PHOTOS and Story courtesy Kaye Martin MBNews
State Member Sean Choat and Cr David Pahlke say a personal farwell
To Nguyen and Myle DAT and children Anthony and Mylyn
LAST Saturday, Marburg Farewelled the Dat family who have run the Marburg Newsagency and General Store for 26 years. Their story is an interesting one, according to the members of the Marburg and District Residents Association who hosted the afternoon tea. President Greg Farr said many in the community had memories of when the Dats first arrived in Marburg. “At a time when you had to be accepted in small communities, this community welcomed a Vietnamese couple into Marburg.” Mr Nguyen Dat, who through his tenure in the sore was only ever known as Dat, First came to Australia 44 Years ago on a scholarship, initially to Sydney to learn both spoken and written English.
In 1972 he began studies for a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree in both Townsville and Brisbane Universities, followed by his Masters. In 1976, with many refugees fleeing his homeland, Dat was approached by the Australian Immigration Department to become part of a team to assist with the settling of refugees. He abandoned his studies and took up the role with the department at Wacol and that was where he met his future wife, Myle, a 23-year-old refugee from Mekong Delta. The couple married in 1982 and initially lived in Ipswich. Myle worked at the House of Jenyns, while Dat worked as a chemical engineer. When his company moved away from Ipswich the couple chose to stay and purchase a small snack bar in Raceview.
In 1988 they sold up and purchased the Marburg business. “We planned on staying here for three or four years,” Dat told the gathering with a gin as he added “But that was before our family arrived.” The couple decided that Marburg was an ideal location to raise their children, Anthony and Mylyn, “In the early years we worked hard to build our customers’ confidence and provide good service to Marburg and in return we have made many friends,” Dat said. He also recognising their long service to the Marburg community.
“it is not easy to run a small business and to give the long term service that you have to this community is a real achievement,” he said as he wished them well in retirement. A large group of residents gathered at Marburg’s Community Hall, laden with platters of afternoon tea to farewell to the Dat family. Anthony travelled from Victoria, where he is a resident doctor at the Alfred Hospital, enjoying his first day off in 28 days. Mylyn is in her final year of a Bachelor of Psychology at the University of Queensland, The siblings stood proudly beside their parents as accolades flowed from the community.
Greg said to Anthony and Mylyn that no matter where they travel in the world, they are Marburg Born and bred and will always be a part of the community. Myle, recognised as the quiet on of the family, smiled as it was revealed that she has a long list, ‘never-ending’ in her words, of chores for Dat to keep him busy in his retirement. The couple purchased a home in Bellbowrie when the children were at university and they will retire to this home but say they will be visiting Marburg. “ This is a very good town with many wonderful people and to have so many people her today is a great honour for my family and I,” he said. The afternoon saw many in tears as farewells were formally made, with many cards and flowers presented to the couple. The residents Association presented the Dat family with a framed photo of the rural surroundings of the town, a lasting memory of the place they called home for much of their married lives.
The Marburg Community farewells the DAT Family