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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

It’s Showtime! The dates for the Jesters Children’s Fair, Sponsored Cycle Ride and Pub Night have finally arrived

Bike Ride registration

Events coming up at the FCCT

Liquid Gold!

It’s Showtime! The dates for the Jesters Children’s Fair, Sponsored Cycle Ride and Pub Night have finally arrived

by Lewis Underwood

People ask us about the level of our anxieties with the events of the Jesters Care for Kids Charity Drive rapidly approaching, and our answer now is, ‘Bring them on! We’re ready.’ After 8 months of vigorous planning for this year’s Charity Drive, we are indeed ready for the Big Show to begin. Besides, getting the support of an unprecedented 6 Platinum Sponsors this year from Chonburi Siam Steel Mill Services, Pattaya Mail, Shenanigan’s, Orkide Ekspressen, BJ Services and Siemens Westinghouse, is a great anxiety reducer!

The Jesters’ Children’s Fair is this Sunday, September 16th, which commences at 10 a.m. in the rear of the Siam Bayshore Resort on the grassy stretch next to the tennis courts. The Sponsored Cycle Ride, which should have 200 + riders, will leave from the front of the hotel at the Bali Hai on the beach side at 8 a.m. (registration starts at 6 a.m. on site, while pre-registration will occur the day before at Shenanigan’s on Saturday, September 15th, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.).

The fair site, which is next to the tennis courts in the back of the Siam Bayshore, can be accessed from 2 points: Beach Road or Pattaya 2 Road. The front entrance to the hotel is located towards the south end of Beach Road across from the Bali Hai Chinese Restaurant on the beach, near where the construction of the new marina is in progress. The rear entrance off Pattaya 2nd Road is located between the Baiyoke Hotel and OD Bowl and is more difficult to spot unless one is actually looking for it. There are now signs on the power poles near the entrance to make it easier to spot. On the day, there will be a huge arched sign over the entrance with balloons and tall tube sacks powered by fans.

Parking may present a bit of a problem on the actual grounds of the hotel. Though there is parking available inside, it is limited and will most likely be filled quickly with vehicles from event staff, stallholders, equipment transport and rubbish removal. Parking is doable, however, on Beach Road in the front of the hotel and along Pattaya 2 Road.

After brief welcoming addresses from the VIP’s, the Fair, with more stalls than ever and a chockablock program of events, will be officially opened. The opening time will most likely coincide with the arrival of the front-running cyclists from the Sponsored Cycle Ride. Live music will ensue followed by the start of the children’s programs.

Special features this year for the kids are a full-length puppet show on stage and Royal Garden Spa and Fitness Center’s Hanna with her aerobics show, mini-Olympics and other fun and games. Simultaneously, hubby, Sean, will be doing his tennis carnival on the court next to the Fair site.

Moreover, once again there will be the climbing wall sponsored by JVK Movers under the shade of the trees next to their volleyball net put up for impromptu games. The bouncy castle and clown on stilts with his balloons will also be present to augment the 7 school stalls, each with their own children’s activities. Ripley’s will also have a stall again this year featuring 4 different games.

The Children’s Raffle booth run by Mike Franklin and the friendly staff from Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital has the greatest list of prizes ever collected thus far, including the giant teddy (Bertie Biker), a child’s size Harley, TV, DVD & CD players, bicycles, etc. Tickets for which will be 20 baht apiece, 200 baht for a book of 12, or 3 books for 500 baht and will only be sold on the day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. For a complete list of the prizes, please visit our website: (Note: please remember that for the Children’s Raffle drawing, circa 2:30 - 3 p.m., the holders of the winning tickets must be present.)

There is plenty to see and do for adults, as well, with a variety of stalls offering international cuisine, handicrafts, used books, knick-knacks, in addition to the Jesters beer tent, which will be selling donated beer from local businesses. Live music this year will be provided by Rick and Harpic in addition to a one-hour set from Flow, who are on a promo tour for their new CD, ‘Seeds’. And to top off the day’s event, there will be the resumption of the legendary tug-of-war contest. Yes, the rope has already showed up this year.

Entrance fee to the Jester’s Children’s Fair is free for children under 12 and 50 baht for adults, who receive a 64-page fair program guide with one free Children’s Raffle ticket inside.

The weekend after the Children’s Fair will be the Pub Night on Saturday, September 22nd, at Shenanigan’s beginning at 6 p.m. This fun night of raffles and auctions interspersed with live music will be the culmination of the Jesters Care for Kids Charity Drive 2001. This celebratory evening will see the drawing for the Grand Raffle prizes, the top of which consist of 2 air tickets for Bangkok-Sydney return on British Air/Qantas, 1 air ticket for Bangkok-Vienna return on Lauda Air, 2 air tickets for Bangkok-Samui return with 2-night/ 3-day hotel package, year membership at the Royal Garden Spa and Fitness, year membership at Dusit Resort Gym, TV and DVD set, Tibetan ‘Tiger Skin’ carpet, etc.

Some of the items to be auctioned this year will be children’s paintings from the Fountain of Life Center, engraved mirrors from Stephen Gormley, a large Burmese tapestry donated by McAllister’s, a year membership from Eastern Star Golf and Country Club, the giant pasty from M&M, Formula One collector’s car, and much more.

Also this year, since the Shenanigan’s staff expects to be inundated, and the Pattaya Panthers want to generate more money for charity, they will hold a ‘slave auction’ at the beginning of the evening. This unique auction will involve providing rugby team members to the highest bidders to act as personal service staff for the night. Again for a complete list of raffle prizes and auction items, please refer to our wonderful website constructed by Susie Ngamsuwan listed above. (Note: Holders of the winning tickets for the Grand Raffle on Pub Night prizes need not be present to win.)

The house band, The Zone, as well as Rick and Harpic and Pop’s All-Stars will provide live music on the night. Parking at the Pub Night is not the problem it may seem to some, as the underground lot at the Royal Garden Plaza is open until 2 a.m.

The stage is now set for both the Jesters Children’s Fair and the Pub Night; so let the show begin!

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Bike Ride registration

There will two registrations for the Jesters Care 4 Kids Charity Bike Ride, the first one which, if possible, we would like people to use will be at Shenanigans from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. on Saturday 15th September. For their 300 baht entry fee the bicyclists will receive their Charity Bike Ride 2001 t-shirt, their number for the bike ride, registration of sponsorship, which will allow them unlimited water and police escort on the day.

Registration will also be possible on the Sunday at the Siam Bayshore Resort from 6 a.m. - 8 a.m.

The bike ride will start at 8 a.m. behind a police escort. Remember, this is not a race, but a bike ride to raise money for the Fountain of Life. A certificate of completion will be given to all riders.

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Events coming up at the FCCT

The following events are coming up at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, Penthouse, Maneeya Center Building, 518/5 Ploenchit Road, Phatumwan, Bangkok 10330, adjacent to BTS skytrain, Chidlom Station, tel. 652-0580-1, fax: 652-0582, e-mail: [email protected]

Cracking Thai Fundamentals

First Session 5.45-9 pm, Tuesday, September 18
Second Session 5.45-9 pm, Tuesday, September 25
Third Session 5.45-9 pm, Tuesday, October 9

Another chance to participate in Stuart Raj’s course. Through the use of imagery, sign language, mnemonics, mind mapping, sensory/spatial association and story telling, this twelve-hour programme spread over 3 days provides a workable foundation in speaking, listening, reading and writing Thai - an ideal platform for launching an effective self-learning plan. More than anything, Cracking Thai Fundamentals breaks down psychological barriers that many of us have when it comes to learning languages, especially for those coming from non-tonal and roman-script based languages. Skills developed as a result of the workshop can be used to go on to learn other tonal and non-tonal languages including Chinese, Vietnamese and Indonesian.

The investment for the programme is 3,500 baht. FCCT members receive a 15% discount (2,975 baht). For more information, contact Stuart at [email protected] and visit the website at Contact K. Noi at the FCCT for enrolment.

HIV/AIDS In Asia - The Crisis Continues

7.30 p.m., Wednesday, September 26, dinner from 7 p.m. dinner Bt 280 members; Bt 400 non-members - please book in advance for dinner. Call the FCCT on 652-0580-1.

Despite the successful HIV/AIDS intervention projects in some countries, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from over in Southeast Asia. HIV prevalence among injecting drug users is a serious trend of transmission and intervention with sex workers who see clients outside of brothels is an urgent need. The increase of drug use among Asian youth increases their risk of HIV infection. While the condom campaigns have been partially effective, the risk of women infected by husbands and the alarming rise in the number of children orphaned by AIDS will pose enormous social challenges on Asian societies. Panellists will address the need for political will to sustain intervention in the general population, increase care and support for HIV+ families and their children and the fact that the HIV/AIDS crisis in Asia may worsen in the near future. Join a panel of experts prior to the UN International Convention on AIDS in Asia-Pacific slated to convene in Melbourne early October.

Panellists include: Paul Cawthorne, country director of Medecins Sans Frontieres, Belgium addressing the controversy around generic drug distribution in developing countries and the challenges of access to anti-retroviral drug treatment for people with HIV/AIDS; Dr Graham Neilsen, senior technical officer on STDs and Care, Family Health International, Asia Regional Office giving an overview of sexually transmitted infections and their relationship with the HIV epidemic and scaling up - what is the expanded comprehensive response? And Dr Myat Htoo Razak of Johns Hopkins University Department of Epidemiology working as the project director of the research project on HIV/AIDS among opiate users at the model Northern Thailand Drug Treatment Program and a grassroots representative of People Living with AIDS to discuss social stigmas and issues faced by HIV+ people.

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Liquid Gold!

by Ranjith Chandrasiri

Marketing wines is as essential as the wine making process itself. In fact, most wine owners spend a lot of money just to advertise and promote their produce. But the proud owners of Chateaux Petrus - Bordeaux’s most expensive wines - use a unique marketing strategy. That is, not to have any.

“We do not advertise nor do marketing because, luckily, we do not need to. Our company doesn’t even have a website nor use emails,” said Chateau Petrus part owner Edouard Moueix, son of Christian Moueix, during his recent visit to Bangkok.

Edouard Moueix and Ranjith Chandrasiri during the tasting of liquid gold

Until he came, no one from the Moueix family had ever been to Thailand.

On the night of his one day visit, Moueix hosted a very exclusive wine dinner and tasting that I was privileged to join. As we all know, Chateau Petrus wines are always included in good wine lists around the world. Those in the know actually consider these wines as “liquid gold”.

One should also understand that Petrus wine lovers should not only have a thick wallet but should posses an educated palate as well. Mind you, a good vintage bottle of Chateau Petrus would be well over 100,000 baht in Thailand.

The Moueix family has become so successful that they have extended their exclusive wine making to California and are currently enjoying huge success with their premium class, Dominus wine.

Petrus, Chโteau, the most famous wine of Pomerol and today the most expensive wines produced in Bordeaux. In the heart of the small Pomerol plateau, Petrus was partly bought in 1925, by Mme Loubat, wife of the owner of the Hotel Loubat in Libourne, but not totally acquired until 1949, when it consisted of 6.5 ha planted with 70 percent Merlot vines and 30 percent Cabernet Franc. In 1969, 5 ha were purchased from the adjoining Ch Gazin, and gradually the balance between the two vine varieties was altered until by 1977 it was 95 percent Merlot and 5 percent Cabernet Franc.

Although it won a gold medal at the 1878 Paris International Exhibition, and the London-based Wine Society listed the 1893, Petrus received little international attention until the remarkable, tiny crop of 1945, and the much more widely distributed 1947. Its exceptional concentration of colour, bouquet, and richness of flavour derives from a pocket of clay in the middle of the vineyard and the subsoil which affords exceptionally good drainage. Average production is 3,500 to 4,000 cases.

However, its fame is largely owing to M. Jean-Pierre Moueix of the Libourne merchants, who started his business before the Second World War. He took over the sole distribution of Petrus in 1945, and, when Mme Loubat died in 1961, he acquired 50 percent of the shareholding, while Mme Loubat’s niece Mme Lily Lacoste inherited the other 50 percent. The property is managed by Jean-Pierre Moueix’s son Christian, assisted by the distinguished Oenologist Jean-Claude Berrouet. The limited size of the property, and the availability of the Moueix team of pickers, mean that all the grapes can be harvested, at optimum ripeness, in half a day. Fermentation vessels are neither wood nor stainless steel, but mundane cement.

There is no official classification of Pomerol, but Petrus is unofficially recognized as a Premiere cru, and is distributed only through Moueix, with exclusive agents in the UK and restricted ones in the USA. It fetches a much higher price than any other red Bordeaux, and at auction achieves even higher prices relative to the rest.

Dominus Estate

The Dominus Estate is the Napa Valley’s equivalent of a First Growth Bordeaux and it is owned and run by Edouard’s father, Christian Moueix. The quality of the Dominus Estate made in the last few years has soared in quality. Their 1991 and 1994 were absolutely spectacular!

Dominus is the red wine produced from the historical Napanook vineyard, 124 acres in size, in Yountville, mid-Napa Valley, California. Christian Moueix began producing Dominus with the 1983 vintage. The wine is essentially made from Cabernet Sauvignon with small amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

It has now obtained worldwide recognition and although Californian by birth with its opulence, spiciness and rich fruit, it clearly has a French reference with its emphasis on elegance and refinement. A winery - designed by Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron - was built on the site in 1997, and is closed to the public.

Dominus will release a second wine under the name Napanook, which is the name of the vineyard where both of the wines come from. Production size has also increased greatly, the most recently released vintage, the superb 1994 weighed in at a whopping 10,000 cases! The quality at this relatively new Napa establishment is getting better every year.

I enjoyed the company of these liquid gold makers for dinner and I look forward to see them soon in Bordeaux.

Ranjith Chandrasiri is the resident manager of the Royal Cliff Grand, Royal Cliff Beach Resort, Pattaya, Thailand, email: [email protected] or [email protected]

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