Tet presents to children DPR/TV/1367D

Accession Number F04486
Collection type Film
Measurement 20 min 19 sec
Object type Actuality footage, Television news footage
Physical description 16mm/b&w/silent
Maker Cunneen, William James
Place made Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province, Dat Do
Date made 22 January 1971
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

In South Vietnam, soldiers of the 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, this week celebrated Tet with children in their area of operations in Phuoc Tuy Province. Armed with traditional red-wrapped gifts, they visited Dat Do High School, orphanages and a Regional Force compound at Tam Phuoc. Tet is the Vietnamese New Year, and is as important to them as Christmas, the New Year and Easter combined for Australians. This year it is celebrated from January 27 to January 29. But because of operational commitments and so as not to interfere with family arrangements for Tet, the battalion made its presentations a week early. In Dat Do, the battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Ron Grey of Watsons Bay, NSW, with some of his officers and soldiers visited the High School. After the school's end-of-year presentations, a Vietnamese school teacher presented gifts to the visitors. The next day soldiers, led by Warrant Officer 2 Danny Neville of Holsworthy, NSW, distributed toys and sweets to other schools, an orphanage and a Regional Force compound in Tam Phuoc, a village south of the battalion's base at the Horseshoe. Men of the battalion chipped in from their own pockets to purchase the gifts. Next year is the Year of the Pig - one of the luckiest symbols in the Vietnamese 12-year calendar. Although marred in past years by enemy truce violations, Tet is a holiday all Vietamese look forward to. The holiday is surrounded by traditions, myths and legends. It is a time when thrift is forgotten. New clothing is worn and homes are decorated with bright flowers. Since it is unlucky to have creditors during Tet most employers give their workers a bonus to help pay their debts. At midnight on January 26 a ceremony is held near the ancestral home to welcome good spirits and invite deceased relatives back from the grave to celebrate the coming of a new year. In Phuoc Tuy Province, all Australian movement will be kept to a minimum to allow the Vietnamese to enjoy their holiday uninterrupted. Also identified: 1201980 Private (Pte) Norman Leslie Anderson of Townsville, Qld; Major Bob O'Brien of Ryde, NSW; 216171 Captain (Capt) John Francis Press of Orange, NSW; 214001 Sergeant Robert John (Bob) Horder of Holsworthy, NSW; 38742 Capt Albert (Bert) Jordan of Geelong, Vic; Corporal Steve Smith; 2792556 Pte Bruce Sampson of Wollongong, NSW; Pte Arthur Holzhauer of Cairns, Qld; Pte Dennis Fisher of Port Melbourne, Vic; 6709542 Pte Raymond Maxwell (Ray) Morgan of Bellerive, Hobart, Tas; 5288 WO1 Reginald Amos (Reg) Bandy.

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  • Video of Tet presents to children DPR/TV/1367D (video)