Pattaya Mail turns 12

Vol. XIII No. 52
Friday December 30 - January 5, 2006

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by Saichon Paewsoongnern



HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

Come and join us at Eastern Star

Panga Vathanakul becomes lifetime member of PILC

Royal Garden Plaza celebrates 12th anniversary with diamonds and platinum

Wheelchair appeal raises 130,008 baht

Helping Hands

YWCA wraps up the year and reviews activities

Magic moments from PCEC Meetings

Rudolf Hofer appointed Austrian consulate

Advent concert features outstanding musicians from Thailand and overseas

Come and join us at Eastern Star

‘Come and join us’ was the message from former Prime Minister and UNICEF Ambassador H.E. Anand Panyarachun, when Mike Franklin recently interviewed him in his Bangkok office.

Anand Panyarachun (right) talks with Mike Franklin (left) about the upcoming 5th Khun Anand Panyarachun Charity Golf Invitational for UNICEF Thailand.

The invitation was for companies and organizations to sponsor and participate in the 5th Khun Anand Panyarachun Charity Golf Invitational for UNICEF Thailand, at Eastern Star Country Club & Resort on Saturday, February 18, 2006.

Not only is a ‘Team Scramble’ fun day of golf on offer, competing for the Khun Anand-UNICEF Cup, but also the opportunity to attend a private reception and party on the evening of Friday the 17th at Khun Anand’s residence by the 14th Green.

Together with his friends, distinguished guests and celebrities, sponsors are personally welcomed by Khun Anand to enjoy a sumptuous buffet dinner on the pool deck and study some of his interesting memorabilia in the sitting rooms and around the walls.

Live music and karaoke provides the entertainment with fine performances by former ambassadors and cabinet ministers and, not least, by Khun Anand himself.

That makes the 5th Khun Anand Panyarachun Charity Golf Invitational a double occasion and fund-raiser for a very good cause, as all proceeds will support UNICEF’s HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care program in Thailand and on the Eastern Seaboard.

Panga Vathanakul becomes lifetime member of PILC

Elfi Seitz

PILC President Sharon Tibbitts (left) presents Royal Cliff MD Panga Vathanakul with her lifetime membership to the PILC.

The ladies of PILC (Pattaya International Ladies Club) surprised Panga Vathanakul, the managing director of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort, at the PILC Christmas lunch held in the hotel. Panga was appointed a lifetime member of PILC because of her contributions, through words and action, to the PILC.

Special mention was made of the annual ball, the holiday bazaar, and the lunches that take place in the Royal Cliff Beach Resort, which are always delightful and looked after with great care by Panga.

The entertainment of the day was provided by the International School Eastern Seaboard’s children’s choir who performed wonderful Christmas songs, which delighted the ladies.

Royal Garden Plaza celebrates 12th anniversary with diamonds and platinum

Ariyawat Nuamsawat

The 12th anniversary of Royal Garden Plaza was celebrated on December 1 with a gathering at the water fountain led by MP for Chonburi Region 6 Chanyuth Hengtrakul and Plaza general manager, Amorn Amornkul.

Chanyuth Hengtrakul (third from right), Member of Parliament Chonburi Region 6, Supadit Maneeratjarusri (second from left), senior director of Minor International Group, Ronakit Ekasingh (far left), deputy mayor of Pattaya City and Amorn Amornkul (far right), general manager of the Royal Garden Plaza cut the large 12th year anniversary cake.

Amorn said that Royal Garden Plaza maintains its competitive edge by providing fashion, entertainment and food, and that in this way it has become recognized as one of the leading leisure centers of the Eastern region.

Celebrations included a lucky draw for six platinum necklaces with a diamond pendant with a total value of more than 600,000 baht.

Wheelchair appeal raises 130,008 baht

Then doubled by BUPA U.K. to 260,016 baht

The Queen Victoria Inn on Friday December 9 was the setting for the Charity Club of Pattaya’s charity event to raise funds for the disabled in Issan who were in desperate need of wheelchairs and walking aids. The event was also held to celebrate that the Charity Club of Pattaya now has an official home.

Tony Banfield and his wife Dolic from Saren’s Asia donated the entire cost for 2 wheelchairs to Malcolm Boden of the Charity Club of Pattaya.

Even though the attendance was down due to all the pre Christmas events, this didn’t deter those who did attend to drink the barrel dry that John Smith’s had donated, and try and clear the Queen Victoria’s Gin and Tiger cans!

The sponsors who were in attendance on the evening were Kevin Fisher of Cranes and Equipment Asia Co Ltd, Tony Banfield G.M. for Sarens Asia Co Ltd, Donna Pollard BUPA Thailand representing BUPA U.K., Rob Murray from Fluid Asia Pacific and Vic King of the Queen Victoria Inn. Unfortunately, due to work commitments, Terry Schofield of North Shore Real Estate couldn’t make the evening and was sorely missed.

Kevin Fisher of Cranes & Equipment Asia donated the entire cost for 2 wheelchairs to Malcolm and Christina Boden of the Charity Club of Pattaya.

Rotary Club Krasang-Buriram President Peter Rottmann also attended, as he was the one that had approached Malcolm and Christina Boden about the plight of these unfortunate children and young adults.

The children are the Charity Club’s main priority, but it looks like with the amount raised some of the adults can also be helped.

The club has had an amazing response to this, their latest appeal. Terry Schofield from North Shore Real Estate Jomtien and BUPA Thailand each donated the entire cost of a wheelchair.

Kevin Fisher from Cranes and Equipment Asia Co. Ltd, Tony Banfield, G.M. of Sarens Asia Co, Ltd and Middy Campbell each donated the entire cost for 2 wheelchairs.

Bertrum Bear helped the Charity Club of Pattaya raise over 130,000 baht, which was then doubled by BUPA U.K.

The generosity didn’t stop there, as Donna Pollard, who works for BUPA here in Pattaya, contacted community connections at BUPA in the U.K. who quickly donated the money for a specialist three wheeled bicycle and then agreed to match the money raised baht for baht!

Of course, Bertrum Bear, the club’s well loved mascot was in attendance, proudly dressed in his John Smith T-shirt, keeping the singer company and overseeing the raffle, now re-named the John Seymour Collection!

The Charity Club of Pattaya would like to thank all sponsors, all who donated money for the wheelchairs and to all those who attended and supported the Charity Club yet again.

The fantastic sum of 130,008 baht was raised and thanks to BUPA U.K. this has been bumped up to a grand total of 260,016 baht.

Meanwhile, club members have been doing the accounts with Vic and suddenly realised that due to the fantastic amount raised on Friday December 9, the Charity Club of Pattaya is immensely proud to announce to supporters, sponsors and friends that since the club was formed (on July 1, 2004), the club has just crashed through the million baht marker. We are so proud that we have so many committed supporters and friends of the Charity Club of Pattaya.

Friends and supporters should all be congratulated on this achievement as the Charity Club of Pattaya couldn’t have done any of this without their valued support.

The charities that have benefited from the money raised money are: The School for the Deaf, the Street Kids, Wat Pong School, the Mason’s Tsunami Appeal, the Camillian Centre, Scholarships for Underprivileged Children, and the Children of Issan’s Wheelchair & Walking Aids Appeal.

The Charity Club of Pattaya’s motto will always remain the same: “What we raise is what they get.”

Malcolm and Christina Boden as co-founders and Vic King of the Queen Victoria Inn as treasurer of the club would like to thank everyone who has and still does support the Charity Club of Pattaya.

[email protected]

Helping Hands

Handicapped and deaf children thoroughly enjoyed the show.

By the kind and anonymous generosity of a member of the Pattaya City Expats Club some 250 students from the Redemptorist Handicapped Center and the Deaf School were able to enjoy the thrills of the Royal London Circus recently.

They were first treated to lunch before going down to the Big Top Tent now situated near Pattaya Park in Jomtien. An enjoyable afternoon out and one which also gave pleasure to the donor knowing that the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

YWCA wraps up the year and reviews activities

Suchada Tupchai

YWCA Bangkok-Pattaya, led by Nittaya Patimasongkroh, held its monthly board meeting on December 13 to wrap up the agenda for 2005. Many members attended the meeting, which was held at Diana Inn on Pattaya Second Road.

YWCA Bangkok-Pattaya, led by Nittaya Patimasongkroh (center), held its monthly board meeting on December 13.

Activities held by YWCA Bangkok-Pattaya during the month were reviewed. These included Warm Family Day at Mike Department Store, a major event held annually to present education grants to children under the care of the association. This year’s event was supported by many organizations including Pattaya Sports Club, Pattaya Rotary Clubs and public and private sector organizations. The association awarded 500 scholarships in 2005.

Nittaya reviewed other activities that were held over the year, such as the lunches that were provided for the children of Pattaya 10 School on Koh Larn).

Additional discussions were held for the charity parade that was held on December 23, starring top models from around the world.

Magic moments from PCEC Meetings

The Pattaya City Expats Club governing board, under the general guidance of Richard E. Smith, has throughout 2005 maintained a wonderfully varied programme of speakers encompassing informative, educational and entertaining topics.

Christopher G. Moore talked about some of the background for his new book “Gambling on Magic”.

More recently since the circus came to town the club has been privileged - especially as on a Sunday the performers have three shows and have to warm up from 1 p.m. - to receive and watch some of their fantastic feats. Mid December, after the circus had a break in which to move to their new site at Pattaya Park, the club was privileged, once again, to have the pleasure of seeing one of the performers from the Royal London Circus. This time it was one of Russia’s most respected illusionists, Alexei Panarine.

Alexei amazed the members with some close-up magic tricks and Abdoul was on hand with tickets for future shows up to January 8. When people meet him they are not aware that until very recently he was the trainer of the Mixed Lion and Tiger act at the circus… So looking after the performers must now seem like a real luxury!

Christopher G. Moore was also a recent speaker, introducing his new book “Gambling on Magic”. MC Roger Fox described him as reflective, and as someone who knew when to talk, and when to listen. Christopher began by reminding everyone about the problems of language, and recalled some particularly interesting translations in Thai government internal documents intended to be read by foreigners.

He also talked about the humorous (to westerners) aspects of Chinese Feng Shui as it affects the building of houses and commercial buildings, with its requirements for exact positioning of hallways, rooms, front doors, etc., in relation to the wind, the compass direction and even the view. He also commented on the current craze for Blogs - which he described as online diaries, many of them read only by the writer.

Alexei amazed the members with some close-up magic tricks

He talked about creativity, referring specifically to the Writers Group in the PCEC, noting with pleasure that John Lynham is nurturing, in his group, the talents of several creative writers. He also made a number of references to the creative wisdom of a 5-year-old, and the loss of that creativity that the problems of daily life intrude on, and suffocate that valuable talent. He talked about his years of writing, his life in Thailand, and some of the background for his new book “Gambling on Magic”. His well-known detective, Vicent Calvino, is active again in the book he is currently writing, the 8th in a series built around the tough detective in Bangkok.

He mentioned that he was intrigued, when learning Thai, with the number of Thai words that included the word “jai” (heart), and his interest resulted in a book, published in 1992, listing and explaining the two hundred fifty various word combinations he had found using “jai”, and which named “Heart Talk”. A second edition followed several years later with another one hundred and fifty additional “jai” words, to be followed next year with many more word combinations using “jai”. Chris’s website at has more information on this interesting, bright and very personable author.

More information about the Pattaya City Expats Club Sunday meetings at Henry J. Bean’s and mid-week activities can be found on www.

The meeting on New Year’s Day will have Jennifer MacKenzie, the noted medium and spiritualist, to help us start the year on a good note.

Rudolf Hofer appointed Austrian consulate

Elfi Seitz

Ambassador Arno Riedl visited Pattaya to be part of the inauguration of Austria’s first consulate in Thailand.

The venue was the elegant Camillo Restaurant at the Siam Bayshore Hotel, where Pattaya society gathered to celebrate. New consul Rudolf Hofer greeted all 60 or so guests personally and received lots of flowers and congratulations, while Pattaya’s best-known pianist, Ben Hansen, entertained with discreet background music.

Austrian Ambassador to Thailand Arno Riedl (Left) and new Austrian Consul Rudolf Hofer.

Several members of the Austrian Embassy were present, too, and along with His Excellency the Ambassador came the head of the Austrian chamber of commerce, Oskar Andesner, and his wife Daniela Kienzle.

An envoy from the German Embassy, led by First Consul Karsten Tiez, arrived to congratulate Rudolf Hofer, who, after all, does unofficially look after German citizens in and around Pattaya. New colleagues of Hofer were present as well, in the form of the consul for Denmark and Norway, Stig Vagt Anderson.

A special gift was presented by Martin Brands, charter president of Rotary Club Eastern Seaboard, who awarded Rotary International’s highest honor, the Paul Harris Fellowship Medal, to Hofer for his constant effort for the Cambodian girl Woaw, who has a terribly disfigured face through severe burns. Hofer helped this girl with donation appeals and will continue to support her.

The pleasant evening concluded at Casa Pascal Restaurant, where the ambassador retreated to be with close friends after the main party.

Advent concert features outstanding musicians from Thailand and overseas

Elfi Seitz

After spoiling visitors of the Siam City Hotel with Austrian sounds and sweets for a week, Ambassador Arno Riedl had a grand idea for pleasing fellow Austrians and friends: an Advent concert at his residence.

Ambassador Arno Riedl with wife Loretta and artists (sitting; from left) Dietmar Ball, Monika Gaessler, Patrick Holming and Christof Keine.

Naturally he invited several Austrian artists as well who, along with their Thai counterparts, communicated beautiful sounds to an attentive audience.

His Excellency said in his opening speech that he is very pleased to introduce Austrian music even if there might be already more than just a few Thais acquainted with this pleasure. He was especially delighted by the fact that the artists playing during the Austrian week in Siam City Hotel agreed to come to this special occasion in the embassy. “Thailand and Austria have been close friends for many years and we will do everything to further strengthen this bond,” said the ambassador, before Ulrike Nguen announced the singers and musicians.

Soprano Monika Gaessler, a very attractive young lady of a mere 26 years and with a very mature voice, received standing ovations for her interpretation of “Ave Maria” and “Quiet Night”.

Other performers included Dietmar Ball, accompanying Monika on the piano; soloist Christof Keine, a virtuoso on the tuba; Patrick Holming performed exquisitely on the piano; and two Thai artists, Kalaya Phongsathorn and Naraporn Kalaya na Soontorn, played beautiful pieces on their flutes.

After the concert there was sufficient time for a buffet with delicacies from Austria, prepared by the chef of Dusit Thani Hotel Bangkok, along with good Austrian wines.

It was an exceptionally beautiful and successful event that brought everyone there into the right mood for the most beautiful time of the year - Christmas.

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