Archie Dunlop turns 94

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Thursday September 22 marked the celebration of Archie Dunlop’s 94th birthday bash at The Venue Residence in Jomtien Complex. Doors were open at 7:30pm while over 100 guests from overseas, Bangkok and the surrounding areas flocked into the party to help Archie celebrate his 94 years on planet earth. The Venue staff certainly did a great job in organizing tables and decorations.

Time to blow out the candles and cut the cake.
Time to blow out the candles and cut the cake.

This year the venue, which is actually called ‘The Venue’ was Archie’s choice of throwing his party since the place is well-covered to keep his guests from getting wet, has a great stage, and is known as one of the best cabaret show bars in Pattaya.

Sunan (left) and host James Brabham (right) join Archie for a photo.
Sunan (left) and host James Brabham (right) join Archie for a photo.

All guests were greeted by the birthday boy Archie, dressed in his kilt, to take photos with his guests at a decorated booth near the entrance. Close friends of Archie such as Andrew J. Wood, James Brabham (the host), David Kerridge, Jim Lumsden, Tony Portman, Dr. Iain Corness, Rodney Charman and other well-known faces in Pattaya and the surrounding areas were present for the occasion. Big boss Mr. Ken was there as well.

The birthday boy with a big smile as the session came to an end while guests release helium balloons into the air.
The birthday boy with a big smile as the session came to an end while guests release helium balloons into the air.

At the door, guests were spoilt for a choice of red wine, white or rose before they were guided by staff to their favorite tables. Archie also indicated on his invitation cards that he did not wish receive any presents, cards or flowers. “Your presence is present enough,” he said.

The buffet, which was set near the pool and provided by the Sportsman Pub was open for guests at about 8pm, offering a wide range of food from Thai to Western. The 100 something guests all said that the food was great and the place was not over-crowded since the venue can hold up to at least 130 people.

Up next was the cake cutting before the shows kicked off. Slight change in plans this year since Archie had suffered from a recent fall while he was overseas, but still, that didn’t prevent him from throwing a great party for his friends and family. The birthday boy was not lifted to the stage on this occasion, but he insisted that he made his entrance closer to the stage, accompanied by a group of young men to cut his cake. Archie later gave a short welcoming speech to thank all of his guests for coming to join him for his 94th bash, and hoping that they would all be present for his up-coming 95th next year.

Khun M sings a special song written by local expat George Nash, live, as a tribute to Archie’s birthday.
Khun M sings a special song written by local expat George Nash, live, as a tribute to Archie’s birthday.

Showtime kicked off with the ‘Showtime’ theme, a well-known cabaret number that regular Venue goers are quite familiar with. It was filled with fabulous costumes and dancers as usual, with loads of energy to get the audience going. Short breaks were given in between for guests to move around and socialize with long-time friends and others who don’t get to see much of each other. At about half way through, a special number was performed by one of the Venue dancers to a song written by local expat George Nash specially for the birthday boy.

The night carried on with great acts, comedy shows and very energetic numbers until the very end. A great time was had by all as the booze flow was non-stop, very attentive staff and an open bar for the guests to request their delights, alcoholic or soft drinks. Thanks to the managers, Chris & Davy, and all the hard working staff at the Venue as well.

The birthday boy said he had a great time and mentioned that he will most likely host his 95th here (at the Venue) again. He felt loved by all of his friends and family who helped him celebrated his once-a-year bash and is looking forward to many more to come.

Tasty buffet provided by the Sportsman Pub.
Tasty buffet provided by the Sportsman Pub.

For those who do not know Archie, he is considered a generous man with a great heart. He has a long history which could never be told within a week, month or even a year, but honorable mentions include that he was awarded the British Empire Medal and served in the Royal Air Force in his younger days. He has a home in Spain and had invested in international property after being successful in his London bar business in the 1970’s. He spends a lot of time in Pattaya as well where a great majority of his friends are currently living and his social life is considered very active with evening gigs, dinner parties and more.

The elder statesmen, Dr. Iain Corness and Andrew J. Wood.
The elder statesmen, Dr. Iain Corness and Andrew J. Wood.

Although Archie has a passion for cruising and is still actively doing so, this makes a lot of people wonder his secrets for being so healthy and fit for such journeys, as the man is only 6 years away from being 100! However, all he says is that he eats healthy, no longer drinks alcohol, exercises, and attends his regular medical check-ups.

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Some very good acts and cabaret shows by the Venue.
Some very good acts and cabaret shows by the Venue.

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Guests of Archie during his 94th birthday bash at The Venue.
Guests of Archie during his 94th birthday bash at The Venue.