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   FEATURES

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
Redemptorist Social Welfare Center celebrates Teachers Appreciation Day
Miss Kamlai wins Teachers Day essay contest
American 4th of July celebration
Flying free like a bird - Birthe Kjr

Rotary Club Pattaya donates 25,000 US Dollars to the Pattaya Orphanage with the help of Rotary International Foundation

Bancha Mungchana installed as new Rotary President
 
Is your country ready for the Y2K bug? Part 4
 
Critical Success Factor - Power

Redemptorist Social Welfare Center celebrates Teachers Appreciation Day

f11.jpg (28103 bytes)Opening Ceremony of the 12th Athletic Competition at the Redemptorist Center.

Father Raymond Brennan, Director of the Redemptorist Social Welfare Center, Father Michael Phichan Jaiseri, Director of the Redemptorist Vocational School, and the School Principal, Suphorntham Mongkhonsawat, along with the teaching staff held their Teachers Appreciation Day Ceremony and activities on June 17th.

f13.jpg (24242 bytes)The school provides vocational training in two major areas: electronics and computers. 182 handicapped students attend the school.

This year’s activities included the traditional ceremony of students presenting flowers, joss sticks and candles as they displayed their respects to the teachers. In addition, recognition with awards were presented to students attaining high achievement in classes as well.

In the afternoon athletic events were held with students competing against one another, preparing and vying for positions to compete in the upcoming Thai National Handicapped Competition in Rayong in September. The events will decide which athletes wf15.jpg (40322 bytes)ill represent Thailand in future international competitions during the Fesbic and Phara Games.

Athletes representing the students.

Chanyut Hengtrakul, Chairman of the Chonburi Administrative Council, presided over the opening ceremony of the School’s 12th Athletic Competition. Sporting events consisted of: ping pong, tennis, swimming, weight lifting, football, volleyball, wheelchair basketball and takraw.

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Miss Kamlai wins Teachers Day essay contest

The custom of showing respect and appreciation for teachers in Thailand is a very old custom that can not be pinpointed as to when it actually began. It is only known that it was done before our grandparents were children.

f2.jpg (20501 bytes)Miss Kamlai Sameukid.

The Teachers Appreciation custom is performed at each and every level of education and at schools of all academic subjects. The students gather together to demonstrate their gratitude and show their respect towards the educators who give them the required knowledge to pursue their individual dreams as adults. The custom is conducted at the beginning of the school term, with the only requisite being the custom must be performed on a Thursday.

The Pattaya Redemptorist Vocational School held their Teachers Appreciation Day Ceremony on June 17th. The students at the Redemptorist School wrote essays on Teachers Appreciation. Miss Kamlai Sameukid, a computer student, earned the distinction of writing the most impressive essay on the subject.

Miss Kamlai described teachers as "role models, instructing and advising young people. The first teachers are our parents, providing training and beautifully looking after us. Then, as we grow older, our parents show their love for us by sending us to school where we meet with our new teachers who are considered to be the best providers of our next phase of learning."

"Teachers at the Redemptorist Vocational School have duties very different from other teachers because the instruction they provide is given to handicapped students. The teachers join in games, sports, and even eat their meals with the students. The teachers do not intend for the students at our school to turn into better or brighter individuals than those from other schools, but they have the desire and hopes for all of us to be able to look after ourselves and pursue a life in society on our own. The teachers not only put up with our stubbornness but they surely have problems of their own, although they never let their problems interfere with the daily activity of teaching, without even taking a day off to rest. What have we the students done for them today or in the past? Maybe it doesn’t matter as long as we don’t let them down in the future."

Miss Kamlai Sameukid, age 24, has been handicapped in her arm and leg from polio since she was two years old. However, she was not discouraged from acquiring a degree from the Chonburi Vocational College. She recently enrolled at the Pattaya Redemptorist School to study computers, and is now in her first term.

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American 4th of July celebration

After a two-year hiatus, on Saturday, 3 July, the traditional American July 4th family celebration of the birth of the United States is back!

Place: The New International School in Thailand (NIST) on Sukhumvit Soi 15, Bangkok.

Time: 15:00 - 19:30. Ticket price: 60 Baht (Kids 12 and under free).

Organized by the Star-Spangled Coalition (I-Day), an all-volunteer group of resident Americans and friends, with the support of the US Embassy, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Joint US Military Advisory Group (JUSMAG), New International School of Thailand (NIST), and the American Women’s Club (AWC), the celebration will be in the family picnic tradition with hotdogs, hamburgers, ribs, chicken, beverages, plus field games for all ages, prize drawings, the United States Marine Corps Color Guard, Dr. Penguin, raffle tickets, including roundtrip air tickets to the US, an address by the ambassador (message from the President), and fireworks.

Have fun with your family. Meet old friends. Make new ones. Get into the Spirit of ’76, even though we are so far from home. Relax and play.

Support and participation are welcome.

Volunteer: If you want to get involved as a volunteer and help out on the day of the event, please contact Bob Hull [email protected], Tel 287-1036, ext. 331.

Support: If your company or organization wants to provide direct financial support; to donate goods, services, or prizes; to sell raffle tickets; or to otherwise participate, please contact the following people:

Finance/Donations: Barent Springsted, [email protected], Tel 266-6677.

Raffle Tickets & Prizes: Tom Whitcraft, [email protected], Tel 391-5567. (20 Baht per ticket; 1 book of 25 tickets = 500 Baht).

Food & Beverage: Bill Hudson, [email protected], Tel 01-319-1752.

Entertainment: Byron Bales, [email protected], Tel 258-6615.

General Information: Alex Mavro, [email protected]; Fax: 285-3985; Tel: 285-3512; Mobile: 01-811-8016.

We look forward to seeing you and yours for this special day.

For further information, contact: Alex Mavro, Tel: 285-3512, Email: [email protected], Website: www.iday.net.

Proceeds go to scholarships for children of AIDS victims.

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Flying free like a bird - Birthe Kjr

by Elfi

Every year, "The Cliffters", a famous group from Denmark, comes to Thailand to give charity concerts for the Pattaya Orphanage (the previous two times were at the Thai Garden Resort on December 31st 98 and on 2 Jan. 99 at the Moon River Pub). The group also strongly promotes the Orphanage in Denmark and usually collects a lot of money for it during their many performances there.

Birthe Kjr, one of the most famous singing stars in Denmark, heard about this charity and gave Cliffters bandleader Johnny Reimers a call. Birthe, after 30 years on top of the charts, was ready to take a one year break and wanted nothing more than to spend part of this time as a volunteer at the Pattaya’s Orphanage.

f41.jpg (35861 bytes)Birthe surrounded by volunteers, staff and Father Brennan at the orphanage.

Pattaya Mail caught up with Birthe and asked her why she, a superstar back in Denmark, intended to do devote 3 months of her rest time as a volunteer. "I believe it is the duty of every human being to do some charity work, no matter the position, name or money. In Denmark, all people are well taken care of by the government and there’s not much I could do to help. When I heard about the Orphanage in Pattaya and about the great work Father Ray Brennan is doing, I didn’t have to think twice. But I didn’t do it only to do some charity work, but for my own sake as well," Birthe said.

She applied for the job and arrived very quietly in Pattaya. In the same quiet way, she worked here for three months, working long days, 6 days a week and living at the orphanage. Nothing was too dirty or too hard for her and everybody at the orphanage said that she was a great volunteer. None of the staff there would have ever got the feeling that Birthe is a big star back home, except when busses with Danish guests, who liked to visit the Orphanage, would arrive and people would go crazy over her. "After the first few times, I would disappear when I heard a bus coming. It was no problem for me to handle the Danish tourists in town who would recognize me when I went shopping, but to handle a busload of people with cameras is a different thing," Birthe explained.

Despite her fame, Birthe Kjr is truly a very humble and down to earth person. She started singing at age 12, giving public performances, but her real career started in 1968 when she immediately hit the top ten in Denmark with the pop song "Arrivederci Franz", her very first record. This song went like a huge wave through all of Europe, being translated in many different languages and featured by countless singers. But, singing pop songs was not all Birthe did. She also performed in big revues - one of the most famous being the ‘Circus Revue’ - and at theaters in leading parts in musicals ("I’m getting my act together and taking it on the road again"; "Landmansliv" and "Harry and the Butler"). One of her songs, loosely translated as "I’ll never again go to dance without my pants", which she sang at her revue debut in 1972, showed her great talent as a comedian.

f42.jpg (27718 bytes)Birthe working at the Orphanage.

Television soon came calling. 22 times Birthe hosted the "Dream Wedding", a very famous show throughout Europe. She had her own regular TV variety show with many international guest stars.

Birthe Kjr also sings Chansons with a touch of classical music and has produced two albums with two classical musicians. One was called "In another way" - using old Danish songs and making them exactly in another way, and the second was called "Film music in our way".

Birthe Kjr sang three times in Denmark for the Grand Prix Eurovision, finally winning in 1989. With the song "VI MALER BYEN RD", she went to Lausanne to represent her country - and came back home with the trophy for the second runner up.

In 1991, Birthe received the precious "Joy of Life" award by the Simon Spies Foundation. In 1994 another big award, the Revue Maren was presented to her for the best show part in the Holstebro Revue. Birthe, already a superstar for thirty years, received her first gold CD in 1996, followed by a platinum CD in 1998.

And, as with the Grand Prix Eurovision, the number three seems to be a magic number for Birthe. She was nominated for the Grammy three times, and finally won earlier this year for her CD "Flying Free Like a Bird".

Working at the Orphanage, she received the phone call about her victory and could only take part in the presentation celebration via telephone. She recorded the CD knowing that she was going to take a one year break from the music and theater scene, and she wanted to express her intentions and feelings about it to her millions of fans.

After her three months volunteer work at the Orphanage, Birthe went back to Denmark with the intention of traveling around the world for a while. Yet, it was only two months before she came back to Pattaya, this time not living at the orphanage but at the Thai Garden Resort. "I became very fond of the children at the orphanage and I missed them very much. Especially the 11 months old boy whom I am sponsoring for as long as he needs it. When I left the first time, it was very hard for me and I thought it would break my heart. I just had to come back! Yet, this time not as a volunteer, but just as a visitor, to get accustomed to not being around them too much. I think I can now get over it. Besides, I know I can always visit them in the future. I am ready to accept that fact. You know three months living with the children is a long time and I needed this visit to be able to say goodbye to them in my heart. I go there every day, but each day for a shorter while - and that helps!"

Birthe’s fantastic looks, her good heart, her generosity and her humbleness, which is a big part of her charm, makes this big star a very special person. I am sure that neither the children, the staff at the Orphanage, nor I will ever forget Birthe Kjr!

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Rotary Club Pattaya donates 25,000 US Dollars to the Pattaya Orphanage with the help of Rotary International Foundation

by Elfi

Last Saturday, the Rotary Club Pattaya had the great pleasure to invite many Rotarians to join the auspicious occasion of the presentation of a Children’s Opportunities Grant in the amount of 25,000 US Dollars to the Pattaya Orphanage.

f5.jpg (33411 bytes)Surrounded by all the children, as well as many Rotarians, Father Michael Pichan, on behalf of the orphanage, accepts $25,000 US Dollars from District Governor Khun Prasert Euprasert and incoming District Governor Khun Somchai Chiaranaipanit.

This money came from the Rotary International Foundation in Chicago which had granted 800 funds of this amount of money, totaling $20 million US Dollars for the fiscal year 1998-1999 ending June 1999. 7000 Rotary Clubs all over the world applied for these funds. The Rotary Club Pattaya, District 3340, with the help of one of their members, Past District Governor Khun Som Indra-Payoong, was the 2066th applicant, and yet the club was still fortunate to receive the grant. It was only the only second in Thailand. The "Children’s Opportunities Grant" proposed to cover the costs of food, medicine and educational training for 180 orphans and 50 deaf students, totaling 230 children at the Pattaya Orphanage.

Father Michael Pichan, the assistant director of the Orphanage, received the check from the present District Governor Khun Prasert Euprasert and incoming District Governor Khun Somchai Chiaranaipanit. This generous act was witnessed by Father Ray Brennan, many Rotary presidents, Rotarians of the district and several other guests.

Father Ray Brennan and Father Michael took then the opportunity to express their appreciation to the Rotary International Foundation. Their real heartfelt thanks went also to the Rotary Club of Pattaya and all the Rotarians taking part in helping the children of the Pattaya Orphanage by acting according to this year’s Rotary theme: "Follow your Rotary Dream".

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Bancha Mungchana installed as new Rotary President

At a glittering evening ceremony held in the Ballroom of the Royal Cliff Grand, local business identity Bancha Mungchana was installed as the new President of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya for the year 1999 - 2000.

f62.jpg (31853 bytes)The old and the new - Rotary celebrates another new year of camraderie and benevolence.

With over 120 people attending, including the Mayor of Pattaya, Pairat Suthithamrongsawat, and Rotarians registering from all over the world, it was a truly cosmopolitan evening and demonstrated the ideals of international understanding, a principle that is promoted by the Rotary movement.

Outgoing President John Richards spoke on his pride that the club had been involved with so many charitable projects during his year of presidency. The fact that the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya was a forceful member of the United Charities of the Eastern Seaboard (UCES) was highlighted with both the outgoing Chairwoman, Catherine Bond, and the incoming Chairman, Don McLachlan, being present at the installation night.

f61.jpg (30119 bytes)District Governor Somchai Chiaranaipanit (left) officiated at the handing over of the PresidentialCollar to the incoming President Bancha Mungchana (right) from the now Past President John Richards (center).

John Richards also presented tokens of appreciation to those people who had assisted both him and the club during his period of presidency. There were two outstanding awards amongst these. The first was to a young man, Chinnaporn Sungwanlek, who had maintained the Rotary web-site and had also done all the design and layout of the club’s Year Book. To do this required an enormous number of hours of labour, often stretching into the middle of the night to complete the book in time for the installation. What made this award so notable is the fact that Chinnaporn is physically handicapped, and instead of the more usual Rotary help for the physically challenged this was a case of the handicapped helping Rotary.

The highest accolade in the Rotary awards is the Paul Harris Fellow, named after the founder of the Rotary movement. To be nominated for, and awarded one of these, requires a great sense of dedication and selflessness. One of the club’s most tireless workers, Community Services Director Peter Thorand, was honoured with this award. Peter has now joined a very committed group of Rotarians as the newest Paul Harris Fellow.

A vote of thanks was given by the District Governor Elect Premprecha Dibbayawan to John Richards for his year’s work and a token of appreciation presented to him by the club itself.

However, the most important part of the evening was the installation. The newly appointed District Governor, Somchai Chiaranaipanit, officiated at the handing over of the Presidential Collar to the incoming President Bancha from the now Past President John. New President Bancha spoke on his hopes for the forthcoming year and his determination to continue the worthwhile Rotary projects for the benefit of the underprivileged. President Bancha was also congratulated by the Mayor of Pattaya, who expressed his personal good wishes to Bancha and pledged his administration’s support for the year ahead.

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Is your country ready for the Y2K bug? Part 4

The global travel & tourism industry is looking at the prospects of the turn of the Millennium being anything but a financial bonanza. As the nigh nears, and so does suspense over the impact of the Y2K bug, holiday-makers will be asking potential destinations: Is your country ready for it? Those who can say "yes" are going to make a heap of money. Those who are not sure, well, wait and see...

From Imtiaz Muqbil,
Executive Editor,
Travel Impact Newswire

Medical devices

What could go wrong: Embedded chips and noncompliant software in some patient monitoring equipment, external defibrillators, EKG equipment, ultrasound equipment, and kidney dialysis machines could compromise their reliability. In one extreme example, when a director of clinical engineering for a New York medical center hooked himself up to a electrocardiograph to test its Y2K reliability, the machine correctly determined that he was normal in 1999. But when its date was advanced to Jan. 1, 2000, it indicated that he had atrial fibrillation and a pacemaker; when the date was further advanced to Feb.29, it diagnosed ventricular fibrillation. Manufacturers have been slow to provide information about which products have Y2K bugs; many have also been uncooperative in helping owners of the devices fix problems.

What to do: Check the Food and Drug Administration’s web site for a listing of device-compliance status from manufacturers. Not all devices are listed, and the vast majority that are listed are described by their manufacturers as compliant. The FDA, however, hasn’t independently confirmed that information. Some manufacturers have listed the Y2K status of their products on their company web site. Though problems with devices in hospitals and in doctors’ offices are out of your control, don’t be afraid to ask questions. And do follow sound medical advice.

For more information: See the Food and Drug Administration on-line clearinghouse (wyvyvjda.gov). For insight into Y2K readiness of the health-care industry generally, see the web site for the Rx2000 Solutions Institute, a non-profit industry-supported information resource (www. rx2000 org).

Doctors’ offices

What could go wrong: Physician practices trail most other segments of health care in Y2K preparedness; most have not even begun to assess the extent of possible problems. Patient medical records, still kept by hand in nine of ten offices, won’t be affected. A likely impact will be on scheduling and billing computer systems and on medical devices such as blood analyzers.

What to do: Check with your doctor’s office about its Y2K readiness. Starting in mid-1999, keep paper copies of all appointments and bills. Schedule elective visits before December 1999 or postpone these appointments until well into 2000.

Health insurance

What could go wrong: Large private insurers and the Medicare system are spending millions to prepare for Y2K, but most, including Medicare, weren’t fully compliant as of the end of February. Huge interdependent computer billing and payment systems will be vulnerable to disruption if even one link is not Y2K ready. Problems could crop up at any point - from checking eligibility of plan members to claims submissions and processing to final billing and payment.

What to do: If possible, schedule any elective surgery before December 1999 or until well into 2000 (or at least until computers have demonstrated that they can recognize Feb.29, 2000, as a leap day). Keep backup paper records of all information you exchange with your insurer, and make sure you understand your plan’s eligibility and payment rules. Be prepared to pay cash for emergency care in the event of a system breakdown, but keep all paper receipts for reimbursement.

For more information: Contact your health insurer. The Health Care Financing Administration, the payer of Medicare reimbursements, posts Y2K information at www.hcfa.gov/Y2K.

Prescription drugs

What could go wrong: Global pharmaceutical firms were the first in the health-care industry to address the Y2K problem; many have nearly completed upgrading their internal systems. The prescription drug industry is organized to function under adverse conditions such as natural disasters or epidemics, and the distribution chain for pharmaceuticals is short and can function largely without computers. Large drugstore chains are readying themselves for Y2K, but smaller chains and independent stores may not be. Large-scale hoarding could disrupt suppliers even if all systems function.

What to do: Check with your pharmacist about your local drugstore’s Y2K readiness. With the co-operation of your physician and pharmacist, try to arrange to begin 2000 with a 30-to 60-day supply of any essential prescription medicines you take regularly. If possible, stock up well before the fourth quarter of 1999; if hoarding does occur, that’s when manufacturers and distributors could decide to place curbs on purchases. Be sure to observe the expiration dates of all medicines.

Countdown to Y2K

The effects of the millennium bug won’t strike all at once at midnight next New Year’s Eve. Most likely, the effects will arrive in stages throughout the balance of 1999 and potentially linger well into 2000. In fact, the first of these dates - April 1, the start of fiscal year 2000 in Canada, Japan, and New York State - is already behind us. Here are other key dates to watch:

July 1, 1999: Forty-six state governments begin their new fiscal year.

Sept. 9, 1999: Some programmers worry that computers may have trouble processing this date. That’s because the common designation for this Thursday in late summer is 9/9/99, a variant of a computer code that signifies the end of a data field. Most experts think this is not likely to be a problem.

Oct.1, 1999: The beginning of fiscal year 2000 for the federal government. According to a recent appraisal by a congressional subcommittee, 13 to 24 Washington agencies may have trouble meeting this Y2K deadline.

Dec.31, 1999: Potential Y2K problems arrive at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. That’s when computers synchronized to Coordinated Universal Time, measured by an atomic clock in Europe, welcome the New Year.

Jan. 4, 2000: For many, the first scheduled business day following the New Year holiday weekend.

Feb. 29, 2000: This date marks 2000 as a leap year. According to the conventions established by the Catholic Church in 1582, an extra day is added every four years except at the turn of a century, in which cases an extra day is added only once every 400 years. And yes, 2000 is such a year.

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Critical Success Factor - Power

from Richard Townsend,
Corporate Training

First: a definition: The ability of a person or group to influence the thoughts or behaviour of another person or group, so that he/she or they do something they would not otherwise do, assuming that the recipients of the power have some personal discretion over what they do.

The Five Types, Groups or Points of Power

A) Legitimate, Authority, Position, Access to Formal Communication (the boss in all his or her various positions or forms).

B) Expert, Knowledge, Technical Superiority, Communication Skill, Task or Job (the MIS manager & the head of engineering)

C) Coercive, Fear, Take Away, Negative Control of Resources or Information (purchasing, financial control & the HR director)

D) Referent, Personal Attractiveness, Relationship, Groups, Charisma, Sex (the boss’s secretary, the top salesperson, the lovely young thing from PR and the office stud)

E) Reward, Positive Control of Resources or Information, Money, Benefits (the boss, the supervisor, the project manager & most of the above)

To be truly "powerful" all five groups should be used, reliance on one group will ultimately lead to loss of power, i.e., authority can be withdrawn, knowledge becomes outdated, fear creates subversion, we all get old (and ugly) and our ability to reward can be hampered by the vagaries of the business climate and company edicts.

Power can be perceived as personalised or socialsed

Personalized power infers that only the Power User will benefit and if used a negative impact on the receivers will occur.

Socialized use of power is when the receiver perceives both the power user and the receiver will benefit and is more likely to gain acceptance and a positive outcome.

Important Point - the recipient of power will always be the one who decides if the power user is using socialized or personalized power.

Critical for Power - Maintaining Dependency

The receiver’s relationship or dependency on the holder of power is only effective when the holder posses something that the receiver wants. The more dependant the receiver is the greater the power of the holder. Critical to dependency are; the importance of what is controlled, the scarcity of the resource and the potential for substitutes or alternatives. (i.e. scarcity of jobs, limited chance of promotion, total salary increase budget, staff resources, purchasing budgets and funds for R & D).

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Updated by Chinnaporn Sangwanlek.