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Extract from interview with Helen Frizzell, 12 June 2009
Reproduced with permission of George Gordon
One of the things that pertains to today, is the relationship which the New Zealand Surgical Team established from 1963 to '75 with the civilian population of Qui Nhon. It was one in my day, after we'd only been there five or six years, was one of great warmth and mutual respect. We respected and liked the Vietnamese we worked with and worked for. And I think we had the capacity to show that, and they responded to it, because they were naturally reserved about foreigners.
Now to this day, we, former members of the New Zealand Surgical Team and Medical Team, back in 1997, established the New Zealand VietNam Health Trust. And that Trust today is still sending people up to support the health services in Binh Dinh Province, with lots of exciting activities that are going on there, in support of those health services.
Not only is it happening there but we're bringing lots of, well quite a number of, of Vietnamese doctors and particularly laboratory technologists and medical scientists back here for training. And we're doing that of course, and I must acknowledge, ‘til now, with the financial support of NZ Aid.
Vietnam War Oral History Project, Manatu Taonga Ministry for Culture & Heritage