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.


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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.

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