On the 22nd of February 45 members of the Forum attended the meeting at the Church Centre, the highest turnout for this season.
The guest speaker was Geoff Queen from Kettlewell whose talk’s title was based on a quotation from Julius Caesar. The title was ‘Veni Vidi Vietnam’ which indicated that he was going to tell us about a visit to Vietnam.
In fact we learnt about a visit by Geoff and his wife to all three countries which once formed French Indo-China, namely Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, the talk being illustrated by Geoff’s excellent slides.
They found the people in all three countries to be welcoming, kind, forgiving and deeply religious. They first visited Cambodia where any visitor is made aware of the rule of the Khmer Rouge who attempted to establish a pure socialist state by a policy of murdering all intellectuals and dissenters.
They then moved on to Vietnam, by far the most populous of the three counties where they were impressed by the recovery from the Vietnam War. A feature of life is the large number of small motor cycles and the problems for pedestrians in avoiding them.
In contrast they found Laos to be much more peaceful with a large proportion of monks in the population.
Finally on the journey home they visited Bangkok and Dubai.
Mike Earle proposed a vote of thanks to Geoff for a fascinating talk.
Geoff Queen donates all speaking fees to Great Ormond Street Hospital and last year his donations totalled over£10,000.