HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

Father Ray Brennan turns 70!

Local organizations donate to Banglamung Home for the Elderly

Vegetarian Club Pattaya officially chartered

New 40 million baht entertainment complex ‘Rugby Karajuku Karaoke’ opens near Dolphin Roundabout

Talented young artist opens art gallery and marries on the same day

Park Lane Luxury Cocktail Bar celebrates grand opening

The Hideaway Pub Restaurant in Jomtien re-opens under new management

Pattaya City and Horseshoe Point hand over proceeds from recent mountain bike competition

St. Nicholas paid a visit to the Berliner Bistro

Final surge takes Pattaya Gay Festival 2002 over 3.5 million baht raised for charity this year

Father Ray Brennan turns 70!

Pattaya’s well-loved priest celebrates with his huge family

Father Ray’s birthday was actually on December 7, but he celebrated two days earlier, on December 5, to combine his birthday with the celebrations for His Majesty the King.

Father Ray, whose birthday was actually on December 7, celebrated two days earlier on December 5 (Father’s Day in Thailand) to combine his birthday with the celebrations for His Majesty the King. More than 650 of “his” children, plus all the staff from the various groups of the orphanage and Redemptorist Center, his colleagues and very close friends came to wish him all the best for his 70th birthday.

All of “his” more than 650 children, all the staff from the various groups of the orphanage and Redemptorist Center, his colleagues and very close friends came to wish him all the best for his 70th birthday.

Many of Father Ray’s foreign friends from Pattaya added to the crowd of well-wishers, and a few even came from Germany and Denmark especially for this occasion.

Amongst them was the vice-chairman of the Danish support group of the Pattaya Orphanage, Jorn Kamp Larsen and his wife Nee, as well as the renowned ‘Santa Claus’ of the Orphanage Bjorn Falkenbrinck, the chairman of the Danish support group of the Pattaya Orphanage.

Bjorn presented Father Ray with a wonderful painting from famous Danish painter Ole Zieger.

Of course, this was not the only present Father Ray received on his special day. Everybody brought something along to express their gratitude and thanks to this priest who has devoted many years of his life to the Catholic Church and especially to the Pattaya Orphanage with all its subsidiary groups.

Father Ray almost drowned in a sea of flowers when the children got in line to present him each with a flower to show him their love and gratitude for the new and better life he has provided for them.

The following song was composed for Father Ray and it expresses the feelings of “his” children towards him:

Unsung Hero

You’re an unsung hero.

You’re always there to help us Father Ray.

And you’re right beside us everywhere we go, everyday.

And our lives are so much brighter

We can reach the highest star

And the world’s a better place, it’s true.

Thanks to unsung heroes; a ray of sunshine like you,

You’re an unsung hero;

You don’t want the glory or the fame,

You just keep on giving and sharing all your love just the same.

And our hearts are so much lighter,

We can dream the biggest dreams,

And it’s all because of what you do.

You’re an unsung hero Father Ray, we love you.

You’re an unsung hero Father Ray, we love you.

Local organizations donate to Banglamung Home for the Elderly

Thai Inter Law Consultant joins with Pattaya City and local clubs to donate clothing and milled rice to seniors

Suchada Tupchai

As a part of an ongoing campaign under the theme of ‘With love and care’ a generous donation was recently presented to the residents of the Banglamung Home for the Elderly. Pattaya Mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat led representatives from Thai Law Consultant, Pattaya Sports Club, Jesters Pattaya, and the Katrena Club on December 12 in presenting clothing, rice and other necessities to the senior citizens who live there.

One of the residents of the home says thanks, as Mayor Pairat looks on.

In this time of caring and generosity, a group of representatives from benevolent Pattaya groups donated much needed supplies to the Banglamung Home for the Aged.

During the presentation, Katrena Wannasakda of Thai Inter Law Consultant said, “The elderly who reside in the home also need love and care and we should not let them feel neglected. It is our duty to be responsible for each other in society and do what we can to help.”

Many clubs in Pattaya sponsor the campaign. The latest donation included 283 winter jackets and 40 rice packs.

The Banglamung Home for Elderly was initiated by HM the Queen Sirikit in 1968 and was the first home for the aged that was built with funds raised by both the government and private sectors to look after homeless and elderly people from poor families.

Vegetarian Club Pattaya officially chartered

Elfi Seitz

A gathering of more than 45 people came together to witness the official charter of the Vegetarian Club Pattaya on December 9. Not all who attended are vegetarians, but many are members of various other clubs including Rotary, YWCA, PAWS, Lions Clubs, and PILC.

Vegetarian Club Pattaya Vegetarian president Pastor Viorendra Arora and his wife present General Saiyud Kerdphol with flowers

Guest of honor, General Saiyud Kerdphol, past president of the Vegetarian Club from Bangkok and chairman of the World-Vegetarian Congress organizing committee addressed the group. He spoke about the future of vegetarians in Thailand and told his audience that he has been a vegetarian for a decade.

General Saiyud explained that 10 years ago he was a guest speaker at the Vegetarian Club in Bangkok. It was then he changed his philosophy on food. “My nutrition is derived mostly from fruits and nuts. I believe that had I not completely changed my diet I would not be here with you today.”

The general went on to organize a vegetarian congress in Chiang Mai and then founded a Vegetarian Union. “I was later asked to found yet another Union comprising all types of healthy lifestyles including the practice of yoga, tai chi and meditation,” General Saiyud explained.

At the end of his speech he urged all people to live a healthy lifestyle and eat less meat to keep their health or even reverse a disease.

Charter President VG Pastor Virendra Arora was the next to speak. He said that this is another challenge in his life. Leading a club like this will give him the opportunity to take care of his own health as well. He pointed out that in a vegetarian club animal products are excluded as well as smoking and alcohol in any form.

The Vegetarian Club Pattaya meets the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 18:30. More info at [email protected] or tel. 0-1170-2701.

New 40 million baht entertainment complex ‘Rugby Karajuku Karaoke’ opens near Dolphin Roundabout

Veerachai Somchart

Investing in a new business venture is always tricky, and in these tough economic times, it takes a brave and very confident businessman to jump into troubled waters and stay afloat. But Chutipol Kamolnart is not fainthearted and has just opened a hot new entertainment complex in Pattaya.

Saensukh Mayor Somchai Khunpluem cuts the ribbon officially opening the Rugby Karajuku Karaoke as a host of dignitaries looks on.

Somchai Khunpluem, Saensukh mayor, Phisit Boonchung, deputy governor of Chonburi Province, Vichian Chawalit, director of Urban Region Ruling Dept., Sawai Phrammanee, Chonburi senator, Chanyut Hengtrakul, advisor to the minister of tourism and sports, Pairat Suttithamrongsawat, Pattaya mayor, plus deputy mayors Niran Wattanasatsathorn and Wuttisak Rermkitjikarn, Tawit Chaisawangwong, president of Pattaya City Council, and Poramej Ngamphichet, member of Chonburi parliament and Pattaya City Council, recently attended the ribbon cutting ceremony of the “Rugby Karajuku Karaoke” on the Astoria Hotel premises near Dolphin Circle.

Chutipol Kamolnart, chairman of the Rugby Karajuku Karaoke said that in the middle of an economic crisis establishing a new business is very difficult. He said he had to be certain that the business would have something new and different to offer.

Chutipol explained that when he saw all the sticker-photographing machines and karaoke-singing booths in so many department stores he was inspired to come up with the idea of combining these two fun activities.

Chutipol spent over 40 million baht to build the Rugby Karajuku Karaoke, which is the only one of its kind in Thailand.

Customers singing and dancing in the karaoke rooms can be stars in their very own music video. The rooms are fully equipped with a top class sound system and big TV projectors. Afterwards they can take home their video recordings as souvenirs of their memorable performances.

Members are privileged to many special offers including a discount on the VIP room charge, food and drinks, and one free music video of their choice. The pub is open from 7:00 p.m. onwards.

Talented young artist opens art gallery and marries on the same day

Songklod Kaewvisit

Talented artist, 20-year-old Sakorn Treesakorn opened his art gallery and married his true love, Nidarat, Saturday, December 7, combining two major events and symbolizing a very important day he and his new bride’s lives.

Sakorn and Nidarat, after saying their vows, together cut the ribbon to open their art gallery.

The gallery, located in Soi Day Night, South Pattaya was packed with family, friends and well wishers as the couple exchanged vows and cut the ceremonial ribbon official declaring the Art Gallery open for business.

The gallery is the result of hard work for Sakorn, who says he loves to paint and enjoys all forms of art. The double shop house features many works by Sakorn and artists from the University of Fine Arts with traditional, contemporary and abstract styles. He added that he invested in the project and will be managing the gallery himself.

Sakorn said that he and Nidarat opted for the double ceremony, seeing it as an important day their life together.

As the celebration continued, a foreign resident purchased a painting by Surasak Srisakulsai titled ‘Vimuthsuk’ for 40,000 baht.

Park Lane Luxury Cocktail Bar celebrates grand opening

The Park Lane Luxury Cocktail Bar, situated on Pattaya Second Road opposite Caesar Palace between Soi 8 and Soi 9, held its grand opening on Wednesday December 4. The establishment is co-owned by Colin O Brian and John Clements, and provides an extensive range of top-shelf drinks, including port and brandy. The lounge has a comfortable and elegant design, perfect for Pattayans and tourists wishing to relax, and enjoy themselves till late.

A likely group of customers enjoyed the night, which included some familiar faces... John Clements (far right) doing what he does best, entertaining the crowd.

The night was a tremendous success, with local businesspeople attending to wish Colin and John well. John, who has dedicated more than 30 years of his life to the entertainment industry, provided the live entertainment for the night. It was an opportunity for all to mingle with colleagues, friends, family and strangers, and allow Park Lane to showcase what they have to offer.

The Hideaway Pub Restaurant in Jomtien re-opens under new management

The Hideaway Restaurant, situated in the Jomtien Complex, re-opened on December 4 under new management and owners. The site was previously a go-go bar, and has now been transformed into a restaurant/pub. They serve excellent traditional English/Indian curry and ice-cold beer at a very reasonable rate. The night of the grand reopening was an interesting one, with well-wishers coming from all over Pattaya to join in the fun.

The Hideaway has the perfect spot for a game of pool, as one of the lovely staff members takes her turn on the table.

One of the co-owners of the restaurant is a trained chef with worldwide experience, which includes managing the nutrition at the British Olympic Village.

Hideaway is open 7 days a week, from 2 p.m. till late. The restaurant provides music, TV, food, drinks, a pool table and a number of lovely hostesses. The owners are interested in starting a regular pool league in the Jomtien area, and will also start home delivery soon, providing an extensive range of quality Indian and Chinese food.

Pattaya City and Horseshoe Point hand over proceeds from recent mountain bike competition

Money goes to local charitable organizations

Suchada Tupchai

Four local organizations in Pattaya received a financial boost this week when Chainarin Srifuengfung, managing director of Horseshoe Point Resort & Country Club joined Pattaya Mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat and Deputy Mayor Niran Wattanasatsathorn - acting as head of the Pattaya Bicycle for Health Club - presided over the presentation of 160,000 baht. The funds handed over were proceeds from the Mountain Bike Competition held in November.

Chainarin Srifuengfung (left), managing director of Horseshoe Point Resort & Country Club presents funds to Mai Chaiyanit, village headman of Nongprue District, as Mayor Pairat Suthithamrongsawat (center), Deputy Mayor Niran Wattanasatsathorn (far right) and other supporters applaud.

The Volunteer Highway Police, Nongprue District Administration Organization, Lions Club of Pattaya and Pattaya School Number 1 received the funds during a small ceremony on December 12. The funds will be put to good use by supporting a number of activities around the city.

As for the Pattaya Bicycle for Health Club, Niran Wattanasatsathorn said, “We currently have over 100 members with more support coming from the Chonburi club, which is the largest in the region. We are primarily focusing on cycling for health but also would like to promote the sport as a public activity for charitable causes. We hope to hold similar races every year to raise funds with two major events annually. Hopefully in the future, the sport will become bigger and we can then hold an even more successful competition.”

St. Nicholas paid a visit to the Berliner Bistro

‘Beelzebub’ came along as well

Things were pretty lively at the Berliner Bistro at Soi Potisan on December 6 when St. Nicholas made a visit.

In Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Holland, St. Nicholas wanders around from house to house on December 6, bringing presents to the good and well-behaved children.

St. Nicholas and Beelzebub give away presents to well-behaved children.

When there are some bad children around, he takes a small, black hunchbacked man with him, called Beelzebub, who is armed with a rod to take care of the naughty.

Of course, there were only good people at the Berliner Bistro on this day and St. Nicholas had, through the afternoon and evening, all hands full to give presents to the hundreds of guests who attended.

Since there were only nice people around, Beelzebub felt truly bored and he tried to hit a few with his rod, but St. Nicholas, alias Wolfgang Bordt the innkeeper, had his eyes everywhere and at the end, Beelzebub, alias Micky the manager, was the one who had to take the beating.

Once again the Berliner Bistro showed that even in a foreign country one can hold high the traditions of the “old homeland”.

Final surge takes Pattaya Gay Festival 2002 over 3.5 million baht raised for charity this year

A very successful final 4 days marks end of 2002 fund raising

In an emotional speech to the crowds gathered in Boyztown (Pattayaland Soi 3) Dr. Philippe Seure, who runs Heartt 2000 (the main beneficiary of the PGF funds), suggested the street should be renamed “The Street of Life”, such has been the effect of the monies raised in saving hundreds of lives of those affected with the HIV virus. He went on to thank all of his sponsors and supporters for their hard work and generosity and emphasised that without the help of them and the PGF in particular his work would be impossible.

Robert Scoble (right) of Utopia Asia presented Bruno Forrer (left) with the organization’s lifelong achievement award.

This took place at the final PGF event, the Rainbow Street Party, on the evening of Monday December 2. The street was filled to capacity with cheering supporters who gave generously, helping through individual donations, entrance fees, raffle sales and percentages of food and drink sales. The total raised on this night alone was more than a staggering 480,000 baht.

This followed the “Walk for Life” on World AIDS Day, when the PGF joined with many others to form a procession along Beach Road, South Pattaya Road and back along Second Road to celebrate the worldwide fight against HIV/AIDS. There were many colourful floats, bands and a large number of groups of marchers. Despite the inclement weather, the rain started just as the procession did, a warm and carnival-like atmosphere prevailed throughout the whole of the parade with supporters and well-wishers cheering all of the participants along the whole of the route. When, at the end of the march, the PGF floats and walkers returned to Boyztown to find there was no electricity, they refused to let that dampen their enthusiasm. Everyone was smiling and the overall feeling of goodwill was clear to all. No one wanted the moment or the mood to stop.

On Saturday November 30, over 100 people attended a gala dinner at Bruno’s Restaurant. The food was excellent; the service impeccable, and once again, a good time was had by all. A raffle followed which raised an incredible 150,000 baht (from only 100 people!), bringing the total for the evening to over 200,000 baht

The highlight of the evening was a presentation made to Bruno Forrer, himself a re-presentation really, from the organisers of the Utopia Awards for his lifelong contributions to the gay community and those in need. Bruno, who is recovering from a serious illness, was there to accept the award to loud applause.

Robert Scoble of Utopia Asia made the presentation saying, “Restaurateur and philanthropist Bruno Forrer is a shining example of what one individual can do to change society. An active member of Pattaya’s business community for more than three decades, Bruno has quietly provided much needed support and made generous contributions to AIDS victims in particular. He has gladly offered the resources of his business for dozens of fundraising events. He is an outstanding and unassuming philanthropist and a role model for businessmen throughout Thailand.”

In total, the final 4 events raised more than 795,000 baht for the PGF charities, the major one being, of course, Heartt 2000 which continues to do so much for those suffering from the HIV virus, people who would surely die from the disease if not given the necessary medicines which they cannot afford. The number of patients who have received help from Dr Philippe is now close to 600 and increasing daily. Money continues to be required to enable this work to continue and the organisers of the PGF are now going to take a short rest and consider how they can help further in 2003.

The incredible success of the final 4 days brought the total raised by the PGF in 2002 to an amazing 3.5 million baht. This surpasses the 2001 total of 3.2 million baht, something no one thought possible when they sat down in January to plan the year’s events.

The PGF would like to thank Mayor Pairat and the officials and staff of city hall for all their help and support for the Walk for Life Parade and other events of the four days of the Festival.

The total of 6.75 million baht for the 2 years the PGF has been in existence is beyond everyone’s dreams and all concerned are truly delighted at the charitable works made possible by these wonderful results. Thanks to all who have supported the events and given generously during the year.

Rumour has it that the Pattaya Gay Festival may be changing its name to “Pattaya Pride” next year. With the fantastic results of the last two years, it would be a well deserved name change.