First Person

Saigon as War Loomed

We married in Sydney in October 1958 and left for Saigon the following month. On contract to the then Department of External Affairs under the Technical Assistance Scheme—often referred to as the Colombo Plan—I was to assist the South Vietnamese Ministry of Education in the training of teachers of English at Saigon University. A month after our arrival Jean wrote home: “Saigon is picturesque and different enough to hold our interest for months. We like it best in the evenings when, wandering along the quay, we listen to the chattering of the people squatting there. There are lots of shrieking…

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