PCEC gains 72 members this past year

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Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC) holds its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the first Sunday in July, which was on July 5 this year.  Since there was no need to hold an election to the governing board, it was a relatively short AGM; which was then followed by Richard Silverberg describing how Thaivisa.com is an informative website with a lot of information of interest to expats in Thailand.

Chairman Roy Albiston opened the AGM and then presented his Annual Report.  It was a busy year for the PCEC and its members. Roy gave his report on the club’s activities and accomplishments during the past year. With the aid of a photo presentation, he began by noting that the club had gained 79 new members during the year. Further the club’s Facebook page has been viewed by people in over 32 countries and several items have received more than 200 “likes.” The most popular item on the PCEC’s YouTube page was the 2014 pre-meeting slides for the Christmas Program which received 436 “hits.”

MC Richard Silverberg welcomes everyone to the PCEC meeting and calls on any new visitors to introduce themselves.

The club also upgraded its audio and computer equipment during the year. The recent purchase of a new computer to replace the old one which has better capability for handling audio/video should eliminate some glitches that occurred during some previous video presentations.

Roy highlighted several activities that the club fosters which provide more than just a weekly meeting to attend. He pointed out some of the special interest groups organized by members that meet outside of the regular meeting which offer opportunities for discussions, recreation, education, and dining. The English Conversation Group that operates under the auspices of the Banglamung district chief continues to help Thais improve their ability with English.  Roy also mentioned some of the notable speakers that appeared during the year on many different subjects and gave special thanks to Lawrie McLoughlin for his efforts in obtaining them.

During the past year, there were several excursions organized by members that offered an opportunity for members and guests to see and learn about parts of Thailand while enjoying the camaraderie of their traveling companions.

PCEC Member Richard Silverberg describes the many features provided to Thailand expats on the website www.thaivisa.com.PCEC Member Richard Silverberg describes the many features provided to Thailand expats on the website www.thaivisa.com.

Roy concluded his report by thanking his fellow board members and other volunteers such as Hans (Jon) who escorts those wanting to obtain or renew their Thai driving license monthly to the Land Transport Office; Sally and Wat who take videos for YouTube and photos for Pattaya Mail, respectively; Mike and Ira who are the greeters with smiling faces welcoming one and all to the meetings; Richard Silverberg who ably handles the MC duties each week; and the microphone matadors Albert and Tony for their weekly exercise of running the microphones around during the speaker’s question and answer session and the open forum.

PCEC Governing Board Chairman Roy Albiston gives his Annual Report during the AGM portion of the PCEC’s Sunday meeting.

After Roy’s Annual Report, Club Treasurer Judith Edmonds presented the Annual Financial Report noting that the bulk of funds received came from membership. She reported that at the end of this fiscal year, the club had 32,156 baht more on hand than at the beginning of the year.

Roy formally announced that the electoral officer had certified that the seven candidates for the governing board would serve as members for a two year term; as there were seven vacancies and seven candidates, there was no need for an election. Five of the candidates were incumbents whose two year term was expiring as of this AGM. Returning for two more years are Richard Smith, David Garmaise, Darrel Vaught, Pat Koester, and Wilson Fletcher. Joining them as new members are Anne Smith and Ron Hunter.

During the AGM portion of the PCEC’s Sunday meeting, Treasurer Judith Edmonds gives her Annual Financial Report to the Membership.

There being no questions from the membership, Roy closed the AGM and called on MC Richard Silverberg to proceed with the regular club meeting and to give his presentation on Thaivisa.com.

Richard began his presentation by noting that Thaivisa.com has over 190,000 registered users. Although it is dedicated to Thailand expats, it is actually based in Hong Kong. He pointed out that it started initially to provide visa information; it has grown into much more – offering national Thailand news, local news for certain cities, forums, and classified ads.

He said there are more than 100 forums on diverse topics such as a forum for Pattaya, for visas, for motoring, and for medical advice/information. He described how the forums are message boards that allow a topic be posted by a registered user and anyone that is registered can respond to a topic or create their own topic. However, anyone can view these messages without having to register. If you register and sign up for their news editor, you will receive several emails each day highlighting the latest news and recent postings on the forums.

After his presentation MC Richard Silverberg brought everyone up to date on upcoming events and called on Roy Albiston to conduct the Open Forum, where questions are asked and answered about expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya.

For more information on the PCEC’s many activities, visit their website at www.pcecclub.org.