Skål Club Xmas cruise braves high seas
Miss Terry Diner
annual Skål International of Pattaya and East Thailand Xmas cruise got
underway last weekend, despite the choppy weather which resulted in the
Royal Cliff Beach Resort’s Island Dream catamaran having to make the
passengers embark from Jomtien Beach.
record number of Skålleagues and guests joined in this year’s Skål
Unfortunately for some, such as Secretary Ingo Raeuber
(GM at the Pinnacle Resort), Jomtien Beach is quite long, and when you
park your car at one end, and the boat leaves from the middle, you have a
fair hike in front of you! It was rumored that his red colored shoes came
from bleeding blisters after the run from the KFC end of the beach.
Around 60 members and guests ignored the weather and
set sail (or is that set engines?) for Sattahip, as the captain said it
was too windy to go towards the northern beaches. And indeed it was windy,
with Pattaya’s number 1 sailor Peter Cummins seen hanging on to the
Japanese flag, and using it as a spinnaker.
On the top deck were the seasoned stalwarts of sea
cruises sniffing the 60 kph breezes, with Andrew Wood, these days GM of
the Chaophya Park Hotel, famous for its 20 watt bulbs in the lobby bar,
and Archie Dunlop, famous for propping up many bars all over the world.
The chatting on the top deck was lubricated by Paulaner beer which had
been donated by Ken Witty; however, as “loose lips sink ships” as they
said in WW II, most people came below decks to stay out of the wind and
prevent the froth being blown off the beer.
After the sun went down, the throng made for the
buffet, which included salmon, caught that day in the Royal Cliff’s
private estuary (or perhaps flown in by baht bus from Foodland), assorted
hot dishes including some very Germanic sausages and ginger spiced
chicken, as well as many other delightful items.
After dinner, the annual fund-raising auction was held,
with 83,000 baht raised for club coffers by auctioneer Dr. Iain, assisted
by Paisan Bundityanond (Rabbit Resort).
Whistles were blown by the local group’s president,
Andrew Khoo (GM at the Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya), beers were drunk by
everyone, Richard Belair from Bangkok drank the whiskey he had bought at
the auction, while Malcolm Boden got repetition strain injury from
shooting his hand in the air as he bid for everything.
Consensus was reached that this had been the best Skål cruise so far,
and a few more drinks were sunk after the Island Dream returned its merry
passengers to Jomtien Beach where transport awaited them, plus a cab ride
enjoying the sunshine, cool sea breeze and warm fellowship.
A Night on a Dream Boat
Throughout the year the YWCA (Bangkok - Pattaya), with
their extraordinary chairwoman, Nittaya Patimasongkroh, goes above and
beyond the call of duty to help those less fortunate. The money raised, and
the projects it is used for, are truly remarkable and make an indelible
impression on the people they help.
One of the main reasons the YWCA is able to raise such a
large amount of funds to help the poor is that they organize and run events
that are too fun to miss. This year, on December 19, the YWCA (Bangkok -
Pattaya) in cooperation with Pattaya Mail and Pattaya Blatt
and others, organized another of their outstanding events.
Held at the Napalai Ballroom in the Dusit Resort Pattaya,
the children’s charity event was organized with the theme: a gala dinner
on a dream boat, which they aptly called “A Night on a Dream Boat”.
Young men from the Merchant Navy Training School were
invited to create an atmosphere that would resemble a boat of the guests’
dreams. Music was performed by the Navy Band, the Dance Studio performed
ballet, Jim Lumsden led Tiffany’s performers in a Las Vegas dance show,
the Pattaya Blatt’s Elfi Seitz led her charges in a Hawaiian We Love
Pattaya Dance, and topping the agenda, 10 top models from Fashion TV dressed
in Thai silk from Janypant Silk-House and walked the catwalk in a special
silk fashion show. All making the event seem like a luxurious cruise on an
There was also a special games corner so that guests
could “gamble for charity” – all proceeds of this area went to charity
– and lots of prizes were won in the lucky draw. Finally Malinee Jamina
performed a special concert which added to the elegance.
Many of Pattaya’s glitteri turned out for the event,
including Chanyuth Hengtrakul, Member of Parliament Region 6 Chonburi; Pol.
Col. Somnuk Changate, superintendent of Pattaya Police Station; Chattan
Kunchorn Na Ayudhya, Tourism Authority of Thailand Central Region 3
director, and Pol. Lt. Col. Wuttichart Luaensucant, Pattaya Tourist Police
inspector, as well as many honored guests.
Nittaya Patimasongkroh, chairwoman of the Y.W.C.A.
Bangkok-Pattaya said, “Activities like this are just another of the
charitable events organized by the association to gather funds for
scholarships and lunches for children under the Warm Family Project. These
projects have gained fantastic support.”
YWCA member Elfi Seitz did an admirable job acting as “captain of the
dream boat”, steering the event through waters both rough and calm.
Friends gather to offer birthday wishes to Sontaya Khunplome
Birthday celebrations were held at the Thai Rak Thai
office in Saensuk on December 10 for Sontaya Khunplome, advisor to the prime
minister, who turned 42.
Governor Pisit Ketphasook (2nd from left) Chonburi and Deputy Governor
Komsan Ekachai (left) wish Sontaya Khunplome a happy birthday.
Amongst the large gathering that came along to wish
Sontaya many happy returns were Chonburi Governor Pisit Ketphasook and his
deputy Komsan Ekachai, chairman of the Chonburi Provincial Administration
Organization Pinyo Tanwiset, and many local businesspeople and residents.
of the Chonburi Provincial Administration Organization Pinyo Tanwiset (2nd
from left) and Deputy Chief of the Chonburi Provincial Administration
Organization Rewat Pollook-In (left) congratulate Sontaya Khunplome for
reaching his 42nd birthday.
Sontaya is the eldest child of Somchai Khunplome, or
Kamnan Poh, a very well known figure in Eastern Thailand, and Mrs Satil
Khunplome. He was born on December 10, 1967, has a bachelor’s degree in
jurisprudence from Sriprathum University and a master’s degree in
administrative policy from Burapha University. He is married to Kusuma.
Col. Somnuk Changate, Pattaya Police superintendent, presents Sontaya
Khunplome with a wine basket on the occasion of his birthday.
Beginning his political career as a Chonburi councilor,
Sontaya became the first Chonburi MP under the Samakkeetham Party. He then
moved to the Chart Pattana Party, then to the Chart Thai Party in 1995, and
is now with the Thai Rak Thai Party. He has held many important positions
including deputy minister of industry, deputy minister of communications,
minister of science, technology and the environment, and minister of tourism
and sports, a position that was created by the Thaksin government in 2001.
At present Sontaya is advisor to the prime minister, and deputy chief of
the Thai Rak Thai Party.
celebrates 15th anniversary
Announces completion date for new 15-story wing
Bangkok Pattaya Hospital on December 20 celebrated its
15th anniversary with gala celebrations that included music, speeches and
guests collectively pressed the button to begin the official celebration.
Advisor to the prime minister, Sontaya Khunpluem, was
the main guest of honor. Other guests of honor included Chonburi Governor
Pisit Ketphasook, advisor to the deputy minister of interior Santsak
Ngamphiches, MP for Chonburi Zone 6 Chanyuth Hengtrakul, and many other
Khunplome, advisor to the prime minister, presented an award to the BPH
Wellness Award competition winners.
BPH director Dr Somchai Pattana-Anek said that BPH is
the first Bangkok Hospital branch to reach 15 years of service. There are
currently 80 specialized full-time physicians and amongst the facilities
are the largest cardiac care unit in Thailand’s Eastern region, a
critical care unit, and an eye center. New technology being added includes
equipment that can examine three-dimensional images of the heart.
shown by Jumpot Muangkling provided beautiful music with his violin.
“We are a private hospital that always supports
research and extensive overseas training to improve and update our medical
staff for quality tertiary medical care,” said Dr Somchai.
BPH is currently constructing a new 15-story wing that
will be completed by the end of 2006. This will increase the hospital
capacity to 1,500 patients per day. The new wing will be as glamorous as a
five-star hotel and include a business center.
The anniversary celebrations were also used to donate sports equipment
to 10 Chonburi schools and to announce the setting up of the BPH Wellness
Award, a community health project.
Pattaya steams as sexy models from FTV
parade down Beach Road
Pattaya Beach Road, from Soi 5 to Bali Hai pier, was
filled with excited spectators as some of the world’s top models from
Fashion TV (FTV) were paraded through the city, waving to adoring
The models were in town from December 23 - 25 to
promote Pattaya tourism and participate in charitable activities organized
by the YWCA (Bangkok-Pattaya) and government and private sector
organizations. They stayed at the Dusit Resort Pattaya, where they
received a warm welcome from General Manager Chatchawal Supachayanont.
The first item on the models’ itinerary (after
checking into the hotel) was to visit city hall, where they went to pay
homage to the statue of King Taksin. Tawit Chaisawangwong, chairman of
Pattaya City Council led Pattaya administrators in welcoming the models.
Deputy Mayor Weerawat Khakhai summarized the history of
Pattaya and taught the women about local politics, administration and
Pattaya City Council’s scope of authority. The models were then
presented with the key to Pattaya City.
In the afternoon, the gorgeous models participated in a
parade through Pattaya to promote tourism. Some sat on decorated Harley
Davidsons, led by the Harley riding Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn and
Pol. Col. Somnuk Changate, superintendent of Pattaya Police station.
More than 50 clubs, associations and shops participated
in the parade, making it over two kilometers long. This drew great
interest from Thai and foreign tourists, many of whom took photographs of
Security was strict, as police were stationed all along the route.