Vietnamese Boat People at Red Cross Fair

London Newspaper Group — CN/WPN 30-10-1981

Boat people contribute to Red Cross fair

By Christopher Long

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Exactly three years after 346 Vietnamese boat people were cared for by members of Kensington and Chelsea's Red Cross at Kensington Barracks, a party of the boat people will be supporting a Christmas Fair at Chelsea Town Hall on November 3.

The ex-refugees, now establishing themselves all over the country, are sponsored by the Dorset Friends of the Boatpeople who spotted their talents for traditional embroidery and are hoping to develop markets for exquisite work produced by about 40 embroiderers (who include four men).

Among the usual attractions at the Red Cross Christmas Fair next week, the Vietnamese will have their own stall. Three years ago the refugees were destitute after arriving in Britain in only the clothes they stood up in having been rescued by a British freighter in the China Sea.

"It's marvellous that we're going to see them back here again," said Red Cross Centre organiser, Ros Carter, who is confident that this year's bumper fair will be as successful as ever.

"Last year we made £3,000 after expenses and we're hoping that as many of the people who came and helped at the barracks three years ago or helped to provide for the refugees will come along and help fill our coffers."

Money raised at the fair, which will be opened by Lord Jellicoe, not only provides for refugees projects but is essential for maintaining regular services such as the hospital shops, hospital loan services and a large number of other regular activities in the Borough.

Guests this year will include the Mayor and Mayoress of Kensington and Chelsea; Air Chief Marshall Sir Kenneth Cross and his successor as head of the Red Cross, Colonel M. Ryan; and Baroness Hylton-Foster who is president of the London Branch.

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See early stories about the arrival of the party of Vietnamese in Britain in October 1979

© (1981) Christopher Long. Copyright, Syndication & All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
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