Pattaya Mail turns 12

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Vol. XIV No. 28
Friday July 14 - July 20, 2006

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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Students, teachers and parents bid a fond farewell to Miss Ruth Grant, the world’s best principal

Sports day with a difference at Assumption College

Jesters Caring for the Blind

Memorial ride for Jon Wilson

Lions Club of Pratamnak provides clean drinking water for school

Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya and Diana Group donate computer equipment to Vocational Training Center

Students, teachers and parents bid a fond farewell to Miss Ruth Grant, the world’s best principal

Helle Rantsén
Saying goodbye is never easy and especially hard when you have to say goodbye to an extraordinary person like the principal of Garden International School Miss. Ruth Grant. Miss Ruth Grant has for the past 10 years built up the Garden International School to what it is today always supported by hard working and very dedicated teachers first as head of primary and for the past years as principal.

Fare thee well Miss Ruth Grant.
Miss Ruth Grant will be leaving a school where parents and children always felt that their interests were in focus. Giving each child full individual support and making sure that everybody devolved to their fullest.
Miss Ruth Grant was always open to new ideas and paid attention to the different inputs the parents had with an open mind.
The different tributes to Miss Ruth Grant from parents and children has shown just how much she will be missed and how hard good byes can be.
From all of us grateful parents, we wish Miss Ruth Grant all the best in her new job as Head of Junior School at Dulwich College Beijing and hope to meet her again.

Sports day with a difference at Assumption College

Mark Beales
Parents joined teachers for a sports day with a difference at Assumption College Sriracha.
The games began in the main school gymnasium, where female teachers took on mums in games of indoor football, while the male teachers competed against the dads in games of basketball.

Mathayom students get busy picking litter during their school’s Cleaning Day.

In between matches the ACS school band put on a display for the watching students.
On the school’s main football pitch, at Sirindhorn Stadium, teachers then played parents in a game of football.
It was a day of success for the teachers as they won all the sporting events. The games were followed by a special dinner.
“This is the first time such an event has been held at Assumption and it was a huge success,” said school director Brother Surasit Sukchai. “The idea was to help strengthen the relationship we have with parents and to provide some fun and entertainment for our students.”

Assumption English teacher Eric Haeg enjoys a joke with a parent during the school’s special sports day.

Also at Assumption recently, environmentally friendly students searched high and low for litter during Cleaning Day. All of the 4,400 students from Assumption grabbed bin bags and went out to look for garbage.
The school also encouraged students to think about their environment in other ways. Some classes in Mathayom 2 wrote a project about litter for their English classes, and designed posters to explain how to keep the school clean and tidy.
Assumption educates many students from Pattaya, and runs an English program with smaller classes and more English lessons each week. For more information visit

Jesters Caring for the Blind

Donation of rice cookers to the Redemptorist School for the Blind. (l-r) Jeff, Khun Aurora, Woody and Father Lawrence (Larry) Patin.

By Lewis Underwood
In the past, visiting the Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind was just a matter of dropping by at one’s convenience and then going to the office to see if Khun Aurora Sribuaphan, the principal, was available. A young blind woman, Pern, was always there to greet guests and answer the phone. She was easy to find because of her penchant to sing, and her lilting melodies used to permeate the idyllic setting. Pern, the Singing Secretary, always remembered a voice and loved to chat, so there was always the obligatory socializing with her before one could get around to asking if Khun Aurora was in.
Of course things change with time: Khun Aurora now has a cell phone there is a guard at the gate to ask your business and a sighted secretary, Jaysanee, who now runs the office and is the personal assistant to Khun Aurora.
Khun Aurora claims that over 95% of the blind people in Thailand have not been given the opportunity to get an education. The Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind in Naklua is one such institution that offers education, vocational training, boarding and special caring for blind and mentally impaired children. Additionally, music, dance, sports and games are also taught and prove to be popular meaningful activities for these special children. The Jesters Care for Kids Charity Drive has been supporting this worthy establishment since 2003.
Khun Aurora, the blind principal with a masters degree in special education for the visually handicapped, helped found the Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind with the late Father Ray Brennan back in 1986. They have been at their present location in Naklua on Soi 16 about a half kilometer from Wat Po off the Pattaya-Naklua Road since 1992.
Last year there were 173 registered school children at the Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind from 1st year kindergarten to the ninth grade, which is near their carrying capacity. The list of children waiting for spaces to open at this school is endless as well. Despite the fact that they are full, there always seems to be ‘special cases’ that need immediate assistance and are readily admitted.
Khun Aurora makes it perfectly clear that there institution is a school and the goal is to educate these people so that they are not ‘a burden on society’. While some blind students aspire to higher education, many just want a high school education so they can earn a basic living. When a student turns 18 he or she should be ready for the next step, which hopefully is finding a niche in the world of employment. It is important for the older students to move on to make room for younger candidates awaiting admittance.
She admits that there are ‘special cases’ for some young adults where mental impairment is also an issue and finding a useful place in society is unlikely. For these persons there are special homes in Bang Prakong, Papa Daeng (Samut Prakhan) and Nontaburi, where they can reside indefinitely. Still others can return to their families and qualify for special pensions from the government.
The local Disabled Persons Act requires companies of 200 employees or more to employ at least one handicapped person. She says that blind persons can work in the hotel industry answering phones, making bookings, translating languages, etc., while partially blind individuals can be porters, waiters/waitresses and/or work in laundry. She acknowledges that one of the biggest demands for blind people is in the capacity of masseurs or masseuses, who are also qualified to diagnose ailments through this art of touch.
This year the Jesters Care for Kids Charity Drive has already been involved in furnishing the quarters for 10 students living independently across the street from the school named affectionately Father Ray’s Home, in memory of Father Brennan. Here they are able to experience a more sociable environment as well as taking part in household chores such as cooking, washing, cleaning, going shopping, and gardening, along with their lessons.
Our next objective at both the blind school and the new independent living home is to supply proper beds, actually bunk beds (by request) for all the students, so they no longer have to sleep atop mattresses laid out on the floor.
If you would like to see the blind school, one of our perennial beneficiaries, and I do encourage you to go for a look-see, tell the guard at the gate, you want to go see Khun Jaysanee at the office. It is easy to find as Pern is still there too, answering the phone and still singing. In the event that she is not there, she will most likely be in the classroom teaching her fellow blind students how to sing.

Teachers, students and benefactors pose in front of Father Ray’s Home.

Memorial ride for Jon Wilson

Friends and family pay tribute to Jon Wilson at his memorial stone.

By PM reporter
A memorial ride took place recently to honor Jon Wilson, who died in a motorcycle accident on February 20.
Jon was a member of the Mad Dog motorcycle club and members gathered at Sally’s Bar on Soi 5 in Jomtien, with the bikes warmed up and Jon’s friends decked out in protective leather. Then they set off on an outing in memory of their friend.
The police were on hand to provide an escort for the bikers as they firstly made their way along to Jon’s memorial stone, which is by the roadside that skirts alongside Lake Maprachan.
From there the riders went onto the racetrack, which had kindly given them permission to do a lap of honor for Jon.
Then they made their way down to the Officer’s Club in Bang Saray for lunch, then on to Bang Chang for more refreshments. The riders finished off their day at The Other Bar in Soi 4 in Jomtien, where they enjoyed a barbeque along to the sounds of live music.
The memorial ride was arranged not just to remember Jon but also to make a donation from the money raised for Jon’s wife and young daughter.

Friends ride their motorbikes along the Mabprachan Road.

Lions Club of Pratamnak provides clean drinking water for school

Piyavadee Suvannahong
Tassanee Khakhay, President of the Lions Club of Pratamnak Pattaya presided over the presentation of a clean water drinking facility for school children of Wat Boon Samphan School in Soi Khao Noi, on June 26.

Children are excited about their new hygienic drinking water facility.
School director Somchoke Yindeesook said that there are currently 840 students attending. In the past the school received drinking water support from the sub-district administration organization, with water being transported and transferred to a small water filtration tank. This was not only insufficient but was also unhygienic. The school thus approached the Lions Club for their support.
Somchoke said there should now be enough drinking water for the large number of students, with the new system providing quality water filtration that will be a positive contribution to the health of the pupils.
The drinking water facility cost 90,000 baht to build. Lions Club of Pratamnak Pattaya provided 40,000 baht, and another 50,000 baht was donated in the name of the late Khunmae (mother) Tan Khakhay. To add to the happy day, lunch was also laid on for the students after the ceremony.

After Lunch, Tasanee and Phantree served delicious ice cream to the delightful children.

Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya and Diana Group donate computer equipment to Vocational Training Center

Jointly sponsored by the Pattaya Mail PC Classic Royal Cliff Beach Resort International Regatta 2006

Peter Cummins presents Sirinart Yokluean with the donation watched over by Sopin Thappajug, (3rd left) Primprao Somsri, (center) Sales and Marketing Manager of Pattaya Mail and Pratheep ‘Peter’ Malhotra (right)

Piyavadee Suvannahong
On June 28, at the sprawling grounds of the Diana Garden Resort and driving Range, Peter Cummins, ex commodore of the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, Sopin Thappajug, Managing Director the Diana Group, Pratheep Malhotra, MD of Pattaya Mail, District Governor Nominee of Rotary District 3340, representing the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya, jointly presented computer equipment and other learning enhancement paraphernalia to the Vocational Training Center in honour of the 36th birthday anniversary of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Foundation.
Sirinart Yokluean, director of the Vocational Training Center was present at the ceremony to receive the donation. Sirinart said the center had also held its own activities, such as a charity golf event at the navy course at Plutaluang on May 27 to raise funds for the purchase of other needed equipment.
Sirinart said “We have had a great deal of support from Sopin Thappajug and Pratheep Malhotra in the past. After having heard that we were in dire need of learning and teaching equipment, which the center could not afford, they immediately set the wheels in motion to raise some funds for us. For this we are ever so grateful.”
Sirinart added that the center wants to teach the basics to students to further their understanding of today’s vital technology. “Some of the students have very little understanding of the new IT technology and we want them to have that knowledge.”
The college provides free vocational training to students for those less affluent people but are willing to learn.
Peter Cummins, the “PC” in the Pattaya Mail’s PC Classic handed over 40,000 baht worth of computer equipment to Sirinart Yokluean, director of the center on behalf of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya and the Diana Group, saying, “I personally wish to thank all the sponsors of the annual PC Classic, without whom we would not have the funds to do this charity work on your behalf for the good of our society.”

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