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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
Sri Lankans extend kindness and benevolence to the Orphans of Pattaya

A Transformational Leader’s Characteristics

Coins of the Realm

BCCT to hold AGM 27 Jan 2000 at Landmark Hotel

Two young trainees receive Royal Cliff-Fassbind Scholarships

Sex and the hotel guest

House of the Heart of Fire

Sri Lankans extend kindness and benevolence to the Orphans of Pattaya

UNICEF promises to ease the plight of our children

This was a special Children’s Day at the Pattaya Orphanage. Sri Lankans living in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand, led by the Ambassador of Sri Lanka H.E. Karunatilaka Amunugama and his wife, made a special journey to Pattaya to celebrate Children’s Day with the kids at the Pattaya Orphanage. A group from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) joined them and its chief representative Mr. Gamini Abeysekera. Together they brought with them enough care and loving, not forgetting to mention lots of presents, to share with the little unfortunate ones who are under the loving care of Father Raymond Brennan and his team of nuns and volunteers.

Happiness all around, for those who receive, but more so for those who give.

Former Mayor of Pattaya Pairat Suttithamrongsawat and the Chief of Banglamung District, Vichien Chawalit were also present to show they care about to the orphans.

The ceremonies started with the ceremonial lighting of the 7 foot tall brass lamp with a rooster perched on the top sybolising that every day is the dawn of a new era and light, bringing with it good fortune.

In his opening remarks Pairat expressed his gratitude towards the Sri Lankan Embassy and UNICEF and announced that the main aim of this year’s Children’s Day resolutions was "to strive towards ensuring equality for handicapped children, (making sure they) have all the rights and privileges as any citizen of Thailand".

Children enjoying their special lunch watched over lovingly by Mayor Pairat and District Chief Vichien.

HE Karunatilaka Amunugama said, "Sri Lankans put a great deal of emphasis on importance of the future of children." He went on to say that, "This year we have decided to involve ourselves with various organizations in Thailand to assist in any way we can to help alleviate some of the needs in the form of education, health and the quality of life of the children of Thailand." He concluded by saying, "We would like to share our hearts and our thoughts with the young children of this country, with the people of Thailand and with Thailand itself."

Father Raymond Brennan receives a generous donation from the staff of UNICEF.

Mr. Gamini Abeysekera, representative of UNICEF, pointed out that this was a special day and that, to his knowledge, not many countries in the world held a special Children’s Day. "Thailand and Sri Lanka share the same principles, love and care for children," he said. He added, "Offices of UNICEF are all over the world to look after the well-being of children. We have offices in the north and south of Thailand and are seriously considering setting up a base here in Pattaya. We understand the problems of children in this region and would sincerely like to work with the authorities and the Non Government Organisations (NGO) to solve a lot of the social ills, especially those affecting innocent children."

Mr. Gamini Abeysekera, representative of UNICEF Thailand presents gifts to the tiny toddlers.

Father Ray Brennan, in return, thanked both the Embassy of Sri Lanka and UNICEF for their great help and for all the effort they took to make this Children’s Day of Thailand a special one for the orphans in Pattaya.

Children then sat down to enjoy a feast of Sri Lankan and Thai food and sweets. Tea, Ceylon’s gift to the world was also thoroughly enjoyed. Gifts were presented to all the children, big and small. This was courtesy of the UNICEF.

Tea Time for (l-r) Mr. Gamini, Father Michael, Father Brennan, Mayor Pairat, H.E. Ambassador Amunugama, District Chief Vichien Chawalit and Pratheep Malhotra.

The highlight of the festivities was a magic show performed by child prodigy Chachawal Suwanchainmanee who is ranked number two in Thailand. This nine-year-old boy managed to wow the crowd with his brilliant skills in magic, and the children could not get enough of his sensational tricks. At the end of his show, he managed even to fill up a huge bowl with sweets, which he passed out to all the children.

An exhibition of photographs depicting the culture and beauty of Sri Lanka was on display throughout the day. The afternoon was concluded with the presentation of a video on HRH Princess Chulaborn’s visit to Sri Lanka.

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A Transformational Leader’s Characteristics

by Richard Townsend, Corporate Learning

Six central personality characteristics of transformational leaders seem to emerge from the prolific literature on this topic. This week the first three.


Hackman and Johnson (1991) state that creativity is "challenging the status quo by seeking out new ideas..." Managers typically concern themselves with status quo maintenance, but leaders move beyond status quo to face and deal with the future. Transformation requires innovation and fresh perspectives to enduring questions. Many managers I deal with think that they will never become leaders because they don’t see themselves as being creative. Remember creative thinking can be taught and creative thinkers can be hired and good leaders can effectively use the creativity of those around them... if the have the wisdom to listen.


Hackman and Johnson (1991) also suggest that an interactive leader provides better direction than a non-interactive leader. In order to meet the needs of the follower, the leader must take a posture of open participation with follower. They also contend ‘that interaction is central to putting leadership into motion’. Many other theories (and practical experiences) of leadership emphasize the need for (effective) communication in order to attain success. Remember, though, communication is not interaction, it’s merely the conduit between individuals. The important issues are found in dictionary definitions... "acting in close relation with each other" or "affecting each others behaviour".


Perhaps the most elemental characteristic of the transformational leader, "more than anything else, transformational leaders communicate a vision to their followers" (Hackman & Johnson, 1991). Zorn (1991) notes that vision helps to rally action toward achievement of the goal. Leaders must not only speak the vision, they must also enact the vision for individuals and the organization. Vision sets the direction and it is impossible to get where you want to be without direction. Can you or you staff quote your company’s vision (or your own for that matter). So much has been said about vision and its central role in business and success, any more here would be superfluous.

Worth a thought!

Refs: Hackman, M. & Johnson, C. (1991) Leadership. Waveland Press. Zorn T E (1991). Construct system development, transformational leadership and leadership messages. Sthn Communication Jrnl, 56 (3), 178-193. Journal of Leadership Studies in 1995 and have a Happy New Year!

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Coins of the Realm

A rare find indeed

by Jan Olav Aamlid
President House of the Golden Coin

In the early 80s, after my first trip to Thailand, Bangkok and Pattaya, I decided to start collecting Thai coins, even though my knowledge of Thai coins was not the greatest. However, I had seen some of my colleagues’ in Bangkok, and bought the Tony Oliver catalogue for Thai coins.

On the way back to Norway I had a stopover in Copenhagen. There I went to see a well-known dealer, Montstuen (The Coinroom). I asked Hans Lundin, the owner, if he had any Thai coins. He started to laugh, and said that this was the first time he had someone asking for Thai coins.

One baht 1860 struck in large numbers.

After searching in his trays he found some coins from Southeast Asia, and I picked out the ones that were from Thailand. Altogether there were about 15 coins, most of them from King Mongkut (Rama IV) who reigned from 1851 till 1868, and King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) who reigned from 1868 till 1910. I asked for a price, and my Danish college quoted me his price. We then had our usual little discussion over the price and a deal was done.

When I got back to Norway I looked up the coins in the few books I had on Thai coins. I came to the conclusion that none of them were very valuable in terms of money. Nonetheless, I was happy with the coins.

A few years later, well-known Bangkok coin dealer Surachai Smitasin came to see me in Oslo. I showed him the little start on my Thai coin collection, and when he looked at my coins, suddenly his eyes got big. He picked up a one baht coin from King Mongkut and told me that this was a great rarity. I had thought it was the regular one baht coin, struck in great numbers in 1860, which, in the early 1980s, had a value of 250 baht.

One baht 1857/8, Royal Gift, struck in 2,400 pieces.

Surachai told me that this particular coin was very rarely seen. It was the first flat Thai coin officially issued. The coins were struck in 1857/8 and went under the name Bannakan (Royal Gift) Coins. The reason for the coins being called Royal Gift is that they were struck on a hand-driven minting machine presented to King Mongkut by Queen Victoria. Only 30 chang, which is 2400 pieces, of the one baht coin were struck. Today, probably less than 50 pieces of this rare coin exist. The value today of this coin in nice condition is more than 200,000 baht.

The hand-driven machine was too slow and later replaced by a steam powered machine, which today can be seen outside The Royal Thai Mint in Bangkok.

And I am sure that my Danish college and friend Hans Lundin has been paid off in our later transactions.

Mio and Jan Olav Aamlid run the Ruen Kasap Thong Co., Ltd., The House of the Golden Coin, on South Pattaya Road opposite the International Telecom Center. Phone/Fax: 420090, email: [email protected], homepage:

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BCCT to hold AGM 27 Jan 2000 at Landmark Hotel

The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand will hold their Annual General Meeting on Thursday 27th January 2000 at the Landmark Hotel in Bangkok. Elections to the 2000 BCCT Executive Committee will be held at that time.

Other than representing the BCCT at as many functions as business schedules allow, an Executive Committee member’s role includes:

- Preparation of a monthly report on the sector or area of expertise

- Promotion of the BCCT among the various business communities in Thailand

- Attendance at monthly Executive Committee meetings (as schedules allow)

The current constitution allows for a minimum of ten Committee members and a maximum of twelve. However, the current Executive Committee will propose a motion at the AGM before voting takes place to increase the size of the committee by an additional 2 members to 14.

Existing Article 17: Management (Committee) reads: "(a) The Committee will manage the affairs of the Chamber of Commerce, and will be elected from among the Ordinary Members at a General Meeting. There shall be not less than ten (10), nor more than twelve (12) Committee members on the Committee."

Proposed Article 17: Management (Committee) reads: "(a) The Committee will manage the affairs of the Chamber of Commerce, and will be elected from among the Ordinary Members at a General Meeting. There shall be not less than twelve (12), nor more than fourteen (14) Committee members on the Committee."

Reasons for the increase:

- In terms of membership the BCCT has increased in size by 42% from 354 to 502 in the last three years yet there has been no increase in the size of the Executive Committee to meet the increased demand from members.

- Some key areas of the Thai Economy remain unrepresented by the Executive Committee.

- Some members have expressed an interest in contributing to the work of the Chamber on the Executive Committee but have been reluctant to stand against established Executive Committee members.

If you feel you have a contribution to make, please stand for election.

BCCT Information Services:

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Two young trainees receive Royal Cliff-Fassbind Scholarships

Many people remember January 7th as the birthday of the late Louis Fassbind. However, two young trainees in the Tourism and Hospitality industry have even more reason to remember Fassbind’s birthday.

Royal Cliff-Fassbind Scholarship winners Wanna Tampayak (left) and Surachai Lortaisong (right).

It was on the 7th of January that they were presented with the first Royal Cliff-Fassbind Scholarships. During the presentation, Managing Director of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort Panga Vathanakul said, "This scholarship was established in the memory of the late Mr. Alois (Louis) Fassbind who was General Manager and Executive Vice President of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort for 25 years. The Royal Cliff-Fassbind Scholarship stands as a tribute to a man who was much loved and widely respected, and who contributed greatly to the growth and development of Pattaya as a prime holiday destination, as well as to the hospitality industry in Thailand."

The two chosen were Ms. Wanna Tampayak, who will study Front Office Programs and Mr. Surachai Lortaisong who will study a Food and Beverage program. Both are being given full board and lodging at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort and are guaranteed employment with the resort after completion of their subsidized training.

It is very pleasing to see that the name of Louis Fassbind lives on in the industry he loved so much.

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Sex and the hotel guest

by Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire

A survey of department heads at 22 Novotel properties in Australia/New Zealand reveals everything from where guests get caught making love to what they leave behind in their rooms most often. A unique survey, hilarious reading and a refreshing PR gimmick.

As 2000 starts, the annual Novotel survey has found that the sexes do agree - bacon and eggs is absolutely the best New Year’s day breakfast, and Berocca is a ‘must have’ for any millennium hangover!

The Novotel survey, now in its third year, was conducted in December 1999 by department heads at 22 Novotels in Australia and New Zealand. It highlights that women are fussier eaters, make more complaints and call for more doctors when staying at hotels, whereas men have a better knowledge of wine when ordering dinner, are more likely to buy a round of drinks for their mates and are noisier guests. The most common sources of noise are sex and the television (sometimes at the same time) for men, and laughter and the hairdryer for women.

Men are still the tidier sex, leaving the cleanest rooms and women are still on the most wanted list for souveniring more in-room amenities. Some of the stranger items taken from the hotels include batteries from the TV remote control, the in-room bible, shower curtain, bed spread, in-room safe and on one occasion, the toilet flushing system (a male guest took this item).

In terms of eating and drinking habits, men have the bigger mini-bar bills; almost universally their favorite beverage was beer. For women, water and chocolate were the most popular mini-bar temptations.

On a healthier track than previous years, the most popular room service order for men was steak, and women salads - specifically the Caesar. The survey identified room service as the preferred option for single female travelers and a preference for continental breakfast on weekdays, compared to men who dine in the restaurant and choose a full hot breakfast seven days.

The survey revealed that men generally watch adult or action movies, with the most popular genre for women, the romantic comedy. Across all hotels, men watched the most blue movies, made more excuses about having to pay for their ‘blue’ selection, but were less likely to check their overall bill at the end of their stay than women.

Almost without exception, both sexes pay their hotel account on credit; American Express the most popular card for men in 1999 and Visa for women. Men forget more personal items than women, most often leaving their mobile phone chargers. Women most often forget toiletries. Advice from the Novotel house attendants - check the shower and the closest power point before you leave! Some of the stranger items left behind include a black negligee (from a male guest’s room), sexual aids (all unclaimed!) and a goldfish (successfully reunited with owner).

The dry cleaning of underwear is on the increase for both sexes; the strangest items sent out by guests include handkerchiefs, a poodle’s woolen jump-suit and a targa-racing suit.

Men book and sleep through more wake up calls, as well as host more in-room parties, tip the most, make more passes at hotel staff and get locked out of their room naked more than women. The best excuses for being locked out of their rooms naked were mistaking the bathroom door for the room door, sleepwalking and the door closing when putting out the room service tray. One brave guest wanting to skinny dip attempted the dash to the pool from the fourth floor - no chance!

The most reported places for hotel guests being discovered making love were the fire stairs and sauna, spa or pool; the strangest places included the hotel roof, under the piano in the lobby bar, on the piano in the lobby bar, under the table at a function, the restaurant bathroom, guest laundry and even the hotel’s administration offices.

Men have the bigger phone bills, travel lighter and ask more for their frequent flyer points. There was no difference reported on the amount of men and women travelling with laptop computers and both sexes now equally ask to be upgraded.

Women conduct most of their business meetings in the hotel’s restaurant; men do so in the bar. The most popular request by businessmen is for modem connection, for women an upgrade or vanity packs and bathrobe. Taxi is the number one method of transport for business travelers, with hire cars for men and pick up by colleague for women also highly reported.

Men have more accidents in the car park, order more flowers and make the most dinner reservations; the most popular time for dinner at Novotel is 7-7.30pm. Along with engagement rings in roses and champagne glasses and rose petals on the bed, the most original proposal for marriage at a Novotel occurred in a limousine from the hotel to a rugby final - how romantic! The hotel staircase and gardens are the most popular places for wedding photographs; women get most out of control at weddings and souvenir more table centerpieces.

The most popular items souvenired by men at social functions are glassware and women! Some of the stranger items, the table numbers and eggplants from a floral arrangement.

For recreation, beer is the most popular poolside order for men, water for women and Coca-Cola for children. Women use more pool towels, buy more sunscreen, and hang their room towels up more than men. Men complain more about the no smoking policy in place at the hotels (50% of all rooms and no smoking in public areas) and women seem more concerned with the environment choosing to participate in more of the hotel’s initiatives.

For children, the Novotel resorts indicated that team sports and games were the most popular activities for boys, with craft and painting number one for girls. Girls were also inclined to play better together. A sign of the times, the mobile phone is now the number one choice of contact for parents leaving their children at the kids clubs.

Here are a selection of questions and summary of answers from the survey.

— What is the most popular breakfast item on New Year’s Day? Bacon and eggs (58%), coffee (11%).

— What is the most requested cure for a hangover? Berocca (35%), greasy breakfast (26%), Bloody Mary (23%), coffee (17%).

— What are the most popular room service dishes ordered? The Caesar or any salad for women (57%) and steak for men (68%).

— Who has the biggest mini-bar bill and what are the best selling beverages? Men almost universally, with beer top of their order list. Only one hotel said women and that was in Western Australia! Women generally go for mineral water and chocolate.

— Who leaves the cleanest room? Men by 20 hotels to 2, up from 13 hotels to 8 last year! Men are getting tidier.

— Who makes more passes at hotel staff? Men, unanimously!

— Who gets caught naked more? Men (94%) and the most popular excuses include mistaking the bathroom door for the room door (27%), door closing when putting out room service tray (23%) and sleepwalking (18%)

— Who forgets more items on departure and what are the top items left behind by men and women? Men (80%), and they leave mobile phone chargers. Women leave toiletries and jewelry.

— Who sleeps through wake-up alarms more often? Men (almost unanimously).

— Who souvenirs the most in-room amenities? Women (90%). It was a man, however who was found to have taken the toilet flushing system, but a woman who was caught with two large lobby urns in her room.

— Are men or women noisier guests? Men (70%). The source of their noise - sex and the television (sometimes at the same time). For women, laughter and the hairdryer are the source of their noise.

— Who hosts more in-room parties? Men (63%)

— Who makes the most complaints? Women (65%)

— Who calls for more doctors? Women (63%)

— What are the most popular types of in-house movies for each gender? Men — Adult (67%), Action (28%); Women — romance (84%), comedy (11%). Men also deny watching the adult movies more than women.

— Who has more car accidents in the hotel car park? Men (69%)

— Who tips the most? Men - by a wide margin

— What is the preferred method of transport for guests? Men - taxi (53%), hirecar (29%); Women - taxi (71%), pick up by colleague/friend (24%)

— Who is more likely to buy a round of drinks in the bar? Men, unanimously. The survey also indicated that men have a better knowledge of wine when ordering dinner (75%)

— Which guests do more exercise at hotels? Men are more likely to use gymnasiums, women swimming pools

— Who travels more with lap-top computers? Equal

— Who makes more requests for upgrades? Equal

— Who is more likely to hang-up their towels for re-use (an environmental initiative)? Women (55%)

— Who requests more massages and are they the same sex or opposite? Equal. 93% of men request opposite sex masseurs and 93% of women request same sex.

— What is the most popular booking time for dinner? 7.00pm/7.30pm

— Who gets most out of control at weddings and who takes more floral centrepieces? Women (60%). The survey reported unanimously that women are the ones who take the flowers! Men take the glasses and women!

— Who orders the most flowers, chocolates, champagne? The romantic gesture comes alive in males when they stay at hotels. The survey did not cover the relationship of the recipient of the romantic treatment to the male provider.

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House of the Heart of Fire

Laetitia Castelli is a young French woman who has followed her dream. After a great deal of personal striving, she has opened a nursery and day care centre in Pattaya for the children of bar workers.

She single-handedly opened the centre, "Baan Ope Awn Ari" (the House of the Heart of Fire), in a shop house in Pattaya Soi Chaiyapoon 12 months ago. There she takes care of 25 to 30 children every day and has ten boarding with her constantly. Laetitia said, "The children come mainly from poor villages in Northern East of Thailand. Most of them have prostitute mothers and are prey for paedophiles or people who seek younger and younger girls for fear of AIDS. The others live in an environment of unemployment, violence, alcohol, and drug problems and some from families of separated or imprisoned parents."

So how did this 28year old woman become inspired to meet this need? How did she come to know of these people? Who is she?

Laetitia and "her" children

Having left school and the family home at age seventeen, she then spent two years in England studying English and some time in Spain and the USA, but for Laetitia, "It was always my dream to take care of children, to one day open a nursery and to travel and learn another language. I went to Pattaya for a year, thanks to the ‘Enfants du Mékong Association’, to give lessons in foreign languages to the women at the Fountain of Life." This experience was pivotal for Laetitia.

(It may not be widely known that there are two Fountain of Life centres in Pattaya, the first, opened in 1988, gives training in sewing, data processing and foreign languages to 150 bar girls a day. It was some years later that the Sisters opened the new school centre for disadvantaged children.)

During that year, Laetitia became a confidante for many of the bar girls. Laetitia carried on the story, "A good number of them already had children. Those children were either brought up in the country by the young girl’s family or left on their own in Pattaya while their mothers worked. The young mothers were worried about the future of their children who may fall into prostitution themselves by the age of 8. They wanted to have security for them so that they could be brought up in a healthy environment close to them, so that they could see them as much as possible. I think that the bar girls brought me more than I could give them. They brought to me truth, simplicity, the pleasure of giving oneself for others. What I experienced during that year enabled me to discover what I was made for. I came back hardened and with another vision of life."

Laetitia returned to France in 1998 and with the help of her father and friends set up the Fay Jay Association (an N.G.O.) to help publicise and find sponsorship for her dream. Fay Jay was created in September 1998.

Returning to Pattaya, she opened the centre "Baan Ope Awn Ari" (The House of the Heart of Fire) in January 1999. There, Laetitia lives in the top floor of the centre shop house and takes care of the administration. She also receives the children and meets their parents, teaches French and English, and plays with the youngest ones.

Two Thai women help her with the education of the children (Thai lessons and playschool) and with the housework. "Some of the ladies helping me are ex-prostitutes whom I met at the "Fountain of Life" centre when I was a volunteer. Their children were the first boarders. The Fay Jay association gives those women monthly salaries." Laetitia herself is personally not paid by the association.

Laetitia has made a welcoming centre for these disadvantaged young children (1 to 5 years old). In this place, the children find a caring environment as if they were in a family. "I give them as much love as they need. They learn to live together and develop their sensibilities and curiosity. I would like to provide them with what they need for a chance in life, to make friends, to go to school, to play and talk."

It is telling that Laetitia has been given a Thai nickname "Somo" which means, "happy and helping every day."

Laetitia does need help from the community for sponsorship of these children. She is looking for individuals or families who would pay for a child’s food, school, and school uniforms and have a friendly relationship with the child they sponsor. In that way the children will find financial as well as moral support. She also desperately needs financial help from any other associations or companies to be able to purchase furniture, play equipment and educational games.

Is there anyone out there with the resources to help this young French woman with her nursery centre? They need not be French, although the French community is obviously very welcome at the centre. One visit will be enough to show that this young woman’s heart is in the right place.

Laetitia can be contacted at Baan Ope Awn Ari, 383/58-59 Soi Chaiyapoon (off Soi Buakhow), Pattaya City, 20260, telephone 038-720442, email "Laetitia Castelli" [email protected]

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Copyright 1999 Pattaya Mail Publishing Co.Ltd.
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Updated by Chinnaporn Sangwanlek, assisted by Boonsiri Suansuk.