HCM City Central Post Office’s last letter writer, Dương Văn Ngộ, has died at 94. – Photo: nld.vn

His son, Dương Minh Đức, said he had been in poor health.

Ngộ was hospitalised on July 30, did not eat anything for two days, and passed away on August 1, he said.

During his 30 years as a letter writer, Ngộ had written thousands of letters in Vietnamese, English and French, helping family members across the globe reconnect.

Fluent in English and French, he would translate people’s letters from Vietnamese into these languages.

For the past three decades, Ngộ was an icon at the city’s Central Post Office, and was well-known by not only locals but also people from all places in the world.

Many regular customers considered him their friend, and even some remembered having him write their letters since they were little.

Hailing from a poor ethnic Chinese family, Ngộ got the opportunity to study at Petrus Ký School (now known as Lê Hồng Phong High School for the Gifted).

He went on to learn foreign languages and first worked as an interpreter.

At the age of 16, Ngộ started to work as a postman. After his retirement in 1990, he began his stint as a letter writer helping the public at the post office.

He retired in 2020 due to his advanced age and health problems, but paid regular visits to the post office to see the wooden table which had been with him for 30 years as a reminiscence about his work.

In 2020 Ngộ was named “Việt Nam’s longest-serving letter writer” by the Việt Nam Guinness Book of Records.

Ngộ’s family has agreed to bury him at the Bình Dương Province Garden Cemetery, Nguyễn Văn Thiền, its chairman, said.

The funeral will be on Saturday. – VNS