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Duyet Le Van Passed Away 3 April 2021

09 Apr 21
Peter Bull

Laura, daughter of Duyet (pronounced Dwight), Laura, & his widow, Robyn has contacted Dave Wicks to advise that Duyet passed peacefully on the 3rd April from a long term illness with family around him. He displayed strength and spirit to the end.

Funeral Service:

Monday 12th April, 2021 at 2:15pm,

Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens and Crematorium, 199 Delhi Road North Ryde.



  1. Peter Bull April 9, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    Duyet was a nice bloke.

    Ron Beckett

  2. Peter Bull April 12, 2021 at 11:25 am

    Dwight LeVan as most in OTC knew him, started as a Grade 1 Engineer in the CRS/Radio section of OTC Engineering in the first week of May 1975, only three days after escaping Saigon on the last RAAF aircraft out of Ton Son Nhat airbase.
    I first met him on his second day. Duyet had migrated to Australia in the mid 1960s, after he & Robyn were married but returned to Saigon at request of the South Vietnamese government. They needed his engineering, operations & management expertise as Director of Telegraph & Data for South Vietnam.
    Duyet’s years in engineering ended when he moved to Operations Branch in the early 1980s & back to his old field of Telex & data.
    As many will recall Duyet was among the first raft of redundancies as OTC reorganised, before returning for extended periods over the years as a consultant.
    Duyet history is very interesting. His father was one of the 23 founding members of Ho Chi Minh’s Communist Party of Vietnam & became its Health & Education Minister. Like many ‘communists’ I met over the years in Vietnam, their membership was nationalist rather than ideological. After the defeat of the French at Diem Bien Phu, Duyet’s family moved to the new Republic of South Vietnam. His father passed away in the US some years ago. His father remained greatly re-veered by the Party as a founding member of the Party which viewed history before & after 1956 differently & respected the choice to move to the South. Duyet became an Engineer & worked his way up through the ranks of the Buu Diem, a Posts & Telecoms structure like the old PMG.
    In 1986, OTC’s first project negotiating team arrived in Vietnam. This was a time when Vietnam was a very different place to today; a hardline police state & only Party approved people could meet & speak with us. Despite the risk to themselves, two former engineering colleagues of Duyet took the risk to whisper to me, “Le Van Duyet. My friend.”
    Duyet was a man of influence beyond what many work colleagues realise. During the Boat People era, Duyet was a key community leader when Malcolm Fraser decided Australia would provide sanctuary. Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to scan the volumes of visitors book at the former LeVan family house in Eastwood, could not but be impressed with the names & comments of well known politicians, diplomats, ambassadors & business leaders who’d visited.
    Duyet’s opinion & guidance was sought & respected well beyond OTC. OTC played a significant role in the Hawke era, in support of government policy to change the geopolitics in South East Asia, grow trade & break down ‘bamboo walls’. Duyet’s insights into how people on the other side of the table thought contributed to our success.
    For some years Duyet has battled Lymphoma finally losing the battle on 3rd April. Over the last few years, Duyet’s health & regular treatment has severely limited contact with friends. The last contact was about two weeks ago. His passing shortly after did not surprise.

    Davis Wicks

  3. Peter Bull April 12, 2021 at 11:32 am

    Duyet was one of the good guys. I quite enjoyed his company.

    Col Jones

  4. Peter Bull April 15, 2021 at 7:45 am

    A memory of Duyet that comes back to me time and again:

    I reckon it was about 1986. We were having a morning tea break during a training course or something similar. This was before the days of personal computers, before the commonplace internet, and microcomputers were just starting to push out IBM Big Blue Boxes. I think OTC, as a leader in such things, had started to put Wang computers in.

    Duyet started telling me about malicious code that people were writing that self-replicated “like a virus”. I was fascinated. Of course, we all know how that area of IT took off!

    Cheers, Dave Neyle

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