Vietnam News

Saigon Post Office’s letter writer dies at 94

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Duong Van Ngo, known as the last public letter writer at the Saigon Central Post Office, died at his home Tuesday at the age of 94.

His son Duong Minh Duc told VnExpress Ngo has been in poor health in recent years even though he has no underlying diseases.

Ngo was taken to a hospital on Sunday and then returned home. After two days of not eating, he took his last breath at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Ngo was awarded the title of “Vietnam’s longest-serving letter writer” by the Vietnam Record Book Center in 2020.

During his 30 years of service at the HCMC Central Post Office, he had written thousands of letters in Vietnamese, English and French languages that help families reunite. Known as the Letter Man, he put his fluency in English and French to write letters for people or help them translate their Vietnamese writings into these languages.

Born into a poor Chinese family, he attended Petrus Ky School (now Le Hong Phong High School for the Gifted) and applied himself to learn foreign languages and worked as an interpreter.

At the age of 16, he started working for the postal industry as a postman. In 1990, he retired but was given special permission to continue to work in the post office as a “public writer,” a position of only six people at the time.

Then, all of his colleagues passed away, leaving Ngo as the last one.

In 2020, Ngo officially quit the job due to his old age. However, he sometimes rode his bicycle to the post office to see the wooden table that had been with him for 30 years, Duc recalled.

Tran Phu Khanh, a representative of Binh Duong Garden Cemetery, said that he had proposed to give Ngo a resting grave inside the cemetery. This proposal was approved by Ngo’s family.

Ngo will be buried at this cemetery on Saturday.

By Ngoc Ngan – – August 2, 2023

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