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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Rotary brings sight and joy to the disadvantaged

Chicago - Tough Town With a Heart

Green Bottle celebrates 13th Anniversary

Tips to Better Wine Buying

Connors the cosmopolitan comedian

Guitar recital with Alessio Monti

Antiques, are they genuine?

Rotary brings sight and joy to the disadvantaged

The official opening of the Rotary Week and Fair was done by Pattaya mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat along with the Governor of Rotary District 3340 Premprecha Dibbayawan, Rotary International president’s representative Past District Governor Tehmas R. Manekshaw from Nepal and the organising committee chairman Pratheep Malhotra and many Rotarians from Rotary International District 3340.

Mayor Pairat Suthithamrongsawat and PDG Tehmas Manekshaw cut the ribbon to release hundreds of balloons bearing the Rotary Fair banner. Looking on are District Governor Premprecha Dibbayawan and PP Pratheep Malhotra

Rotary Week was organised to show the many functions and humanitarian causes supported by Rotarians and to also provide a forum for exchanging ideas and information among the 57 Rotary Clubs from the north-east and eastern provinces, all of whom make up Rotary International District 3340. To this end, conferences were scheduled at the Town in Town Hotel from March 16-18 to allow discussion on technical matters among the Rotary members.

Children of the Interact Club of Banglamung happily collect rubbish off the beach

During the initial part of the week (March 16-20) the Henry J. Beans fairground was the venue for activities each evening with local students and entertainers giving performances in traditional Thai music shows, Hawaiian dances, cabarets, and freestyle jazz dance interpretations.

>From March 16-22 free medical check-ups, including eye exams, were arranged at the fair, sponsored by the various Rotary Clubs.

Students from various schools performed colourful shows and dances every night on stage.

A drug information and prevention campaign for the youth of Pattaya was promoted by the Deputy Superintendent of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau and the Founder of Ban Phoonsri Ouppathum Drug Treatment Center in Soi Phothisarn Pol. Lt. Col. Jirat Phichitpai.

The local environment was not forgotten either with the Rotary Clubs members and the Interact Club of Banglamung as well as local school children joining together to conduct a beach cleanup along Pattaya Beach Road.

Pol. Col. Jirat Pichitpai assisting at the medical booth

Many local enterprises also got behind the concept of the Rotary Week, with Tiffany Show putting on a special performance last Saturday with the proceeds going to Rotary charities. Sutham Phantusak, a Rotary Past President and owner of the Tiffany’s show, invited 200 handicapped youths from the Pattaya Redemptorist Center to watch this special show. He felt that this was a great opportunity for the unfortunate to enjoy the show of a lifetime.

Bernie Tuppin Pattaya Sports Club charity chairman presents a donation to the organisers to help fund the various charitable activities.

Rotary in Thailand does wish to thank the many generous people, institutions and organizations who donated so much in money and services, to make this Rotary week so beneficial for the underprivileged and made it possible for Rotarians to be of service to the community. These benefactors include the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, the Pattaya International Hospital, the Sattahip Hospital, Tiffany’s Show, the Pattaya Sports Club, the Residence Suites, Northern Thai Realty, the Balcony Restaurant, the Kitchen Studio, the Pattaya Gay Festival, a Group of Expats who had just completed a project and did not want to throw their money to the wind, Pattaya Optical, Classic Tailor and finally the Amari Orchid Resort who generously permitted the Rotary organizers to hold the Fair on their property, not only at no cost but also supplied all the amenities such as tents, electricity, tables and chairs and refreshments for children and beers for the adults.

Sutham Phanthusak is thanked for his kind generosity in organizing the Tiffany’s Charity show for visiting Rotarians and members of the public.

It is only through such generosity that Rotary world-wide can continue to do the fine charitable work that it does. Those clubs in R.I. District 3340 remain in your debt, Pattaya, and the underprivileged and needy children here are so much better provided for through your munificence.

Lots of fun and games at the fair

The colourful procession passes by the Rotary Roundabout.

Nurses were kept busy all day with medical checkups.

One could purchase the world famous Thai Silk at the fair.

A Polish exchange student performed her country’s traditional dance.

Hundreds of reading glasses were donated to the elderly.

A Rotarian oversees the eye check section.

The long procession passes through the streets of Pattaya.

An exchange student from India performed a dance as her way of expressing world understanding.

Get that ball in the hole and win a prize.

Members of the Pattaya Redemptorist Handicapped School enjoying the show of a lifetime at Tiffany’s.

P.P.Sumon Jaikit (co-organiser) stands proudly with two of the scores of shows that she helped organise.

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Chicago - Tough Town with  Heart

by Chalerm Raksanti

Aficionados of American literature will know Chicago more for the insults heaped upon this US city than for any praise it deserves. Author Upton Sinclair’s portrayal of this ‘working man’s town” exposed the poverty and exploitation of workers in Chicago’s massive stockyards and slaughter houses at the turn of the 20th century in his expos้, The Jungle. “Brawling” was the word American poet Carl Sandburg applied to Chicago in his famous poem about the city. Oral historian Studs Terkel interviews the man on the street, and leaves us with the impression that the average inhabitant of this mid-western metropolis is rough around the edges and none too educated. And of course, Hollywood films thrive on stories of the gangsters and Mafia families who, in partnership with corrupt politicians, controlled Chicago in a grip of vice throughout the period of Prohibition. But has the tough-guy image of its industrial and criminal past been blunted over the decades?

Strolling down Chicago’s Michigan Avenue

Chicago is, of course, no longer the “hog and cattle Butcher for the World”. The slaughterhouses moved to the countryside long ago in search of cheaper wages, and the pervasive stench has gone. What remains of the old industrial base are mostly printing companies and food processors; the prevailing smell in neighbourhoods now is chocolate. Jobs in banking, insurance and other aspects of finance have opened up opportunities for the middle class. Once referred to as The Tool Maker, and Stacker of Wheat, this city of about 4 million people is increasingly a place of brokers and data processors on the one hand, and hotel maids on the other. North of the famous commercial area, the Loop, converted factory lofts now house ethnic art galleries and yuppie advertising agencies. The downtown area has broken away from the traditional constraints of the Loop, which is defined by the circuit of the elevated trains. Pushing up along the Chicago River and breaking north up Michigan Avenue, the city’s new and often brilliant architecture stretches along Miracle Mile. These buildings, with their simple and honest lines are less “Chicagoan”, but reflect the surrounding prairie landscape, and the mechanical underpinnings of the city’s character of making things work. Chicago is 25 miles long and 10 miles wide, and its flat and spacious setting allows architects to display their genius to advantage. New York City has spectacular buildings, but who can see them?

Sampling buttered corn at the Taste of Chicago Food festival in Grant Park

A world reputation for jobs, and a “welcome to the neighbourhood” attitude has historically created a city of immigrants and ethnic enclaves. Even now, when good jobs are hard to come by, one in seven residents is foreign born, and newcomers continue to arrive from places as disparate as Lithuania and Vietnam. School children speak some 110 languages, and one can find bilingual education teachers in 20 different languages including Assyrian, German, Polish, Russian and Tagalog. Chicago is known throughout the world as the City That Works. But beyond mere jobs, and the mythology of the work place, this city has a lot to do with opportunity. Hard workers and wheeler dealers know that unlike the saying: if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere, Chicago’s approach to success is very different. If you can’t make it in Chicago, you can’t make it anywhere! Where New York is neurotic and paranoid, Chicago has heart and optimism.

The honest lines of Chicago’s architecture

From the tops of the tall buildings one can see the city stretched out in an amber grid, which is where the real life of the city occurs. Its infamous bitter winters and snow-bound months of snow do not deter the hearty Chicagoan. Neighbourhoods marked by churches, temples and mosques, by thin Protestant spires and blocky Eastern European domes, harbour people of every race and religion. Some neighbourhoods speak little English, and others know no other language. All have a surprising knowledge of the city, and even a wondrous pride. The neighbourhoods are Chicago’s strength. For new immigrants, who often arrive unfamiliar with modern industrial society, much less the high-powered American style, these pockets of cultural familiarity are halfway houses. Vietnamese often arrive with carefully collected rice seeds. The weather in America’s state of Illinois is news to them. But they soon find Argyle Street, a busy strip of Vietnamese stores selling sea cucumber, fresh durian, dried squid and lots of rice.

Chicago Life, performance art in Daily Plaza

For Mexicans, the Pilsen section around 18th Street is usually the point of entry. In the European clusters, smells of borsht wafer from the restaurants and sounds of the piano and accordion fill the ears. No matter where they have hailed from, the customary impulse for the immigrant is to get their feet on the ground amid friends, then move on to better things and sentimentalise the old neighbourhood later on. In truth, these pockets of foreign culture on American soil are less about colourful customs and 2-star ethnic restaurants, as about a bittersweet blend of homesickness and ambition. These enclaves give Chicago the intimacy of a small town amid the clamour of a huge city.

Shoe shine boy grabs opportunity where he can find it

This small town mentality has contributed to Chicago’s well-known “second city” complex (second after New York City). At one time it truly was America’s second largest city. Los Angles has now usurped that position. Neighborhood populism, particularly the idea that anyone can make it in Chicago, and those who do are mere mortals sharing the same space with those who don’t, creates suspicion. Perhaps making it in Chicago is somehow second rate. Also, Chicago’s nasty climate, and the uninspiring reputation of America’s boring Mid-West have contributed to the generally acknowledged sense of insecurity, even inferiority, beneath the city’s noisy bluster. However, this misguided sense of inferiority has given impetus for cultural improvements. The performing and fine arts are well represented, and the political administration of the city is becoming more efficient. Chicago’s city motto is: I WILL. If it is true that people inevitably make the place, Chicago has it all.

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Green Bottle celebrates 13th Anniversary

A large crowd of Pattaya regulars was on hand to assist the Diana Group’s general manager Mrs. Sopin Thappajug celebrate the 13th anniversary of the Green Bottle Pub on March 13. The 13th anniversary party was called “12 plus 1 Anniversary”.

Everyone had a rousing good time at the 12 + 1 anniversary of the Green Bottle Pub.

Over the last 13 years the Diana Group has supported many important programs in Pattaya and has helped increase local awareness on preserving the natural environment.

Local man-about-town, Englishman Ian Harrington named the Green Bottle Pub 13 years ago after doing much research in nearly every one of the bars that existed in Pattaya at the time. Sopin and Charoon Kasemsantitham sought his opinion back when he was president of the Pattaya Sports Club. They wanted a name that would attract foreigners as well as hold with the theme of presenting wholesome entertainment different from the usual go-go scene common around Pattaya. Environmental preservation campaigns were spreading around the world and the pub owners were interested in creating some similar awareness into the local area at the time.

The name came to being after Ian spent some time researching pubs all over Pattaya to ensure no duplication. He pondered on the pubs of Great Britain with the initials of “G. B.” coming to mind. There was a current craze in Thailand over a popular amber beverage sold in a green bottle and noting the same initials GB, it became the Green Bottle Pub.

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Tips to Better Wine Buying

by Ranjith Chandrasiri

Before going into this week’s wine column, the Pattaya Mail readers now can get the opportunity to join a professionally run wine club with extra privileges! Read on further for details, after some hints on buying wine.

* Diversify your collection. You may have a passion for one kind of wine or another, but variety is the spice of life with wine, so shop around for different styles of wine.

* Shop for value. Go out of your way to look for best buys to get the most mileage out of your wine baht.

* Drink your wines before they get too old. Even the most age-worthy reds from Bordeaux or new world reach drink-ability in 10 years. You’ve paid good money for your wines; don’t let them slide over the hill.

* Keep costs in perspective. A few fine wines are expensive, but far too many well-made, reasonably priced wines are ignored because they lack the image and prestige of higher-priced wines.

* Stockpile wine you like so that you don’t run out or hesitate to open the last bottle.

* Assemble your wines with rhyme and reason. Think about your needs before parting with your cash.

If you intend to buy more expensive wines, it makes greater sense to develop a buying strategy. One fun and great way to defray costs and taste a broad selection of wines is to join a good wine club that does wine tasting regularly. This way you can spread out some of the costs and taste expensive and rare wines without spending a fortune. Usually in a professionally run wine club, tasting sessions are for everyone regardless of whether you have a strong knowledge in wine or you are just an enthusiastic wine lover. If you are interested in joining a professionally run wine club, that will conduct regular wine tastings, wine lectures, wine makers dinners and as a member to be eligible for many other added privileges such as substantial discounts every time you dine and wine in any of the restaurants, discounted rates for accommodation, spa and gym facilities etc., I am very pleased to invite you to be among the first to form the newly established Royal Cliff Wine Club. Please feel free to send your contact details directly to me so that I will be able to send you the required membership details.

Each meeting of The Royal Cliff Wine Club will offer you an opportunity for an educational and entertaining wine tasting session under the guidance of an industry wine professional or an actual producer, wine maker or brand owner.

Our first wine club meeting will pit some of the finest Rhone Wines against a line-up of Australian Superstars.

Shiraz/Syrah: Australian Classics and French Legends

This grape variety is prized by the legendary wine makers of the Rhone Valley as the source of great Cote Rotie, Cotes de Rhone and Hermitage wines. Such notable producers such as Guigal, Jaboulet and Chapoutier grow Syrah on the slopes of the Rhone River and in vineyards that yield a distinctive style and character to French Syrah based wines.

At the other end of the world Shiraz has become the most widely acclaimed grape of Australian wine makers on the world stage. Australian Shiraz is powerful and intense reflecting the very different soil and climate of Australia and particularly South Australia where the greatest Shiraz are produced.

Wines will include Guigal from the Rhone, Tintara from McLaren Vale, Leasingham from Clare valley and a few labels that have never been seen in Thailand before. Members will have the opportunity to taste these wines “blind” and rate them to see if the French or the Australians are really producing the world’s most delicious wines from Syrah/Shiraz.

We know that at the end of the evening you will know a great deal more about the wines made from these grape varieties as well as the art of tasting wine. Since good value wines are always of interest to wine lovers we will also have a chance to preview some new wines available in Thailand that are particularly well priced and useful for your personal cellar.

You may contact me for this exciting wine club membership offer.
Ranjith Chandrasiri
Resident Manager
Royal Cliff Grand, Royal Cliff Beach Resort
353 Phra Tamnuk Road, Pattaya, Cholburi 20150, Thailand
Email: [email protected]
Fax: (66 38) 250514-5


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Connors the cosmopolitan comedian

Shaun Connors

St. Patrick’s eve saw the usually busy Shenanigans packed to capacity. Most of the revellers had green tongues, courtesy of the green vodkas liberally dispensed by the lovely Shenanigans staff, but the person with the smoothest tongue was Irish comedian Shaun Connors.

Shaun Connors kept the party going for an hour with a never ending stock of jokes, and not just Irish ones. The Americans, Canadians, Aussies, English and Scots all had fun poked at them by the heavy Irish brogue of Connors.

Kim Fletcher and the winner of the Miss Shenanigans Beauty Contest, the beautiful Jum.

In an interview for Nite Beat, the Pattaya Mail Channel programme, Connors admitted that he began telling jokes when he was an Irish policeman, but left the force some thirty years ago to tread the boards, rather than treading the beat.

Following the comedy hour, Landlord Kim Fletcher did his own stand-up comedy routine (well at least he didn’t fall over) and announced the winner of the Miss Shenanigans Beauty Contest, with the beautiful Jum a very popular winner.

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Guitar recital with Alessio Monti

D&M Music Studio in association with the Embassy of Italy proudly presents one of the most important and outstanding guitarists in Italy, Maestro Alessio Monti, who was praised by The Sunday Nation, Nairobi as “ of the world’s greatest guitarists...” He has also received wide critical acclaim throughout the world.

Alessio Monti

Alessio Monti completed his formal studies in music at “L. Cherubini” Conservatory of Florence with the highest distinction. He is promoter and artistic director of “Tuscan Guitaristic Center”, which yearly organizes a guitar competition for international performers and composers from all over the world.

His evening program includes works by Bach (Chaconne), Villa Lobos (Prelude No. 1, Study No. 11, Prelude No. 4, Study No. 7), Brouwer (Danza del Altiplano), Albeniz (Asturias) and his own compositions especially composed for his memory in Thailand.

The concert will be held on Monday, April 30, 2001 at 8.00 p.m. at the Thai-German Cultural Foundation Auditorium on South Sathorn Road Soi 1, Bangkok. Tickets are priced at 300 baht, 150 baht for students, are available at D&M Music Studio (tel. 391-7429, 391-9318), Asia Books Sukhumvit (tel. 253-4373), Thai-German Cultural Foundation (tel. 287-2822), or at the door.

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Antiques, Are They Genuine?

by Apichart Panyadee

Base Metals

Over the centuries the techniques of making all forms of metal ware: pewter, copper, brass and bronze, iron and steel, have varied. Some methods of manufacture declined, while others rose in importance. A sound knowledge of how objects were made at various times in history is a great asset when the collector is seeking to date a desired piece. For example, the types of seams used in copper and brass work are good guides to dating.

18th Century brass spoon mould

Makers and other marks

This is perhaps the easiest check where reference works illustrating maker’s marks exist. Only a small proportion of objects do have maker’s marks, however. But there are other marks which can be useful; housemarks, ownership marks and initials, full coats-of-arms or crests engraved on items can all help with dating. To give an example, coats-of-arms have been rendered in different styles according to their period. Establish the style, and you can begin to date when the work was done.


This is a difficult area if one does not allow a little flexibility. Similar objects were made over several decades and it is often not possible to establish a neat, chronological order of style. Nevertheless, patterns do emerge and identifying the style of a piece already suggests a broad period during which it might have been made.


You can learn a lot by feeling an item as well as by looking at it. Handle it, feel its edges, turnings and hinges. Run your fingers over all the surfaces. Try to identify where the wear appears. While you may come across a 17th century object in pristine condition, the odds are against it. Little or no wear means little age.


For economic and technical reasons, the alloys used by coppersmiths, brassfounders, braziers, blacksmiths and pewterers have varied over time, and a knowledge of the alloys can provide definitive answers. This is the hardest check to carry out, however, and it requires access to analytical equipment. There is another aspect of authentication which is invaluable. It is experience. The more metalwork you handle, the more you will see and understand. Assessing an item is a matter of balancing the probabilities. If all the indicators point one way, then you can be reasonably sure of your assessment. But where the evidence is conflicting, you will have to be more tentative. There are two sources of potential difficulty; genuine fakes which were carefully made to deceive, and reproductions, once offered for sale for what they were, but now were either deliberately aged to deceive, or have achieved genuine age and wear. True fakes are rare, and can be difficult to spot. Reproductions are easier to identify even if artificially aged.


Pewter is an alloy of tin. For 450 years or more it was once one of the most important metals found in the home. People of all classes used it for eating and drinking, and about the house. The rich man might have had many dozens of plates, dishes, but even the pauper owned a battered pewter plate. Being a soft alloy, pewter had a short working life. As soon as they needed replacing, damaged objects were usually traded in for newly worked pewter. Consequently there are few survivors of the tens of thousands of items that were in daily use. Seventeenth-century pieces are the earliest that can normally be found. This was the period of maximum production in Britain and Europe.

18th Century print showing coppersmith

The manufacture of pewter continued at a high level in the 18th Century and in the USA it reached a peak in the 40 years after the War of Independence. Pewter continued to be made in America into the 19th Century, at a time when the craft was in great financial difficulties elsewhere.

During the 19th Century a variation of pewter, a hardy alloy of tin made with the help of steam driven engines, and known as Britannia Metal, became increasingly popular and was widely used. Most commonly found now are 18th Century pewter plates and dishes, 19th Century drinking mugs, and Britannia Metal tea and coffee pots. But almost anything one can think of which was used in the home has been, at some time or other made in pewter.

Most British fakes were made in the 1920s. They are well made, often carefully ‘repaired’ to set the collector’s mind at rest. Old pewter develops a patina or film of thin oxide which is difficult to replicate, and this type of oxidation is one of the things collectors look for to confirm age. Unfortunately, it is possible to fake oxidation. Collectors should familiarise themselves with the appearance and colour of authentic patina.

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