Len Aldis, a British activist and late secretary of the British - Vietnam Friendship Society. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) held a memorial service on December 3 for the Secretary of the British – Vietnam Friendship Society (BVFS), Len Aldis who passed away in late November.

Among attendees were Nguyen Thi Binh, former Vice State President and President of the Vietnam Peace and Development Fund; Vu Xuan Hong, President of the VUFO; Nguyen Van Rinh, President of the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin (VAVA); and Hoang Van Dung, President of the Vietnam – UK Friendship Association.

At the service, VUFO Vice President Nguyen Thi Hoang Van, gave a brief account on the life of Len Aldis, whose full name is David Leonard Aldis. Born on October 3, 1930, Len Aldis served in the British Armed Forces from 1948-1949. He used to participate in demonstrations against the war in Indochina and the war in Vietnam.

Len Aldis first came to Vietnam in 1989 and was deeply moved by the plight of Vietnamese AO victims. Since then, he visited Vietnam almost every year and founded the BVFS in 1992. He and the BVFS organised many activities to help AO victims, helping improve the living conditions of the victims being taken care of in the Hoa Binh (Peace) Village in Hanoi, the Tu Du Hospital in HCM City and shelters in many other provinces and cities.

The British activist was also involved in activities supporting poverty alleviation and education in Vietnam, as well as several friendship projects such as the reconstruction of the headquarter of Southern Vietnam’s provisional revolutionary government in Quang Tri province, forest planting in Thanh Hoa and provision of scholarships to students in Ha Tay.

He worked as a coordinator for projects of the charity organisation Medical and Scientific Aid for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Besides charity activities, Len Aldis was a leading campaigner for Vietnamese AO victims. He and the BVFS persuaded UK and European MPs to recommend the UN to choose August 10 as the International Day for Vietnamese AO victims.

He has been awarded various decorations of the Vietnamese State, Party, local administrations and organisations in recognition of the contributions of himself and the BVFS to the Vietnamese people.

Len Aldis visited Vietnam the last time in April this year. He passed away on November 27 in his own house in London.

Participants at the ceremony paid a one minute silence in honour of the activist and expressed their sorrow and gratitude to his noble sentiment and work for the charity and friendship cause.-VNA