It was indeed a happy day on January 21, 2011 when a group of old friends of Thailand and more especially the Pattaya Orphanage trudged in to visit their old home to visit their children and friends of so many years ago.
Heading the group was Johny Reimer the well known Danish singing star. Throughout his professional career as leader of The Clifters rock band, Johny held numerous concerts in Denmark and in Thailand to raise money to help the children of Thailand. Johny also performed on many Danish television programmes where he promoted Thailand as his favourite tourist destination.
Danish singing legend Johny Reimer, center, a longtime supporter of the Pattaya Orphanage, enjoys a tremendous reception from the kids on his well received return visit.
On this ‘homecoming’ trip he was accompanied by many other luminaries and supporters of the Pattaya Orphanage. Together with him were members of the Danish Foundation Group, Christina Obel, her mother along with family members, Christel Luttichau and husband, Paul Weber and a handful of Danish residents of Pattaya.
Rachada Chomchinda, affectionately known as Khun Toy, director of Human Help Network Foundation Thailand and some of the long term staff were thrilled to see Johny and the group again.
Khun Toy, who has been with the organization for decades and who worked together with the late Father Ray Brennan said, “I am so happy to see Johny back with us today. He is such a dear friend. We owe him and his Danish friends so much for their love and support of our children throughout the decades. Because of their generosity we are able to continue to care for our children in this home.
“Unfortunately Father Ray is not here today to receive them, but I am sure that he is blessing them from above.”
The pre-school children performed dances for their guests and benefactors. They even danced to one of Johnny Reimar’s top Danske hits, “Du burde kobe dig eb Tyrolerhat” much to the delight of the kindhearted visitors.
The children also performed a Danish children song which was taught to them by Danish volunteer Lene Birkeholm. This too impressed the native Danes to no end.
In the early days of the orphanage’s existence, there were friends like Vagn Christensen, a retired SAS airline captain who established the “Friends of Pattaya Orphanage Foundation” in Denmark.
During the 80’s and 90’s he raised and donated millions of baht to the Pattaya Orphanage. After retiring Christensen established a small travel agency, Mols Rejser, and together with his wife Ingrid arranged Thailand holidays for the Danish sponsors of the orphanage.
Johny Reimer and Vagn Christensen’s tireless work for the Pattaya Orphanage and their efforts to show their fellow Danes the beautiful Thailand they came to love did not go unnoticed.
In 2000 the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) awarded them the prestigious ‘Friend of Thailand award’.