Jesters ‘Care for Kids’ completes their first major project at Huay Pong
Officially open newly renovated dormitory
Children’s Day 2003 was a glorious day for the Eastern
Child Welfare Protection Institute in Huay Pong, Rayong as they officially
opened a newly renovated boys’ wooden dormitory, with all the hype and
music to celebrate the occasion. The benevolent Jesters Motorcycle Club and
a team of supporters, committee members, government officers, local
organizations and children were present to witness the occasion.
left) Chanyut Korsirinont, inspector general of the department of community
development and welfare, Preecha Jitbunjong the Huay Pong superintendent
(center) and Lewis ‘Woody’ Underwood are presented with the ceremonial
scissors by two young ladies to officially declare Building ‘A’ open.
Ransten, welfare coordinator for the Rayong Ladies Circle and two of the
children from Building ‘A’ present Woody with a thank you plaque.
Keller, president of the Rotary Club of Jomtien Pattaya pins Chanyut
Korsirinont with a badge encompassing this year’s theme ‘Sow the Seeds
Raising funds for charity is often a difficult affair
because much of the money raised is intangible - it goes towards education,
medical expenses, much needed daily supplies, and whilst there is quality in
the supply of such funds, those who donate may find it difficult to quantify
The Jesters ‘Care for Kids’ Charity Drive 2002 has
quantified the amount raised through last year’s fundraiser with the
renovation of a wooden dormitory and the construction of an adequate
bathroom facility for some 32 boys residing at the Eastern Child Welfare
Protection Institute in Huay Pong.
At approximately 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 11, the
thundering sound of Harley Davidson motorcycles rumbled through the grounds
at Huay Pong, complete with all fanfare, and the Jesters rode in.
Shortly after the speeches began, with Preecha Jitbunjong,
Huay Pong superintendent, welcoming everyone to the occasion. Jitbunjong
expressly thanked the Rayong Ladies Circle (RLC) for their hard work and
effort through the years in assisting the institute.
He also thanked the Jesters ‘Care for Kids’ Charity
Drive for making the renovation possible, adding that despite the small
budget that is provided by the government it is through the work of the
private sector and charity organizations that make it possible for the
children that have been discarded by their families and society to lead a
better life. In closing Preecha made a promise that he and his team would do
all they could to assist the children entrusted to their care.
project is this school building at an estimated cost of 800,000 baht. Class
sizes range from between 10 to 50 pupils at any one time.
Day was a lot fun for Sarah Paladeau; she got to hang out with her dad,
kids have something to smile about; their home is now much cleaner, brighter
and more comfortable.
Jesters take a break from the heat and await the ribbon cutting.
Following a brief translation to English, Chanyut
Korsirinont, inspector general of the Department of Community Development
and Welfare said the government recognizes these contributions to such
facilities and said he would spread the word within his department and other
sectors of the generous activities that have enabled the children of today -
the country’s future - to have a better quality of life.
Helle Ransten, welfare coordinator from RLC made a speech
mentioning the RLC’s history with Eastern Child Welfare Protection
Institute in Huay Pong as their main charity project and that this was the
third time she had attended the official opening of renovated building and
expected to attend many more in the future.
Helle said the Pattaya International Ladies Club (PILC)
and the RLC has joined forces to begin renovating one of the girl’s
dormitories due to be completed later this year.
As a token of appreciation Helle and two of the children
from Huay pong called Lewis ‘Woody’ Underwood to the podium and
presented him with a plaque of appreciation, also making Woody an honorary
member of the Rayong Ladies Circle, “So you will always be up to date with
what’s going on,” said Helle.
Woody then took the stage and explained, “We chose
Children’s Day because it is a special day when we care for kids, whether
our own or others. One of the best ways to do that is to give them the
opportunity for education and/or vocational training to open more doors.”
Jesters thundered into the grounds in single file; Jester John leads the
right) Preecha Jitbunjong with Jesters Darren Rose, Jeff Paladeau, and Kevin
Mitch shortly after the ceremonies.
tour’, everyone takes a look inside Building ‘A’
Woody spoke of how the Jesters ‘Care for Kids’
charity drive became involved and thanked all those involved with the
organization and execution of last year’s charity drive. He thanked Eric
Johanssen for taking time out of his busy schedule to renovate the building
and build new bathing and toilet facilities for the kids.
“We are proud to announce that the Eastern Child
Welfare Protection Institute in Huay Pong will again be part of this
year’s charity drive, where we will undertake the renovation of one of the
school buildings at a cost of around 800,000 baht,” added Woody.
Then Bruno Keller, president of the Rotary Club of
Jomtien Pattaya, along with Martin Brand pinned Chanyut, Helle and Woody
with a Rotary badge encompassing this year’s theme, ‘Sow the Seeds of
Last year, the Rotary Club provided lockers for the
girls’ and the boys’ dormitories so the children could have private
space and store personal items.
After the ribbon was cut benefactors toured the dorm and
the new bathing block as the children proudly displayed their new home to
those who gave them the opportunity to live in a clean and more comfortable
Building ‘A’ before and after.
Building ‘A’ before and after.
After the formalities everyone joined the Children’s
Day celebrations at the dining hall area where there was plenty to eat and
lots of fun and games to enjoy.
The dormitory known as “Building A” is a 43-year old
wooden building that houses a group of about 32 boys from as young as 3
years of age to 6.
Prior to the renovation the roof leaked and was covered
with mold, the stairs were falling apart and were dangerous, and the old
bathroom was primitive. The project took a few months to complete at the
cost of 600,000 baht.
The sheer magnitude and cost of the entire project will keep charity
organizations busy for quite some time but with help of the community and
corporate sponsors in the Jesters ‘Care for Kids’ Charity Drive 2002,
everyone can feel very proud that they helped Care for Kids by providing the
necessary means to change the lives of children in need. Those wanting more
information can visit the website: www.care4kids.info
Time flies - Chiangmai Mail already three months old
Chiangmai Mail board of directors tours the Pattaya Mail production facilities
Chiangmai Mail’s chairman of the board, Norachai
Prasertmanukitch, together with MD Michael Vogt and his wife Marion,
executive manager marketing & communications, received a very warm
welcome (and a bouquet of flowers) when they arrived at Pattaya Mail’s
Offices, and were greeted by Pattaya Mail’s MD Peter Malhotra and
his assistant, Primprao Somsri. The Chiangmaians enjoyed an impressive tour
through the various offices, which included the classifieds section, the
editorial section, accounting offices, and the graphics department. All were
treated to a coffee at Peter Malhotra’s frantic office afterwards. If
anyone considers a private office a ‘peaceful retreat’, Peter can prove
Chiangmai Mail team received a warm welcome at the Pattaya Mail offices. (L
to R) Executive Editor Dr Iain Corness, Chairman of the Board Norachai
Prasertmanukitch, Managing Director Michael Vogt, Executive Manager
Marketing & Communications Marion Vogt, Pattaya Mail’s Managing
Director/Chiangmai Mail General Manager Peter Malhotra and his Executive
Assistant Primprao Somsri.
Chiangmai Mail board of directors gets set to sit down and discuss the
future, but first a photo opportunity whilst looking over a proof of next
week’s Chiangmai Mail front, back and center pages. (L to R) Executive
Assistant Primprao Somsri, Executive Editor Dr Iain Corness, Executive
Manager Marketing & Communications Marion Vogt, Chairman of the Board
Norachai Prasertmanukitch, Managing Director Michael Vogt, CEO Xanxai
Visitkul, General Manager Peter Malhotra and President and Editor in Chief
Lunch was prepared at the new Diana Garden Resort &
Driving Range, after which the group visited the printing presses where the Chiangmai
Mail, Pattaya Mail and Pattaya Blatt are turned from words and
ideas into actual newspapers. Everyone there understood why it is called
“hot off the press”, because the various processes needed before one can
actually hold the paper in one’s hand are definitely hot.
During the afternoon, the first Chiangmai Mail
executive board meeting was held at the Dusit Resort Pattaya, and RM Ingo Räuber
once again made sure that even a business meeting can be enjoyable and
pleasant, as snacks, cookies, and many additional bits and pieces were
perfectly prepared and laid out.
the serious business of Chiangmai Mail’s future (L to R) Managing Director
Michael Vogt, President and Editor in Chief Daniel Dorothy, and CEO Xanxai
R) Graphics Department Supervisor Andy Gombäz explains some of the
finer points of design to Norachai Prasertmanukitch, Marion Vogt and Dr Iain
been a good, eventful first three months … (L to R) Executive Assistant
Primprao Somsri, General Manager Peter Malhotra, Executive Editor Dr Iain
Corness, Executive Manager Marketing & Communications Marion Vogt, and
Chairman of the Board Norachai Prasertmanukitch.
R) Norachai Prasertmanukitch, Peter Malhotra, Dr Iain Corness and Primprao
Somsri discuss editing conundrums with Pattaya Mail editor Veerachai
Somchart and Chiangmai Mail Classifieds Editor Brendan Richards (background
Chiangmai Mail has now been on the newsstands for 3
months, and regular operational issues had to be reviewed. The future looks
bright, as it already looks as if the newspaper will expand further.
Exciting times are ahead for the Chiangmai Mail and its readers.
The long afternoon ended at Jomtien Boathouse, were everyone could
unwind. The team enjoyed great dinner and greater drinks tapping their feet
to the jazzy tunes of Doc Houlind.
(L to R) Peter Malhotra,
Dr Iain Corness, Norachai Prasertmanukitch (background), Michael and Marion
Vogt inspect one of the printing plates at the print shop.
Ah, so this is how
it’s done… (Standing left to right) Peter Malhotra, Dr Iain Corness,
Michael Vogt, Norachai Prasertmanukitch and Marion Vogt at the printing
A New Year Trip
This year I was determined that I didn’t want to be in
Pattaya for New Year. I wanted to enjoy my few days off, relaxing in the
country. I thought carefully about all the places there was to go, and
decided to avoid the busy tourist areas and travel up to the north of
I started off in the town of Lopburi where there is an
ancient temple called Wat Changlom in Sri Satchanalai Historical Park. The
style of the main stupa at the wat is derived from Singhalese art around the
same time as Singhalese Theravada Buddhism. There are tall figures of
elephants surrounding the pedestal that turn into three-dimensional ones and
stucco images of walking disciples surrounding the tiers. There’s a fence
surrounding the wat and residing within the grounds are many loose,
uncontrolled macaque monkeys.
Changlom Sri Satchanalai Historical Park.
looking monkey with a taste for gold!
Personally, I have never had a good relationship with
monkeys. I used to have a macaque and I suspect she was the same species as
those at the wat. Her name was Mary Lou. Mary Lou hated me even though I fed
and cared for her. She ran loose in the house, fighting and upsetting the
children by swinging on their platted hair and stealing their sweets and
toys. You may ask why anyone in their right mind would have a monkey in the
house with 4 children, 3 dogs, 2 parrots and a snake. Well, I often asked
myself this question but have yet to find an answer. I put it down to a
phase I was going through! For some time I was an area manager for the
Primate Society in England and used check out the accommodation of monkeys
in pet shops and zoos. The reason I diverse with my story is to explain my
past history with these creatures.
can see, these monkeys are not going hungry.
at Lake Kueng Pasak Chonrasi by Pasak Jolasid Dam.
On several occasions during my life I have had ‘run
ins’ with monkeys. One time in Sumatra, Indonesia I was minding my own
business in the jungle and a monkey came and stole my glasses. This caused
some considerable inconvenience as we could not retrieve them and as you can
imagine there were no opticians on route.
Back to my Lopburi monkeys; I purchased some nuts from
the vendor and I tried to be nice to one of the monkeys and give it one; it
immediately jumped at me and snatched my bottle of water and ran up a tree.
The second time was far worse as I sat posing for a photograph, tentatively
holding out a nut to what looked like a placid young animal. The monkey
bypassed the nut and grabbed my gold necklace. It took a considerable effort
on my part and my partners to keep a hold of the necklace. At this point I
decided it would be better to keep away from the monkeys and I walked over
to the boundary fence to try and get a decent picture of the temple.
Suddenly, a monkey jumped me from behind; it landed on my shoulders, and
proceeded to pull a considerable amount of hair (and I’m not exaggerating)
out of my head with its teeth. I flung my body over into a bent position and
managed to dislodge the animal. I tell you these things to warn you: if you
go looking at these animals take care!
Even if they don’t have a personal vendetta against you
they can be dangerous. As you can imagine I had by now had enough! The
monkeys are also freely wandering in the streets so I decided it was time to
I knew that there were wonderful fields of sunflowers in
the surrounding area but discovered that these were some distance away from
the town, so postponed the visit to the following day. We drove around and
eventually found a reasonable hotel on the outskirts of the town. It was the
“Lopburi Inn Residence” at 600 baht a night, including breakfast and
evening meal (036 613 410).
The next morning dawned brightly and we set off after our
buffet breakfast at 7.30 a.m. There were, needless to say, a considerable
amount of people with the same idea. Unfortunately the flowers are not as
abundant at this time of the year so it was not as easy to find them as we
thought. In the end we succeeded and for 5 baht each we were allowed, with
everyone else, to go and trample all over the sunflowers and take photos.
The countryside was quite stunning and I’m sure that if you visit the area
in October / November when the flowers are at their peak it must be
We continued our journey towards Nakhon Ratchasima as my
fried told me he wanted to show me some beautiful lakes in the surrounding
area. The first was at Pasak Jolasid Dam, which was a massive lake with
camping and restaurants, but it seemed as if half of the Thais in Thailand
were visiting that day and we decided to move on.
If you get the train from Bangkok to Nong Khai it stops
at the lake during the journey.
To be continued...
UNICEF evening at the 20th Scout Jamboree: a huge success
The “UNICEF Challenge”, held on Friday, the third of
January, was, indeed, one of the fun-filled highlights of the just-ended
20th World Scout Jamboree, held at Haad Yao, the Sattahip Naval Base in
Chonburi, from December 28 until January 7. It represented a first for
Thailand and the quadrennial event featured more than 20,000 participants
and 5,000 service volunteers, coming from 143 countries.
Sattahip children provided great entertainment.
“mascot” joins the fun.
UNICEF’s own Khun Pichada did a sterling job, moving
the show along in Thai and English and the “Child Rights Night” was
filled with a capacity crowd, sitting around the amphitheatre, mingling with
the performers, dancers and entertainers. Well-known Thai personality Khun
Tik Shiro led a rendition of his own composition - a touching song about
A charming group of boys and girls from the Baan Sattahip
High School set just the right tone for the evening, as they moved around
the audience, smiling, chatting and enjoying themselves immensely.
“There,” I thought, “was the quintessential scouting spirit: a
crossing of all cultural, religious and ethnic barriers, in a celebration of
Alternate Percussion Band “goes to town”.
Sattahip girls show us how to dance.
The evening also featured other song and dance
performances, quizzes and competitions and an “Alternative Percussion
Band”, playing everything that would make a sound. At one point, I thought
I was in Argentina, where the citizenry have been taking to the streets in
protest, bashing pots and pans and anything else that would produce noise.
At Sattahip, however, these ‘musicians’ improvised in
a joyous out-pouring of exuberance and even some of the more cacophonous
sounds were reflections of the good-feelings, hope and optimism of youth.
Isn’t that what a jamboree (meaning, literally, “all tribes come
together in peace - a festive gathering”) should be all about? I am not
sure of the language derivative of the word, but it certainly reminds me
somewhat of the Australian Aborigine’s “Corroboree” - a symbol of
peace; a dance festival.
representative opens the show.
city: never mind the heat!
Didi “rings her bell”!
The Jamboree, the 20th to be held since the first in
London in 1907, was opened by HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and,
certainly, the personal - and, quite informal - visit by Sweden’s King
Carl XV1 Gustaf, who has been the Honorary Chairman of the World Scout
Foundation since 1977, was a highlight of the festivities.
True to form, HM King Carl came to the enormous campsite
wearing his scouts uniform and chatted amiably with as many scouts as his
time permitted. The King presided over a golf tournament which raised 1.6
million baht in favour of the World Scout Foundation.
The Thai Youth News, comprising a very dedicated group of
aspiring radio and television journalists, strongly supported by UNICEF,
came to Sattahip from their “stronghold” of various schools in the north
and north-east and made a big impression on all those they contacted. They
were everywhere: interviewing, filming and bringing the young people
together, showing the results of their camera skills on the giant screen set
up at the UNICEF Challenge evening.
UNICEF exhibit, featuring the Thai Youth News.
“main drag” at the camp.
The Jamboree, by its very nature, provided a meeting
place - in fact, a ‘stage’ - for sharing and promoting the world’s
myriad cultures, races, religions, histories and languages, via personal
contact among so many youngsters.
And what a fine group they were! For many from northern
climes, the heat was intense, some coming from minus 10 Celsius straight
into Sattahip’s 35 degrees C plus, but disregarding this discomfort - even
in their temporary “canvas cities” - for the overall benefits and
excitement of being part of this phenomenal scouting movement which brings
these young people close to nature and aptly demonstrates the
inter-dependent world in which we all now live. A respect for the
environment was instilled, with the clear message that no corner of the
globe can escape results of environmental degradation. The Jamboree’s
leitmotif, “Share our world; share our culture” could not have been more
Unfortunately, some of the spirit was missing among
several of the organizers who seemed intent upon confrontation over issues
which they felt did not conform to their own ideas of propriety and
management. Some members of the local press, too, while not naming a
specific medium, took every advantage to publicize what they considered the
“sex angle”, playing up pictures to illustrate their rather jaundiced
Let us hope that some of these ‘enlightened’ adults learned a lot
from these basically innocent youngsters. The 21st World Scout Jamboree will
be held in London in 2007 and the leaders at that gathering will be the
products of the Sattahip Jamboree.
Royal Cliff Wine Club hosts year’s first Wine Tasting
It was another successful Wine Tasting for organizers and
members of the Royal Cliff Wine Club on January 18 when the club met for the
first time this year and showcased an exquisite selection of ten superb New
and Old-World wines.
Held at the Grand Ballroom of the Royal Cliff Grand, the
Wine Tasting brought together close to a hundred devout members, wine
enthusiasts, and new members. Albeit Royal Cliff Grand resident manager
Ranjith Chandrasiri’s claim that this particular event was “informal”
compared to previous similar events, the event was not short of the usual
grandiose set-up done by the Royal Cliff Beach Resort’s enthusiastic and
pro- fessional wine butlers.
Chandrasiri, resident manager of the Royal Cliff Grand and wine club
captain, stands next to an oak barrel, in which wines are kept to mature.
Cannon Pacific Co., Ltd. managing director, Ekachai
Mahaguna was the event’s guest of honor and joined Chandrasiri in
presenting the wines that were up for tasting.
Hosting well-attended and highly praised wine events like
this along with excellent Winemaker’s Dinners is not uncommon for the
Royal Cliff Wine Club. Last year alone, the club held over 10 outstanding
events. These were graced by world-renowned wine and gourmet luminaries
including Michelin Star Chef David Scabin, Chateau Branaire managing
director Philippe Dhalluin, chief winemaker of Wolf Blass wines and Baron of
Barossa Valley John Glaetzer, fast-rising Hardy’s Australia winemaker
Chris Darling, Chateau Raymond Lafon owner Jean Pierre Meslier and World
Champion Sommelier Marcus del Monego.
R) Andrew Wood, Soranan Mahaguna, Ekachai Mahaguna, Madam van Boxl-Portael,
Ranjit Chandrisiri, resident manager of Royal Cliff Grand.
The club will once again offer a benchmark Italian
Winemaker’s Gala Dinner featuring Fantinel wines on February 12 in the
Grand Ballroom of the Royal Cliff Grand with cocktails starting at 19.00
Guests of honor include owner Marco Fantinel of Fantinel
Wines and several wine experts. The event showcases six varieties of
outstanding Fantinel wines of Italy along with a six-course gourmet dinner
prepared by executive chef Walter Thenisch and his team of culinary experts.
Price for this exclusive wine dinner is only 1500 baht net per person
inclusive of wines plus royal canap้s during the reception.
Limited seating will be offered at this exclusive event and prior
reservation is essential. (For reservations, please call the Wine Club at
Tel. nos. 038-250-421 ext. 2782 (from 09:00 to 18:00 hrs) or Guest Relations
at ext. 2007 or 2037. Email: [email protected])