HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

Dana Spicer celebrates centenary at Rayong plant

US military treats Ban Jing Jai to an afternoon of food and fun

Genuine love of one village

‘Sai lor fah’ shooting completed in Pattaya

Dana Spicer celebrates centenary at Rayong plant

Hosts street children for a day of festive activities

Suchada Tupchai

International automotive parts company Dana Spicer celebrated their centenary in grand style last weekend. As part of the festivities, Dana Spicer (Thailand) hosted over 50 children from the Redemptorist Home for Street Children in the grounds of their Rayong Plant. Michael Diamente, Dana Spicer plant manager and his staff welcomed the children.

Mike Diamente announces, “Let the games begin.”

“I’d like to welcome the children on behalf Dana Spicer in this our 100th year of operations since the company’s inception in the USA. Our policies include community service and development projects. We carry out these activities annually but this year is the first we have held them in the plant grounds and is our most successful,” said Michael.

Following the release of the ceremonial balloons to kick start the day, plant staff and the children split into five teams for a decathlon of games including stilt and sack races, musical chairs, mini golf and coloring in competitions, with each of the teams cheering wildly as children, plant staff and management joined in the fun. All worked up a hearty appetite for the nutritious lunch provided by Dana Spicer Thailand while the points were tallied. After lunch, prizes for the winners and gifts for the children were presented by Michael Diamente, lighting up huge smiles on the kids’ faces in the process.

Kids having fun.

Dana Spicer came into existence in 1904 when Clarence Spicer had an idea to improve the way to power automobiles. In 1902 the automobile had a noisy and inefficient chain-and-sprocket transmission. Clarence changed all that with his invention of the Universal Joint.

In 1914 Charles Dana joined the firm and eventually changed the name to Dana Corporation. Over the years Dana has manufactured parts in just about ever market and in over 35 countries. The product line increased to axles, seals, drive shafts, and frames.

As the market was growing in Asia, Dana saw an opportunity to open an axle plant here in Rayong. Dana already had a drive shaft plant in Ladkrabang. On March 12, 1998, Dana officially opened the axle plant with 13 employees. There was only one assembly line with all the components being imported from either other Dana plants or other suppliers. Since then the plant has grown and now stands at 100 people, engaging in both manufacturing and assembly supplying parts throughout the ASEAN region.

The intense concentration of coloring in!

According to Mike Diamente, “Dana has always believed that the people are the difference between one company and another. At Dana Rayong we encourage community involvement and know that our people are the image of the company that the public sees. We have strived and are proud to be a community member and this means being involved in the whole community.”

In all the parts of the world this year Dana people will celebrate the centennial by showing what Dana people are made of. Dana Spicer continued their celebrations on June 5 & 6 with a show at the Elephant Farm and then to Koh Samet for some fun and relaxation.

She huffed and puffed until the balloon burst.

Lausanne Diamente, daughter and nieces enjoy the activities from sidelines.

Some local style ‘coconut clog races’.

Music on and ready for some fun games.

US military treats Ban Jing Jai to an afternoon of food and fun

Ekachai Kamolsri

With the conclusion of the annual Cobra Gold exercises for 2004 on May 27, many US military personnel took time off to relax in Pattaya while others continued with community service activities directly benefiting the region’s children. The Ban Jing Jai (Sincerity House) hosted a number of such persons on the afternoon of May 27, organized by the Pattaya Expats Club.

Piengta Chumnoy, Ban Jing Jai project manager, and children welcomed the guests to their Nernplubwan facility, which cares for orphaned children. Personnel from the USS Essex came bearing donations of sporting equipment and an afternoon lunch for the children.

While setting up for the barbeque, the Marines played with the children, lending their sporting prowess in games such as basketball and taking care of them while on the playground equipment. A feast of burgers and hotdogs was spread out for all to enjoy as they served up numerous helpings for the kids.

It was an afternoon filled with warmth and care which the children and marines will most certainly remember for a long time to come.

US Marines played some games with the kids while waiting for the BBQ to be set up.

It was hard to tell who was having more fun, the kids or the Marines.

Look at me, I can fly!

A great barbeque was served for the hungry and enjoyed by all.

These Cobra Gold 2004 participants took time off to treat Ban Jing Jai children to an afternoon of food and fun.

Genuine love of one village

B. Phillip Webb Jr.

The residents are all smiles during the parade for Buddhist lent.

Taking care of one’s neighbors is one of those duties that people living in rural areas take for granted, as it has been part of their tradition for generations.

“If a person in one family here is sick, every family in the village will send someone to stay at that sick person’s house to help take care of them. Likewise, if one family here has an event such as a wedding or a funeral everyone will go to their house to help,” said Mr. Nong, a resident of Nong Kung Yai.

Everyone enjoys themselves during the parade for Buddhist lent.

For residents of Nong Kung Yai, one of hundreds of villages in the Isaan province, it is necessary that everyone goes to the various functions of their neighbors when they celebrate a special occasion or hold a party for a family member.

Khlong jars where the extra fish are kept.

“Because our village is smaller than larger places, everyone knows everyone else’s name and face. If you come looking for someone in the village, you only need to ask any villager and they can take you to his or her house,” Nong pointed out.

Most people in the village are farmers who work to get enough food for their families, but if they are fortunate enough to catch more fish than they need, they will sell their surplus catch at the Lao Pao Dam Bridge. The bridge is a special feature and tourists often pass by there, so this presents the villagers with a good opportunity to sell fish to them.

104 years old and still attracting the men.

Nong gets up very early to go fishing in the Lam Pao Dam Lake because he knows that at that time of the day there will be very few other people fishing. Because the lake will not have been disturbed, there will be plenty of fish available. When he is satisfied with his catch he goes home and around 6 a.m., eats breakfast prepared by his wife.

“After breakfast I take a rest for a while and work in the garden and rice-fields until lunchtime and then I carry on with my work until sunset,” he continued.

Some days I get eight kilos of fish for my family and then I can sell the remaining fish to the tourists that visit the Dam region.

This woman was clearing a lot for an elderly couple.

Sometimes I drive to a neighbour who cannot go out to shop because someone in their family is sick. I have a motorbike, so one of my sidelines is that I often go to Kalasin to buy household items to sell to my neighbours. This way I can get a little money to buy clothes and candy for my children “Nong said.

Nong has one son and two daughters, but they are not yet of school age. Today he’s collecting some money to pay for the funeral expenses of one of the village residents who recently passed away.

Most people living in the village earn their income from the crops they grow in their gardens and rice-fields. “There is enough for us to live on here because we have the dam to fish and the land to cultivate. This has been the way of life here for generations,” said Nong.

This was a community project to house 3 orphan families of children. The total cost, including land, was 85,000 baht.

Two of the local girls attend to their family’s cows.

‘Sai lor fah’ shooting completed in Pattaya

Suchada Tupchai

To celebrate the completion of shooting for the Thai movie ‘Sai lor fah’, Thai director Yuthalerd Sippapark threw a party at the Sigma Resort Club Pattaya.

A karaoke caf้, ‘Sai lor fah’, was the setting for the film.

“This is the fourth film that I have directed,” said an upbeat Yuthalerd. “It is a story about two guys who are close friends. They always turn a tiny irritation into a big row, which can be compared to ‘Sai lor fah’ (lightning conductor), the title of the movie.

“Tao Somchai Khemklad and famous Thai comedian Nhong Chachacha play the lead characters as the close friends,” said Yuthalerd.

The movie was mostly filmed in Pattaya.

Actors have a good laugh behind the scenes.

The director, Tom Yuthalerd Sippapark.

The leading characters: (from left) Nhong Chachacha, Tao Somchai Khemklad, May Pitchanat Sakakorn and Paeng Ornjira Leamwilai.