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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
East meets West at open-air concert

Skal Club to reform Pattaya Chapter?

PILC BBQ Beach Party

Prempreecha hosts GSE-Rotary-Fellowship Party

International Day at ISR - a feast for the senses

G.I.S. in the medals!

Penny, the Guard Dog

East meets West at open-air concert

East meets West was the theme of Pattaya’s latest open-air concert, held at the Siam Bayshore Hotel. The organizers, U & I Corporation in association with broadcast channels 95.5 FMX and 89 Fashion Factory, not only brought their DJ’s Billy V, Bee, Pim, Jennifer Isou, Pat, Oscar, Ek and Richie, but also invited Thailand’s most famous group “Joey Boy and the Gang”. For the Western part, they invited Germany’s Gil Ofarim, who is well known and loved amongst the teenagers in Asia, especially in Thailand.

Eddy, Dave, Marisa and Vicky are more than happy to gather around their idol Gil Ofarim.

Gil, with a long, blond mane, sparkling blue eyes and a smile that could melt an iceberg, so far has achieved 8 Gold and 4 Platinum CDs. He had the audience in his grip right from his first song “Out Of My Bed”. This young man has definitely inherited the talent and charm of his father, Abi Ofarim, one half of the duo Esther & Abi Ofarim who won the Grand Prix de Eurovision about 35 years ago starring for Switzerland.

Screaming, squealing teenagers crowded around the stage, holding signs with “I love you Gil” above their heads, and just couldn’t get enough of his stunning performance. The hysteria reached its peak when Gil sang a song about Thailand, which he had composed only a few days before.

Gil Ofarim promised his audience he will be back in Thailand in approximately 4 months time. We hope that next time, contrary to this last concert, the promotion will start early enough to give more people in Pattaya the change to see Gil Ofarim live.

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Skal Club to reform Pattaya Chapter?

The international Skal Club for Travel and Tourism professionals may be reformed in Pattaya. At one stage, according to their International Councillor Malai Sakolviphak, Thailand boasted five chapters, with Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Songkla and Phuket all being represented in the organisation that spans 80 countries and has over 25,000 members. However, Pattaya disbanded after the initial members left, or had died, in some instances.

Murray Hertz

Last year, some of the Tourism and Travel professionals again got together and the concept of reformation was put forward. At a recent meeting of the remaining Thailand Chapters held at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club, its General Manager Wicha Han, an ex President of Skal from Bangkok, was given the mandate to set up the Pattaya Chapter once more.

explain to PMC’s Iain Corness about the possible reforming of Skal in Pattaya.

Murray Hertz, one of the co-owners of Café New Orleans here, is actually a member from the Philippines, where he has another Café New Orleans and has been pushing for Pattaya to rejoin. He cites the benefit to Pattaya is that it becomes so easy to tap into a worldwide group of Tourism and Travel professionals, through the Skal organisation. In turn, this will help promote the image of Pattaya that the city wants to foster.

Malai Sakolviphak

The Pattaya Mail, through its promotion of travel and tourism is another organisation that can see the benefit for Pattaya and is behind the organising group. Interested Travel and Tourism professionals will be contacted by Wicha and expect a new Chapter soon - both in Skal and Pattaya’s relationship with the outside world.

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PILC BBQ Beach Party

The Pattaya International Ladies Club arranged a Family Fun Beach Party at the Sea Village. With beautiful, private grounds leading up to the beach, the Sea Village was, this time, the location for the PILC’s fun party organized by Ms. Arlette Cykman.

Beach party! The PILC had a fun day out at Sea Village.

Many members of the PILC came to join this outing, bringing their husbands, children and friends along. Everyone enjoyed the BBQ buffet and enjoyed even more the surroundings and the cozy atmosphere of this private area.

While the adults were relaxing, some of the ladies had organized games for the children. The youngsters were busy hopping and running around, eager to win one of the many prizes. The happy faces of the children and their parents proved one more time that the PILC is doing a great job for all their members.

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Prempreecha hosts GSE-Rotary-Fellowship Party

Rotarians from ten clubs in the Province Chonburi gathered at the home of Prempreecha Dibbayawan’s for a fellowship party. There were two reasons for this party. The first was to say farewell to the Group Study Exchange Team from Brazil, which had spent several weeks in Thailand, also visiting Pattaya. Prem, Ms. Susiree Chanchailert and Peter Thorand presented presents to the five members of the team on behalf of both Rotary Clubs in Pattaya.

The jovial GSE team (from left to right): Rotarian Nilza Onheiro Chaim, the team-leader, Juliana Clemente, Fulvia Maria Brancaglione Villela, Alexandre Rossi and Dr. Paulo Alexandre Amorim.

The second reason for the party was to celebrate Prem’s installation as the incoming Rotary District Governor for District 3340. As usual in Prem’s house, the party was a big success and enjoyed by everyone. After the buffet, many of the guests were seen dancing to the sounds of Brazilian music, assisted by the lovely female members of the GSE team.

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International Day at ISR - a feast for the senses

The French act out their stone age rituals

The International School of the Regents’ International Day on Saturday 18 March was a feast for the senses. There was a wonderful range of delicious and exotic foods available to taste, fascinating displays to visit and a fabulous concert featuring songs, dance and dramatic performances by students, staff and parents.

The Japanese team performed a lively dance on stage

Armed with the special International Day Passport, you could travel around the globe during the afternoon, visiting 32 countries as far flung as Australia, Egypt, Sweden and Estonia. Each country’s display presented a different experience - you could have your palm painted with ‘mendhi’ in the Indian room, sample smoked salmon from Norway, or take a break in a real English ‘Tea Room’. The French room presented a stunning view of life in France in pre-historic times, with a real ‘stone-age’ family in residence!

(Left to Right) ISR Headmaster Simon Leslie, Sally Poulton and special guest for the day Mr Richard Poulton, founding Headmaster of ISR.

The school choirs and orchestra provided delightful entertainment throughout the afternoon and the audience was then treated to presentations by groups from more than 10 different countries. Performances included traditional Korean dancing, a Native American Indian presentation, toe-tapping Irish dancing and an Olympic Games presentation by the Australian team.

Colorful dancers kept the audience entertained

Everyone enjoyed marching in the Grand Parade of Nations, a colourful sight with so many people in national costume.

Special guest for the day was Mr Richard Poulton, founding Headmaster of ISR, who officially opened International Day. Mr Poulton, together with his wife Sally, enjoyed their return visit to ISR and were particularly delighted to meet with students who they knew from their early days at ISR. Mr Poulton, during his opening remarks, spoke of how it was almost impossible to believe that only 49 months had passed since 160 people walked across bare, rough ground to witness the opening of the school swimming pool! He commended Dr Virachai, Founder and Chairman of ISR, on his vision and energy in establishing a school which could be so proud of its achievements in such a short time.

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G.I.S. in the medals!

by Rob Oldfield

As the Sydney Olympics fast approach, last weekend saw an opportunity for the world’s younger athletes to strive “faster, higher” at the FOBISSEA games in Phuket. After weeks of intensive training the excited squad from Garden International School departed through the cheering crowds with a rousing speech from Head of Secondary, Mr. Ken Sullivan, ringing in their ears.


As the team proudly entered the stadium at Dulwich International College, to the sound of Chariots of Fire, they were accompanied by eight hundred other athletes from International Schools from all over South East Asia. After paying respect to the National Anthem, the Games began and got off to a fantastic start when Nary Putsorn won gold in the very first race of the day, the U13 boys 1500m. This was followed only minutes later by another gold, this time in the U15 boys 1500m, for Michael Markovich.

A steady stream of medals flowed in throughout the morning including bronzes for Craig Whittater (who had brought along his mum for moral support) in the 400m, Lenny Taylor in the 200m, and Sarinya Narongrittikun, who was particularly surprised to find hurdles in her path. There were dramatic scenes in the U15 girls 1500m when Lara Weston Indrasoot collapsed just short of the line whilst leading and crawled the final meters to take the bronze. Not to be outdone, Yong Yeon Kim staggered across the line to claim the gold in the 800m and also an Oscar nomination for best dramatic performance. Performance of the morning, however, went to Martin Macleod who bagged a full set of gold, silver and bronze for his efforts in his three sprint events. Incredibly, having spent an hour in the sick boy, Lara returned to the arena to earn a bronze in the long jump. She was joined in the sandpit by Kumpol Tangtrakulwongse who also got the bronze in the boys event.

There was yet more gold for G.I.S. in the javelin, fully justifying coach Simon Lee’s inspired decision to have a special javelin flown in from unknown sources in Pattaya. Ajay Nedle got the gold in the U13 boys event despite almost spearing an inattentive track official. Suzanne Bacon did equally well for the girls and then almost repeated the performance when she took silver in the shot.

The only slight disappointment of the morning was when Scotsman Ryan Dunlop just failed to claim a medal in the shot put despite his highland games heritage.

The athletics closed where it had begun with gold for G.I.S. as the staff 4x100 relay team romped home for a decisive victory.

The afternoon saw the start of the team events where the glory was claimed by the U13 boys football team. The team went in to the final league game of the round robin stage knowing that they had to beat Jerudong International School from Brunei by at least two goals to qualify for the final. With only a minute remaining on the clock and the score stuck at 1-0, Bjarke Kure broke through the defiance to slot home the all important goal and spark wild celebrations on the touchline. The team suffered an unexpected blow to the squad rotation system as they lost substitute Dusadee Mahawongse when the score board fell on his head! Happily he will able to return to the pitch later, albeit two inches shorter.

In the final the team faced old foes the British School of Manila. After an agonizing 15 minutes for all concerned, G.I.S. triumphed 2-1, the final goal being scored by Pat Markovich. Captain Martin Macleod received the trophy and won the unofficial award for best celebration of the day as he kissed the cup and raised it aloft in true (Scottish) FA Cup style. As the team celebrated, goalkeeper Ajay made his only handling error of the tournament when he unfortunately dropped the trophy. Special mention should go to the other heroic members of the team - hat trick hero Naru and the “Ban Chang Back Three” of Carlos “The Rock” Galiana, Abi and Ibi.

There were other notable triumphs for the U15 boys who beat local rivals I.S.R. 1-0, whilst the over 15 boys beat considerably larger sister school G.I.S. of Kuala Lumpur by the considerably larger margin of 2-0.

The best team performance in basketball must surely be the U13 girls, led magnificently by Aisha Shaikh, who managed to with their first ever game despite losing Sarin and Maylee in a bizarre double teaming incident. Congratulation should also go to the U15 boys who beat eventual winners, Uplands College Penang.

In the team events, as a whole, G.I.S. managed to defeat teams from Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Japan - not bad for the boys (and girls) from Ban Chang!

The competition moved to the pool for the final events of the tournament where both Brooke Robbins and Ryan Dunlop shared the honors, each winning silver and bronze medals. Ryan’s bronze came in the 4x50m Freestyle relay where he was ably assisted by Michael, Craig and Joe Steele.

There was a further bronze medal for Michael in the individual medals and Jem Putsorn, which will be particularly pleasing for her sponsors Coca-Cola and McDonald.

Unfortunately the staff relay team was unable to repeat the performance of the previous day despite the inclusion of Ken Sly in the team.

The remaining members of the team - Surabhun Puengpetlarp, Aseem Kumar, Dinithi Paranagama, Guillermo Diaz-Guevara Ante, Laura Conlon, Nattapong Kunajirakul, Yotsak Vajasit, Preedee Chieochaichokchai, Rong Marukapitak and Team Watthanavekin all performed with perseverance and sportsmanship bringing credit to themselves, the school and Thailand.

There were many fantastic moments throughout the two days of competition, all captured by team photographer Nico Bennett. Attention now passes to the primary students who are preparing for their own games to be held in Kuala Lumpur in May.

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Penny, the Guard Dog

By Roy Burson, pastor of Pattaya International church

“... the Lord does not see as man sees, for a man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

We, my wife, and of course Penny, had just moved to the country from the city. Penny had a chain link fenced-in back yard and she loved it. She could see everything that was going on. There were all kinds of things at which to bark. There were birds by the thousands, there were armadillos (we were living in Texas), the church cat, and then there were the big things that lived across the road; she had never seen a cow before.

It did not take long for Penny to claim the back yard as her domain but she had to work at it. She would chase the birds off “her” fence, chase the church cat out “her” back yard and bark a stern warning to the armadillos and the cows across the road not to even think about coming onto her property. The off limits rule did not apply, however, to humans. A Burglar could come into the yard and as long as he scratched her, Penny would let him take everything we had.

Penny wasn’t a good guard dog, but she was a good actor. This was an on going drama that Penny acted out every time we came in after dark. When we pulled into the drive, Penny would run to the back corner of the fence where we could see her, and growl and bark like she was keeping us safe from what ever was out there. During this whole process, she would sneak a peek at us to make sure we were watching how brave she was. If she saw we weren’t watching, she would run to back door where we would meet her and let her into the house. There she didn’t have to put on an act.

If you did not know her, she really looked like a good guard dog, but I knew it was all an act. She is a lover not a fighter. I think there is bit of Penny in all of us. When get around others, we put on different kinds of masks. We smile outwardly when we are hurting inside. We laugh while we are secretly weeping. We act confident when all we feel is insecurity. We humans are very good actors. We act better than we really are and we can fool almost everyone, including ourselves. We cannot, however, fool God. He sees our hearts and knows us for who we really are, not who we pretends to be. We can always go to God with our hurts, fears and failures and He will open His arms, take us in His arms and love us just as we are.

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Updated by Chinnaporn Sangwanlek, assisted by Boonsiri Suansuk.