and the badge were lost due to bombing raids. The neckerchief is the only souvenir Thi left.
“I felt lucky and happy to receive that gift from the President,” he said.
“I just wore it one time in my whole life. Now I bring it to the museum with an expectation that people will know more about the great personality of President Ho and his care for children.”
A ceremony was held at the museum to receive 80 memorabilia including souvenirs, paintings and documents donated to the museum.
The objects also include a pistol President Ho granted to Minister of Health Hoang Tich Tri (1903 - 58), four letters President Ho sent to Minister Tri, and a painting of President Ho by Bulgarian painter Stefan Petrov in 1957.
Petrov met President Ho when he paid Bulgaria a State visit in 1957. When the painter passed away, his family preserved the painting.
Last year, leaders of the Ho Chi Minh Museum attended an exhibition on the President in Bulgaria and met Petrov’s family. The painting was then handed to the museum as a sign of respect from Petrov’s family in particular and Bulgarian people in general.
Vu Manh Ha, director of the museum, said the donated objects enriched the exhibits of the museum.
“We appreciate a lot that these donated memorabilia give more stories and information about the life and career of the President Ho,” he said.
“We want to collect, preserve and promote the value of objects relating to President Ho at home and abroad.”