What do you call 1,000 newspapers?
The Pattaya Mail ticked over 1,000 editions this week. What a milestone! Consider this - 1,000 meters is a kilometer (km), 1,000 grams is a kilogram (kg), 1,000 computer bits is a kilobit (kb) - so what do you call 1,000 newspapers? A “kilonews” (kn)? Or perhaps even a “kilopaper” (kp)?
Whatever, it is one helluva lot of news that the Pattaya Mail has been faithfully delivering to you, our readers, for the last 1,000 issues.
I would like to draw your attention to the logistics involved in our kilonews. Our Publisher Peter Malhotra and our Executive Editor Dan Dorothy have always been there, steering the newspaper through thick and thin, keeping the weekly paper heading in the correct direction, there is a veritable army working under them to ensure the paper gets to and from the printers and finally to your hands.
And of course there are the people who actually get the news (it is after all, a “news”paper) and then have it translated into English (the Pattaya Mail was the first English language weekly newspaper on the Eastern Seaboard, remember).
Finally there are those people who fill the “magazine” sections covering lifestyles and leisure, and let us never forget the inimitable advice from the lady in the attic, our own crotchety (she’ll bend my ear over that one) Ms. Hillary.
The 1,000th edition pays tribute to all those who work, or have worked, to produce the 1,000 newspapers. (We were going to have a cake, but didn’t know how to fit 1,000 candles on the top!)
Good news and bad news in issue #100
As part of the celebration for Pattaya Mail’s 1000th edition, we are running scans of our previous century milestone front covers, as well as a brief synopsis of what was published at the time. For those of you who were here, this might give you a fond look back. For others, perhaps it might be a glimpse into Pattaya’s not too distant past.
The front page news back on 28 June 1995, our 100th edition, featured the end to an election, but perhaps more importantly the news that the helmet law would start being enforced in Pattaya. Mayor Anupong Udomrattanakulchai announced that anyone caught riding without a helmet would be subject to a 500 baht fine.
Other stories inside our 24-page edition included “Pattaya’s new flood drainage system fails” (some things never seem to change), grown people wearing their best diapers and baby outfits in “The Great Pram Race in Ban Chang”, and Pattaya Sports Club evening their softball series with the Caltex Stars. The sports roundup page included Water Volleyball at Jonathan Court (just come “ready to play or contact Tom Dragoo”), although egg wars didn’t warrant a mention.
Prime Minister Chavalit visits Pattaya for issue #200
“Prime Minister holds economic conference in Pattaya” headlined our 24-page 200th edition on 30 May 1997, along with “Rayong oil slick reaches Koh Samet”. We’ll leave it to you to decide which deserved higher billing. Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyuth and his deputy met with exporters at the Royal Cliff to show that his government intended to do something about the nation’s sagging export market. They admonished the Customs Dept. for having bad attitudes and said if they don’t shape up, a private company would be sought to take over.
Meanwhile, a 10km oil slick from a mysterious source began to reach beaches in Rayong province. Officials examined the slick and “determined it was definitely an oil slick,” and promised to report it to their superiors. The slick prompted Rayong’s TAT head at the time to come out with the strongly worded, “oil tankers and people involved in heavy industry should be more careful.”
Other stories inside the (still) 24-page edition included headaches being caused at local government offices due to them beginning to switch over to a computer based system; and US Navy sailors doing community relations work at the Banglamung Boys Home and Fountain of Life.
HM the King graces cover of issue #300
HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great graced the cover of issues #300 on 30 April 1999, as the entire Kingdom prepared to celebrate the 49th anniversary of His Coronation Day, May 5, 1950.
Also on front page, the Immigration Police began a crackdown on illegal visa extensions. Police Colonel Jiraphun Issarankul Na Ayuthaya warned that people using private companies to take their passports to the border for them, without the passport holder ever leaving the country, would be arrested. He also warned visitors that fake stamps would also land them in jail, and to prove it, 3 foreigners were arrested because the visa stamps in their passports did not look genuine.
Other news inside our now 32-page edition included “Pattaya helicopter service leaves for Phuket” as the Coolman Corporation left Pattaya when their service failed to attract tourists. “Major golf courses in hands of creditor banks” shocked the golfing community, as courses like Noble Place, Khao Kheow and Phoenix Country Club were having trouble servicing their debts. Laem Chabang was also in trouble until a Singaporean company bought a 20% stake. “Bride of Chucky” was playing at the cinema, and the Mailbag page was full of letters complaining about Songkran.
Pattaya prepares for 17,000 sailors on the front page of issue #400
“US Navy plans massive shore leave” and “Pattaya headlines Elephant Day” headlined issue #400 on 30 March 2001. The USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier and its support group were about to land on Pattaya shores, bringing with them 17,000 sailors. As always, it’s boom time for local businesses and the local charitable organizations, as the sailors not only bring their pay packs with them, but also perform many ComRels at local schools.
Elephants were treated to a huge feast of fruits and vegetables on “their” day, held to preserve the species and promote tourism.
By now, Pattaya Mail had grown to 40 pages, and featured color on front, back and center pages. At the time, it seemed that Legionnaires disease was a threat, as “Seven Pattaya hotels receive Health Ministry certification for guarding against Legionnaires disease.” Mott the Dog was in full swing, in this issue critiquing Grey Lady Down’s The Crime. Grapevine asked, “If cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?”, whilst Anton and Simon were lobbying in the Mailbag for a Bar Girl Festival for straight folks who didn’t wish to partake in the Gay Festival. In sports, Ray Mattie scored his second hole in one of the year, the latter coming at the par 3 sixth at Treasure Hills.
Previous milestones splashed across issue #500 cover
Half way to 1000, the cover of our 500th edition on 28 February 2003 featured front pages from our 1st, 100th, 200th, 300th, 400th and, through the magic of our creative graphics department, even our 500th edition. Have look, it’s like when mirrors face each other and seem to extend to infinity.
The front page also featured “Better consumer protection on its way”. Plans were afoot to publish a brochure listing consumer rights for tourists, but this was “delayed due to grammatical mistakes in the English version.” The planning committee also wanted to include Chinese, Japanese and German versions. Personally, I’ve never seen any version of this. One wonders if the idea ever made it out of committee.
By the 500th edition, Pattaya Mail had already grown to 48 pages, had several color pages, as well as spot color pages. It was also our first century milestone to include material from the Associated Press. Inside, “Pattaya’s tourist submarine to arrive soon” raised (or lowered?) expectations of Scuba-challenged tourists who still wished to visit the undersea world. “National Police Bureau deputy chief urges low performance police to work harder” and “said he will investigate any suspicious shootings.” That’s certainly a relief. And by the time our 500th edition hit the stands, “Life in Fun City” by cartoonist MJB became a welcome regular feature.
Earthquakes and tsunami dominate cover of issue #600
The 600th edition of Pattaya Mail hit the newsstands on January 28, 2005, barely a month after the devastating Boxing Day 2004 earthquake and tsunami changed lives forever. People from all walks of life, both locally and globally, rushed in to do whatever they could to help the surviving victims, many of whom lost family members, as entire towns were wiped off the map.
Here in Pattaya, the headline “Pattaya Freemasons build schools and shelters in the South” was splashed across the cover of issue #600. The caption read, “Swiftly and silently, members of Lodge Pattaya West Winds have been assisting the south to recover by building CKD schools for the tsunami affected children. With the assistance of the Grand Lodge of Western Australia, the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya and private donors … Freemasons and Buddhist monks have erected much needed schools in Phuket.”
Even a month later, the rumblings hadn’t totally subsided, as the second front page lead stated, with the city warning of continued seismic activity and the resulting possibility of sink holes.
It’s no wonder that the tsunami aftermath also dominated the community pages, with a local expats club raising funds for tsunami relief at Cafe New Orleans; local members helping the Koh Samui Rotary Club raise over one million baht in aid of the tsunami victims; and Pattaya’s VFW donating money to assist activities for the YWCA Bangkok-Pattaya.
In the society pages, “Jameson’s Irish Pub throws open the doors - officially!” was about the only headline not affiliated with helping the south. Other headlines included the lengthy, “Five monks, four school girls, three blokes from Pattaya, plus casual volunteers build a school in three days!”, along with “Schools devastated, Children need your help now”, “Masonic CKD building project fills a need in the South”, and a “Report from the South” about a charitable expat family’s experience delivering aids to victims in the south.
Issue #700 welcomes New Year 2007
The bumper 64-page issue #700 hit the stands Dec 29, 2006, saying goodbye to the year of the Dog and welcoming in 2007, the year of the Pig. Hundred’s of thousands of visitors were cramming into the beach resort for the grand party which promised to culminate in massive fireworks displays all over Pattaya on New Year’s Eve.
With so many people, the possibility of foul play also increased, so Chonburi’s governor invited a veritable army of military personnel to stand side by side with police to control, what the governor called at the time, a burgeoning crime wave.
On the inside pages, Skål Pattaya threw a big party to thank supporters of the International Skål Congress held a couple months earlier, in October that year. Closer to (our) home, Pattaya Mail’s benevolent founder, Pratheep “Peter” Malhotra was one of three men named as ‘Outstanding Person of Society’ by the Eastern Mass Media Association of Thailand and all it’s members. Supakrit Akhalertlarp, chairman of the Weekend Markets Club of the East, and Worawit Nijaya were also named. Speaking of our MD, Padungsak Tantravorasilp, chairman of the Media Organization of Chonburi and president of the Eastern Mass Media Association of Thailand said, “We have observed how Khun Pratheep has, since it’s founding, taken a small town newspaper and with tremendous dedication and passion made it into one of the most respectable newspapers in Thailand.”
In the community, “Jomtien Beach Residence throws the doors open” when Ib Ottesen held an open house at the new upmarket condo, whilst the Pattaya City Expats Club learned about stroke and its signs from Dr. Montsi Luxuwong, a neurosurgeon from Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital.
In sports, Harry Riley and Saranya Chaiyanont won the 2006 version of the Jameson’s ‘Jinger Bens’ Christmas Pairs Scramble, and Mark Brenton captured the December Cafe Kronborg ‘Monthly Mug’
Goodbye beach power poles splashes across issue #800 cover
The front page of issue #800 which hit the stands November 28, 2008, featured city workers taking down power poles and tangled lines from Beach Road Pattaya. Bureaucrats promised the work would be done “by the beginning of December”.
Also on front page, over 100 bar owners stormed Pattaya police station to protest the arrest of a fellow bar owner for allegedly playing copyrighted music without permission. Allegedly, undercover representatives went into the bar, asked an employee to play a CD they handed her, then when she did, arrested her for playing it. Fair pay? You decide.
Inside the 56-page edition, Utapao airport was renamed U-Tapao Pattaya International Airport, with plans of turning it into a small commercial airport. Our Mailbag page was filled with Stephen Donovan’s obituary, may he rest in peace. The full color center pages were filled with the 10th anniversary of the Diana Group’s Diana Gold charity golf tournament.
In the sporting world, “Work begins on new Pattaya sports stadium” dominated the back page. The 20,000 seat stadium was due to be completed by 2013 at a cost of 744 million baht, with plans to expand it further into a sports complex costing 1.26 billion baht. The Pattaya Panthers and Panties rugby teams were practicing Thursday evenings at Horseshoe Point, and the Pattaya Hash House Harriers were still (and still are) going strong.
Thundering water buffaloes race across cover of issue #900
Until this week, our most recent century milestone was achieved on 29 October 2010 when our 48-page 900th issue hit the stands. It was the end of Buddhist Lent, and as per tradition, Chonburi’s annual water buffalo races were held, once again exciting the crowds. Also on front page, the city was preparing for a grand Halloween festival that included a parade down Beach Road and a costume contest with 150,000 baht in prizes. The city, province and TAT were holding the event in hopes of scaring up more tourism.
Inside the issue, members of the Soi Khopai community were banding together to become the first neighborhood in Pattaya to join HRH Princess Bajarakitiyabha’s “Say No to Violence Against Women Campaign.” A great campaign indeed.
Meanwhile, an alleged Russian mafia hitman was in town, disposing of a Russian businessman. Once caught, he had no trouble leading police to the shallow grave. The slain man’s flatmate denied any connection to the Russian mafia.
In the business section, Hilton Pattaya arrived in town, whilst Securitas AB was busy taking over ESC & SSA Guarding Company. Elsewhere, Pattaya Hard Rock Cafe celebrated their 9th anniversary, HM King Constantine II of Greece and his royal family attended a Round Square party at Nong Nooch, Rotary was registering athletes for their annual cross bay swim, and Kran Nielsen bowled a great 644 series.