HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

Candles and a parade mark the beginning of the Rains Retreat

Pattaya celebrates Asalaha Bucha Day with prayers and candlelit procession

New ‘sister’ for the Rotary Club of Eastern Seaboard

Northern Real Estate lights the way

Rotarians provide clean water, better hygiene conditions and nutrition to children at rural school in Korat

Candles and a parade mark the beginning of the Rains Retreat

Pramote Channgam
Photos by Pattaya Mail
and Tom Brown

A parade and candle decorating festival was held in Pattaya on July 16 to mark Buddhist Lent Day, with 20 organizations and 10 schools taking part in what has become an annual Pattaya carnival.

Lord Buddha takes pride of place in the parade.
The parade started on Beach Road at Soi 6 and ended at Chaimongkol Temple in South Pattaya.
Prizes totaling 80,000 baht were handed out for the best parade float and the best candle decorations.
Buddhist Lent Day is an important date in the Buddhist calendar, when all the monks vow to stay in their temples or in one specific place for the entire three months of the rainy season.
Thai people refer to this time of the year as Cham Phansa, “phansa” meaning rainy season and “cham” meaning living.

The beautiful woman dressed in traditional costume walks in the parade.
Even though Buddhist Lent Day is mainly for the Buddhist monks, Buddhists always regard this special occasion as a good opportunity to make merit, and to preserve the precepts of their beliefs and clear their minds.
Followers prepare candles, incense, flowers, bathing soap and other essential items for living and offer this to the monks and the novices for use throughout the rainy season. They also help the monks to clean the temples and other religious places, and to help with cleaning and repairing the monks’ dwellings.
This is also a time when beeswax is molded into large candles to present to the temples for use during the three-month long period, and is regarded as a way to make merit.
In Pattaya, the atmosphere of the candle parade was a lively one, with more than a 1,000 people taking part. A procession of long drums added to the festivities, and people danced along to the traditional music.
The competitions attracted many entries. Winner of the candle decoration category was Maree Vit School, which collected 20,000 baht and a trophy. The first runner-up was Pattaya School No 3, taking home 15,000 baht, and the second runner-up was Pattaya School No 9, which received 10,000 baht.
The winner of the parade float category was Pattaya School No 8, which received 10,000 baht and a trophy. The second runner-up was Maree Vit School, which received 7,000 baht and in third place was Pattaya School No 9, which received 5,000 baht.

Kratinglai Community decorated their float with ‘Garuda’,
one of the well-known and respected creatures from Thai mythology.

Lord Buddha once again takes pride of place in the parade.

A pony pulls the Sawang Boriboon Foundation float,
decorated with a creature from Thai mythology.

Maree Vit School used creatures from Thai mythology to decorate their float,
which won the hearts of the judges and helped them to win prizes.

Thai traditional dance is always a big part of the festivities.

Local students perform a dance signifying the 4 regions of Thailand.

Young Thai dancers practice before the parade.

Many intricately designed floats were paraded down Beach Road
as part of the Buddhist Lent festivities in Pattaya.

Youngsters parade with traditional Issan instruments.

Pattaya students in full costume wait for their turn to perform.

Pattaya celebrates Asalaha Bucha Day with prayers and candlelit procession

Revered monks lead the Wien Thien procession, walking three times around
the temple with candle, flowers and joss sticks.

Entire families participate in the ceremonies.

With candles and joss sticks lit, many Buddhists
recite prayers during Asalaha Bucha Day.

Staff reporters
Pattaya residents and visitors gathered at the city’s temples on July 17 to celebrate Asalaha Bucha Day, listening to sermons, lighting joss sticks, praying and, in the evening, walking around the temples with lit candles in an age-old tradition.

Tak bat is an important part of the religious proceedings.
Asalaha Bucha is an important day for Buddhists, falling on the 15th night of the full moon during the eighth lunar month of the Buddhist calendar and commemorating the first sermon given by the Buddha.
The sermon concerned the Four Noble Truths presented to the Buddha’s first five disciples in the forest of Esipatana Marukatayawan, in the Paranasi District in India. The sermon set in motion the Wheel of Dharma.
In the morning of July 17, Pattaya residents went early to the temples to make merit, chanting and meditating to clear their minds and focus on the purposes of Buddhism. In the evening they returned to walk around the temple three times, with lit candles in hand.
Following the procession, they listened to a Dharma sermon and attended the pouring of the holy water.

New ‘sister’ for the Rotary Club of Eastern Seaboard

Elfi Seitz
Representatives of the Rotary Club of the Eastern Seaboard and the Rotary Club of Bergheim/Erft in Germany met at the Marriott Resort and Spa to celebrate the signing of a “sister club” agreement.

Toy Ryser (left) and Horst Grabbe (right) sign the sister club agreement.

The presidents of both clubs, Toy Ryser from Pattaya and Horst Grabbe from Germany, put their signatures to the contract that had been arranged by Dr Claus Rink, member of the RC Eastern Seaboard.
The first joint project of both clubs is the Learn English CD for Thai students. This was also initiated by Dr Rink, himself a teacher. The CD has for long been tested and proven effective in helping students to understand the English language more easily. This year, the teaching team consists of Finn Monshausen, Daniela Adscheidt, Ephraim Morote and Severin Arnold, all of who are from Cologne.

Students perform traditional dances to the delight of the assembly.

The German delegation of 10, led by president Grabbe and charter president Thomas Odenthal greatly appreciated the hospitality extended to them, as the official business was combined with visits to several projects undertaken by the RC Eastern Seaboard, followed by some subsequent days of vacation.
In an interview with Pattaya Mail TV, Grabbe and Odenthal said that this would not be their last visit to Pattaya. They are looking forward to carrying out joint projects with their friends from the RC Eastern Seaboard, always with the aim of helping people in need.
Former president Stefan Ryser emceed through the evening, which saw many members of other local Rotary Clubs exchanging pennants, and the exchanging of gifts between the sister clubs. Students from local schools provided entertainment with songs and a dance performance.

After the signing, members of both clubs pose for a souvenir shot.

Current and former presidents, Bob Denzel, Stefan Ryser, Thomas Odenthal,
Horst Grabbe, Bruno Wagner and Donald Hugh Maclachlan are all smiles after
the exchanging of pennants.

Northern Real Estate lights the way

(L to R) Jack Levy from MLG Insurance,
Graham Macdonald from British Chamber of Commerce
Thailand and Todd Guest from MBMG International chat at the Networking Evening.

John Seymour from Northern Thai
 and Mark Thomson from Northstar address the gathering.

Claire and Malcolm Boden from the Charity Club of Pattaya enjoy the event.

(L to R) John Hamilton from Waste Management Services
and Paul Wilkinson from AGS Four Winds International chat over a beer.

Local beauties add pulchritude to the proceedings.

by A Special Correspondent
The Lighthouse Club held its July Networking Evening at Flannigans Irish Pub on Friday, July 25. Northern Thai Real Estate were the sponsors with Managing Director John Seymour being his usual generous self and buying drinks all round. There was a record attendance with well over 60 people coming to mix and network.
Peter Mewes of the London Consultancy was seen in deep discussion. Also present were Malcolm Scorer and Pete Smith from AA Insurance. Joe Grunwell was waxing lyrical about how well his son James was doing this season and Jimmy Howard was in a quandary where to watch the Olympics next month.
Jack Levy, representing MLG Insurance Brokers, was chatting away to Kevin Fisher whilst the Lighthouse Club chairman, Mark Thomson, was making sure that everyone was happy.
Flannigans put on a fantastic spread and John Seymour was delighted with the whole event. The next meeting will be on Friday, August 22. For those who are not familiar with Lighthouse, it is a charity that cares for the families of construction workers who cannot, for whatever reasons, care for them by themselves. All proceeds go to the those families who need our help.

Rotarians provide clean water, better hygiene conditions and nutrition to children at rural school in Korat

School children and Rotarians are overjoyed,
 having tasted their first glass of clean potable water.

Rotary District 3340 Governor Pratheep Malhotra (centre) presided over the presentation of the Clean water Project to the JC Anusorn School. He is flanked by the president and members of the Khunying Mo-Korat Rotary Club.

Ariyawat Nuamsawat
More than 100 teachers and students from JC Anusorn School were delighted when the Rotary Club of Khunying Mo-Korat with the help of funds from the Rotary Club of Medford Rogue and the Rotary Club of Chardon, both in the USA, finished a project to provide clean drinking water equipment, educational supplies, made improvements to the library and further developed an agricultural project.
The presentation was made to JC Anusorn School in Baan Nongkhon in Srikhiew district of Nakhorn Ratchasima Province on July 5 at a ceremony presided over by Pratheep Malhotra, governor of District 3340, Rotary International. Present were school director Anek Chomjantuek, Saman Sakulpaisarn, head of the Klogphai Tambon Administrative Organization, President Chatkool Khammeon of the Rotary Club of Khunying Mo-Korat, project chairman Salit Assawakul, and Chukiat Prasangsit and Kittisak Pensuwaparb, project consultants.
The school has only seven teachers for its 90 students. Nutrition is lacking, and there were insufficient fundamental utilities such as a clean potable water system. Hygiene was a threat as the school was short of proper lavatories. In addition the school was in need of basic educational tools, and had a dilapidated library.
The project involved laying a 1.5 kilometer pipeline to bring water from a pond nearby to be stored in new hygienic water tanks before going through a filtration system to ensure that the water is safe for consumption.
A large tank has been refurbished for the breeding of fish to provide food for the students and for sale to the local community. A piece of land has also been cultivated as a vegetable garden for the same purpose.
The students, mostly from farming families, will take care of the agricultural projects under the supervision of their teachers, and in addition to providing nutrition the project will become a source of educational learning.
Kittisak said that the club had renovated the old library, providing books and donating bookshelves and additional purchases. The school toilets have been improved by putting in new tiling, changing the sanitary ware, and putting in new basins for brushing teeth and washing hands.
The club intends to follow up on the worthwhile project, with the idea of using the school as a model for other needy institutions of learning in the community.
School director Anek said the students now have enough clean water and food, but that the school is still very short on educational and sports equipment.
DG Pratheep added that “the emphases for this Rotary year are to initiate projects to lower the alarming rate of child mortality. Rotarians all over the world are racing against time to save as many children’s lives as we possibly can. Clean water, good health, proper nutrition and education are vital elements to help achieve these goals.”

Earlier children had to brush their teeth with muddy water, (left)
but now thanks to Rotarians, they have plenty of clean water. (right)

Construction workers begin work on the water tower (above)
and the finished product (below).

Children ‘lend a hand’ in upgrading ‘their’ fish breeding tank.

The unkempt fish tank before renovations.

The dry piece of land (left) that is cultivated into a fertile vegetable garden (right)

Rotarians show off the new pump that was installed
to draw water from the water hole 1.5 kms to the school.