DECEMBER 25 2022
30TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY RUN ON SMALL MOUNTAIN AND PARTY
Hares: Secs, Chippy
Hash Flashers: Chippy, Chom Chom, Mr. Phong
Run 1040 coincided with a monumental occasion - the 30th Anniversary of Vung Tau Hash House Harriers (VTH3)! 30 years ago on the 27th December a group of expats led by Captain John 'Anchor' Murt met at the, now demolished, Seabreeze Hotel for a jog around town and thus VTH3 was born!
Since the nearest Sunday to the 27th happened to be on Christmas day it was decided to have a short local run on the Jesus Mountain so that our Hashers would have time to don their glad rags for the Anniversary Party in the evening.
28 Hashers, including 2 from the newly formed Binh Duong Hash, arrived at our newly branded kennel, Nang Vung Tau. As usual Mr. T took registration assisted by Reardo. Once everyone was accounted for we all jumped on motorbikes and headed to our starting point - Beach Valley at 1A Ha Long Road.
It was a beautiful cool sunny afternoon with a pleasant breeze as we gathered around Secs for our instructions: we are to walk up the steps to the Jesus statue about a third of the way until we see red ribbons on the right hand side indicating we are to jump over the wall and follow the red ribbons across the quarry side of the mountain, and then on to a hidden set of steps that will take us up to the top of the mountain at the back of Jesus - then a simple walk back down the steps to Beach Valley.
So On-On we go, carefully crossing the busy Ha Long road and enter the Jesus complex now resplendent with Christmas decorations. It was easy enough climbing up the steps and jumping over the wall onto the side of the mountain. We hobbled over the initial rocky path for a short while and then were rewarded with stunning views of Hòn Bà Temple atop the small island opposite. Many obligatory selfies later we arrive at the far end of the quarry which affords us magnificent views of the back beach. More selfies with the newly blossomed trees and then it's a pleasant walk along a tree lined path until we reach the Jesus complex guardhouse. We turn right along the side of the guardhouse and up some narrow steps. Hidden in the jungle is a massive old French cannon. The red ribbons lead us to an overgrown staircase which we follow until it emerges at the largest Christian statue in Asia - towering 36 metres above us - Christ the King welcomes us with outstretched arms. We wish him “Happy Birthday” and then proceed to descend the 811 steps down passing gleaming white Christian icons until we are back at the picturesque Beach Valley.
Back at Beach Valley we enjoy some freshly delivered Bahn mi washed down with a selection of soft drinks and Saigon Green beer while massive waves crash up against the seawall next to us. One of our junior Hashers brought his pet parrot with him, notable because its bright green plumage matched perfectly with our Run 1000 T-Shirts. It’s a short down-down since we all need to head home to prepare for the highlight of the day - the 30th Anniversary Party at Ốc Xanh with our favourite band Perfect Jive Duo.
At 6.30pm eager Hashers started to arrive at Ốc Xanh Restaurant, next to our store room at Nang Vung Tau, excited for the night’s proceedings. It was unusual to see so many of us in our evening wear instead of our familiar hiking gear - ladies looking radiant, children looking smart and well groomed, and the guys well I guess you could say handsome. The Hashers kept coming and by 7.30pm more than 60 people were seated ready for all that was to come.
Secs kicked off the evening by welcoming everybody to the 30th Anniversary of Vung Tau Hash. A short video created by Chom Chom, based on some exhaustive digging and documenting by Hash Historian Uncle.
After the video Secs invited the volunteers who make up the Mismanagement Committee to join him on stage:
After a rapturous round of applause for our volunteers, some of our key supporters were introduced and thanked:
Next up stalwart Hasher Faulty Brakes was invited on stage. Faulty Brakes, together with Uncle, were instrumental in making the Hash what it is today. Back in 2011, Uncle, Anti and Faulty Brakes resurrected the Hash after a breakdown. In his speech Faulty Brakes paid homage to Uncle for all his contributions - it would not be VTH3 without Uncle. He explained how back in 2011 armed with only a blue plastic bin containing a rope, a bugle, a green hat, a chain of office and a first aid kit from the Crimean War (complete with leeches!), they were able to create the ReHash which became the Hash that we all know and love today.
And with the formalities over it was PARTY ON-ON!!
While Ốc Xanh delivered a multitude of delicacies including smoked goose breast salad, grilled clams with cheese, fried rice, Russian style sausages and Thai style hotpot, the legendary Perfect Jive Duo perform a selection of tunes including some Christmas songs. In between sets various Hashers got up to sing us a song including our favourite crooner, Borneo Bum Biter, his wife Catwoman, Mr. Phi and others. One of our very junior Hasher took to the keyboard to perform an enchanting rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.
On the next break it was time to reveal the beautiful and sumptuous Cake designed with our latest green branding. Chippy and Faulty Brakes performed the ceremonial cutting. In addition to the official Hash cake, Bishop had also prepared a home-made cheesecake which was delicious and subsequently devoured.
The band played on and as the tunes got more lively many of our Hash House dancers were on stage strutting their stuff in front of the band. The night culminated with Secs popping a bottle of some very dodgy Russian sparkling wine, which some people seemed to enjoy!
And so the party came to an end, a fitting celebration of the 30 years that VTH3 has been consistently running through thick and thin, every Sunday, in any weather.
Here’s to another 30 years!!
RUN 1040 GALLERY
Very kind of Faulty Brakes to give me so much credit for restarting the Hash in July 2011 but it was a combined effort with FB, me and especially Anti all pitching in together. If anyone deserves to be singled out for special mention it's definitely Anti in my opinion, because without her chauffering me around to set trails, bargaining with bus companies and food suppliers to keep us within a very tight budget, and doing the same with local cafe owners and forest wardens to give us access to their properties and land on various different mountains, we'd have been restricted to setting trails within the bounds of Vung Tau City for evermore!
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