The Truong Sa community house which was constructed thanks to donations from readers of Tuoi Tre Newspaper was inaugurated on May 14 on Da Tay Island in the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago in the East Sea.
At a cost of VND17 billion (US$817,300), the house, which was built in six months from October last year by soldiers of the Engineering Regiment 131 of the Vietnamese Navy, has a total surface area of 320 square meters to provide shelter for fishermen at sea.
70 representatives of the Navy, Tuoi Tre readers and Tuoi Tre staff went on the naval ship HQ-936 from the mainland to the island to attend the inauguration ceremony together with soldiers stationed on the island.
“I wished all those who donated money and assets to this construction were here now to witness the moving moments they have been anticipating,” said Nguyen Mau Chi, general director of Hue Beer Company.
Tuoi Tre’s deputy editor-in-chief Le The Chu addressed the ceremony, “The project represents the hearts and strengths of millions of Vietnamese people living inside and outside the country”.
The ‘Let’s Build Truong Sa’ fund launched by Tuoi Tre raised a total fund of over VND42 billion ($ 2 million). The sum is expected to build 12 items on the island including a wharf and a fuel warehouse.
Nguyen Thi Quy in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 12, who is a scrap dealer and made donations to the fund, admitted to Tuoi Tre, “I’ve been longing for this moment for a long time. I couldn’t sleep yesterday night because of eagerness. I want to see the house with my own eyes.”
At the ceremony, all representatives and soldiers stationed on Da Tay expressed their gratitude towards members of the Engineering Regiment 131 who constructed it.
Pham Van Minh, 56, who worked in Truong Sa as chief of Company 10 of the Regiment 131 in 1988, recalled, “We started building Truong Sa right after a foreign military force launched attacks at islands of Vietnam in Truong Sa in March of 1988.
Then, on our way from the mainland to our islands, hostile reconnaissance planes flew above us. It was so low that we could see the heads of their pilots. We prepared a ton of explosives. If they had sent their ships to approach us, we would have set them off. We promised not to fall into their custody.”