Century of change
A FORMER journalist who fled war-torn Vietnam with his family to search for a better life will celebrate his 100th birthday in Huntingdon this week. Vietnamese-born Phung Tat Dac will turn 100 on Friday, making him the first-ever resident at the Primrose
A FORMER journalist who fled war-torn Vietnam with his family to search for a better life will celebrate his 100th birthday in Huntingdon this week.
Vietnamese-born Phung Tat Dac will turn 100 on Friday, making him the first-ever resident at the Primrose Hill Care Home to reach the century milestone.
The father-of-eight came to England in 1979 with four of his children.
He set up home in Surrey Road, Huntingdon, and lived there until becoming a resident of Primrose Hill three years ago.
However, unlike other families who came to England then, the Phung family were not strictly 'boat people'.
Mr Phung, who spent most of his working life as a journalist and publisher, could afford to get himself and his family from their Saigon home to the UK by plane.
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Even though the family speak fluent French, they opted to settle in Britain because they felt it would give them a better education.
His children have completed degrees and live in different parts of the world, including France and Canada. One of their daughters, Diep, lives in Spaldwick and works for a pharmacy company. He has eight grandchildren.
When asked the secret of a long life, his wife Phung Thi Bui said her husband never denied himself the things he enjoyed. She said: "He has led a long and happy life and he enjoyed drinking whisky and smoking a pipe or cigar.
"I think he will live to be 110 because he is still in good health."
To celebrate his birthday a cake will be delivered to his home - a special gift for Mr Phung as he has "a very sweet tooth."
As a Vietnamese tradition he will also be required to wear something red in recognition of his long life.