Freemasons donate 120 wheelchairs to the Physically Challenged
Thailand hosts the First ever Asia Pacific Masonic Congress
Freemasons from the Asia Pacific region
gathered in Bangkok last month to participate in the First Asia Pacific
Masonic Congress. This event was held to coincide with the Annual
Communication of the District Grand Lodge of the Middle East, holding
under the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland.
Srichai Sapsiri, president of the APHT presents H.K. Neoh RWDGM with a
portrait of HRH Princess Sirindhorn receiving the Franklin Delano
Roosevelt Humanitarian Award. At right is Xanxai Visitkul, Worshipful
Substitute District Grand Master.
In his welcoming address Bro. Neoh Ho Keat Hon. Junior
Grand Warden, Right Worshipful District Grand Master (RWDGM) of the
District Grand Lodge of the Middle East (DGLME), encompassing 16 Masonic
lodges in Malaysia and Thailand, said, “I bid you a warm welcome to this
year’s annual communication of the district held here in Thailand. The
fact that it is held in Thailand highlights the unique and beautiful
attributes of our district and the wide spectrum of countries it governs.
The district is proud of our world heritage and is indeed thankful that,
despite the great distances that separate us, we have maintained the
greatest fraternal bonds, not only amongst the lodges, but also amongst
the brethren. I pray these bonds will continue to be further cemented and
be a continuing hallmark of our district.”
Neoh RWDGM (left) greets Narong Patibatsorakij (right), founder of the
National Council for the Disabled and former regional representative of
Disabled People International (DPI).
Thailand was also honored to be the proud host of the
very First Asia Pacific Masonic Congress. During the congress Freemasons,
in co-operation with the Tsao Chung Gih Foundation of Taipei, donated 120
wheelchairs to the handicapped under the care of the Association of the
Physically Handicapped of Thailand (APHT).
recipients of the wheelchairs thank H.K. Neoh RWDGM for his benevolence.
Major Sirichai Sapsiri, president of the APHT, said
that the association is always on the lookout all over Thailand, searching
for physically challenged people who are in need of assistance, especially
wheelchairs and manually-operated tricycles to assist them in their
bearers of the District Grand Lodge of the Middle East ensured that the
ceremonies were carried out with the highest regard for dignity and esteem
for delegates and guests.
Major Sirichai said that the association has approached
various organizations appealing for any assistance they could render.
“This year, over 600 requests for wheelchairs were received, but we
could provide for only two hundred,” said Maj. Sirichai. “We then
contacted the Tsao Chung Gih Foundation in Taipei, which, with the
cooperation of Bro. Neoh Ho Keat, RWDGM of the DGLME, kindly donated 120
gather for a group photo with the recipients of wheelchairs on this
Recipients of the wheelchairs traveled to Bangkok from
eight provinces in Thailand for the presentations, which were held at the
JW Marriott Hotel in Bangkok last month. More than 200 Freemasons and
guests from the Asia Pacific region and other parts of the world took part
in the proceedings.
from Lodge St. John Bangkok and Lodge Pattaya West Winds enjoy the
Maj. Sirichai presented Bro. H. K. Neoh with a portrait
depicting HRH Princess Sirindhorn receiving the Franklin Roosevelt
Humanitarian Award on behalf of the Thai people at the United Nations in
New York. The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Humanitarian Award is one of the
most prestigious US awards that was instituted by the US government and
private foundations to commemorate the United Nations Year of Disabled
Persons and to honor former US President Roosevelt who played a major role
in the establishments of the world body.
Thailand was the first country to receive this
prestigious award for their outstanding progress in bettering
opportunities for physically challenged people.
At the close of the ceremonies Bro. H. K. Neoh urged
Freemasons the world over to abide by the principle tenets of Freemasonry,
which are, Brotherly Love, Relief (Charity) and Truth.
World acclaimed Youth Orchestra and musicians featuring at the ‘Youth for Youth Music Festival’ at Horseshoe Point Resort & Country Club
Still time to catch a show
The UBS Verbier Festival Youth Orchestra Foundation, in
cooperation with Srifuengfung Foundation with the support of the Bangkok
Symphony Orchestra Foundation, announced the Y4Y Music Festival is still
going on in Pattaya and Bangkok, and continues through November 9.
from the mountaintops.
Taking place over 5 days, the festival is a major musical
event in the history of Pattaya.
Set in the Three Kingdoms Park and Horseshoe Point Resort
in Pattaya, the first four days of the festival have given aspiring Thai
musicians from various music and general institutions opportunities to get a
glimpse behind the scene of the world-class UBS Verbier Festival Youth
Orchestra at its open rehearsals, as well as interact with its great music
talents from around the world.
The highlight of the festival will be the finale concert
by the UBS Verbier Festival Youth Orchestra at the National Theatre on
HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana, who is a great appreciator
of the orchestra, having seen its performances in the Verbier Festival &
Academy in the past two years, will be presiding as the royal guest of honor
on the occasion of her 80th birthday.
A musical camp with more than 70 local musicians will
come together in a 3 nights musical camp providing them the opportunity to
interact with the other musicians from around the globe, allowing them to
perform in the festival and raise funds for needy in Thailand in need.
Music Festival is still going on in Pattaya and Bangkok, and continues
through November 9.
highlight of the festival will be the finale concert by the UBS Verbier
Festival Youth Orchestra at the National Theatre on November 9.
WYSTC 2003 at Royal Cliff Beach Resort was huge success
The World Youth and Student Travel Conference, or WYSTC, recently
concluded its week-long program at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort and PEACH
(Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall). Recognized as the world’s
largest travel show focusing on youth and students, WYSTC 2003 attracted
over 500 delegates from all over the world.
primary hosts of the World Youth and Student Travel Conference were awarded
with special gifts from the conference organizers during the farewell
reception. Accepting the gifts were (from left) TAT Governor Juthamas
Siriwan, Royal Cliff Beach Resort Managing Director Panga Vathanakul, and
Deputy Mayor of Pattaya Niran Wattanasarthorn.
The event, a collaboration between the Federation of
International Youth Travel Organizations (FIYTO), and the International
Student Travel Confederation (ISTC), featured a trade fair at PEACH, as well
as numerous seminars, conferences and workshops at the various meeting
venues situated at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort.
On average, there were 15 distinct meetings held daily
and a total of 19 banquets and after-hour functions held throughout the
5-day event. A total of 160 stands were on hand for the trade show at PEACH.
left) WYSTC Conference Director Susan Goldstein, FIYTO President Jack
Coronna, TAT Director of Marketing Promotion Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Royal
Cliff Beach Resort Managing Director Panga Vathanakul, TAT Governor Juthamas
Siriwan, ISTC Chairman Joop van Putten, ISTC Director General David Jones,
FIYTO Director General Peter Kruyt, and Royal Cliff Beach Resort General
Manager Alexander Haeusler.
Included in the after-hour functions was a spectacular
welcome reception hosted by the City of Pattaya at the newly-erected Bali
Hai boat pier in South Pattaya and a grand finale farewell reception hosted
by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) at the poolside of the Royal
Cliff Beach Hotel.
WYSTC 2003 was the 12th installment of the conference
which first began in 1992. The event was held in Bangkok in 1999, making
this the first time in its history that WYSTC has returned to the same
Hobie Nationals to be held
at a resurgent Varuna Yacht Club
New clubhouse foundation stone set at Kasetsin Beach, Pattaya Point
by Peter Cummins
Even as the Royal Varuna Yacht Club was setting its
course, nautically speaking, for the next three decades of yachting, racing
and cruising activities, frantic preparations were being finalized to
resurrect the club’s erstwhile dormant fleet of Hobie Cat 16s, in advance
of next week’s National Championship. Hobie Cat representative/distributor
for Thailand, Gary Baguley, his son Adrian and Antony Chapman, amongst
others, have retrieved upwards of 40 craft languishing in the boat racks at
Varuna and readied them for the Thai Nationals.
to R) Commodore Christopher J. King (1986-88) founding member HSH Bhisadej
Rajanee (1957), and Hobie Cat hot contestants and national champs, Susan and
Commodore David Race (1966/1967). (Photo Farida King)
According to Gary, it will constitute the biggest fleet
of Hobies seen in Pattaya since the 1997 economic meltdown, which greatly
affected the marine sector.
As if to underwrite this ‘Hobie Redux’, Royal Varuna
Yacht Club, just last weekend, laid the foundation stone for the
construction of a splendid new clubhouse at the present site at Kasetsin
Beach, Pattaya Point, which it has occupied since 1967.
both: Albert T. Chandler (1975-1977) (right) and Peter Cummins (1979, 1980).
(Photo by Farida King)
Flag Commodore Robert England, presiding over the
weekend’s special events, invited Prince Bhisadej Rajanee - a club
founding member, confidante and sailing companion of His Majesty the King
over several decades - to officiate at the ceremony “rich in Brahmin
tradition and symbolism”, said Robert after the very impressive
formalities were concluded.
for the foundation-stone laying: HSH Bhisadej Rajanee (right) and Flag
Commodore Robert England (2nd right). (Photo Damri Muangkaew)
The new clubhouse has been designed by Australian
architect and club member Peter Harper and is due for completion within the
next twelve months, adding a most striking profile to the Pattaya-Jomtien
cityscape and shoreline.
Bhisadej, founding club member and Flag Commodore Robert England (right)
inspect the inscription. (Photo Farida King)
His Majesty the King bestowed Royal Patronage on the Club
on 26 April 1965, and graciously officiated at the opening of the present
club in October 1967.
Varuna last year signed another 30-year lease on this
prime site, arguably the best on the Eastern Seaboard, and the new
development programme will ensure Royal Varuna’s pre-eminent position as
the Kingdom’s premier sailing club for the next three decades.
the Commodore’s Dinner: (L to R) Lawnin Crawford (1997, 1998), Incumbent
Robert England, Incumbent Vice Commodore Khun Sunti and senior staff Chusri.
(Photo Farida King)
On the preceding evening, Robert hosted a dinner for the
club’s founding members and the long list of commodores who had preceded
him. Many anecdotes were recounted, with HSH Bhisadej, particularly,
reminiscing on the King’s love of sailing. Pointing out that he was His
Majesty’s crew and instructor, one comes to the immediate conclusion that
Bhisadej was simultaneously the King’s “crew and khru”! Bhisadej
concurred. As with any group of sailors, memories, jokes and several tall
stories permeated the air.
Hobie Cat 16
The Hobie Cat Nationals, sponsored by Hobie Cat
Australasia and Blue Wave Watersports Co., Ltd., is the first major event to
be held since the club’s new “Lease (of life)” and more than forty
entries have been received widely from the region, with Hong Kong sending
five teams, the Philippines two, Oman two, Singapore, Australia and UK one
each. Some twenty teams from host club Royal Varuna and Royal Thai Navy will
also be in contention, with David/Susan Race from Varuna, and Damrongsak
Vongtim from the Royal Thai Navy base in Sattahip.
England and Sandra drive the Hobie. (Photo Brendan Richards)
But, it is not just numbers which are satisfying; it is
the high level of performers which includes five former Hobie Cat National
champions of Thailand. “But, Thailand’s finest are going to be very
hard-pressed by the region’s best if they wish to retain the Thailand
National title this year,” said Gary.
The very strong contingent from Hong Kong, top teams from
the Philippines, and Oman, and the major event sponsor, Steve Fields, head
of Hobie Cat Australasia, are going to be in hot pursuit of former Thai
national champions, Peter and Juliet Bates, the fastest sailors in the
region, now domiciled in New Zealand, who have just won the Hobie Cat Asian
Classic in Hong Kong.
In fact, the results of the Asian Classic show that the
sailors coming over for the Thai Nationals filled almost all the top
The race management has divided the regatta into two
categories: the top-level champions and the more local sailors, ranging from
comparative novices to mid-level competitors.
The other good news is that the northerly monsoons have
arrived in the Gulf, blowing steadily from north-west veering north-east.
But, one does not need to look seawards or consult the meteorological charts
just to know that the Leemanns, the first of the flock of migratory birds,
escaping what promises to be a very harsh northern winter, have arrived in
Pattaya. Their timing is deadly accurate, for the monsoon set in only two
It is, indeed, going to be a weekend of very exciting,
competitive racing off South Pattaya on November 15 &16, a fitting
opening to Royal Varuna’s new era.
Anyone interested in viewing the action, crewing or just plain enjoying
the ambience and the northerlies, should contact Gary Baguley, e-mail: [email protected]
blue wavewatersports.com; or Antony Chapman, e-mail: [email protected]
Ghosts and ghouls haunt Pattaya on Halloween
All Hallows Eve was celebrated in Pattaya last Friday
evening as many of the city’s entertainment spots got into the spirit of
the night. Staff at a number of bars hotels dressed for the occasion and
ghosts, ghouls and goblins traipsed through the streets and shadows.
One of the places to be was the Hard Rock Cafe where a
delightful mix of Thai and western style ghouls did the graveyard shuffle to
the sounds of the ‘Elizabeth Band’.
Benihana in the Royal Garden Plaza held a special
‘Zombie set dinner’ as ghostly waiters and waitresses ambled their
guests to tables before setting up the show.
Henry J Beans at the Amari Orchid was equally as scary
with both hotel staff and guests dressed for the occasion.
Elsewhere in Pattaya along Second and Third roads there was a noticeable
amount of paranormal activity, as local residents and visitors celebrated
the holiday dressed in eerie costumes for the special night.
the “Beni-Horror Picture Show” at Benihana Japanese Steakhouse.
just a dancing ghoul” at Henry J Bean’s.
or Treat!” These little munchkins showed up outside Henry J Bean’s.
Stein, esq. and his band of eerie goblins haunted the Hard Rock Cafe.
Immigration Colonel Somsak celebrates his 60th birthday at HJB
Police Colonel of the Immigration Office, Somsak Senavinin, enjoyed his
60th birthday celebration at Henry J. Bean’s Bar & Grill (Amari Orchid
Resort) during the middle of last month.
His colleagues, friends and family came to congratulate him on this
special occasion. The management and staff of the Amari Orchid Resort
prepared a pleasant surprise for Somsak by arranging a dance performance
followed by the presentation of a birthday cake, and as he blew out the
candles everyone wished him a long and prosperous life.
left) Latiporn Tongkhunna (professional development manager), Orapin
Musiknavabutr (executive assistant manager), Wichien Leepirojkul (Police
Maj. at the Immigration Office) and Lookfa Pinthong (personnel officer).
Musiknavabutr (right), executive assistant manager of the Amari Orchid
Resort and Lookfa Pinthong (left), personnel officer, came to congratulate
Somsak Senavinin (center) on this special occasion on behalf of the
hotel’s management and staff.
Col. Somsak enjoyed the party with colleagues, friends and family.
staff put on a special dance performance for the immigration colonel’s
guest, Somsak Senavinin (center), Immigration Office Police Colonel, cuts
his birthday cake at Henry J Bean’s. The surprise birthday cake came from
the management and staff of Amari Orchid Resort, including Orapin
Musiknavabutr (2nd left), the executive assistant manager.