PCEC keeps their tradition alive

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The Pattaya City Expats Club prides itself in having met each Sunday continuously since it was founded in March 2001. However, with Sunday, April 19, being Pattaya’s big Songkran day with their usual meeting venue not going to open, road closures, traffic jams, and water splashing everywhere, presented obstacles to holding a meeting on the 19th.

But, alternative plans were made when member Ira Wettenstein said he would host the meeting at the Blue Sky Restaurant on the 27th floor of the Markland Hotel and Condos for those that may wish to attend. As expected considering the circumstances there was minimal turnout. Sirimatzee “Sally” Techasopon, the club’s administrative assistant, was also there to assist Ira in keeping the meeting tradition alive.

PCEC members Ira Wettenstein and Sirimatzee “Sally” Techasopon show they are keeping the tradition alive for meeting every Sunday since the PCEC was formed in March 2001.PCEC members Ira Wettenstein and Sirimatzee “Sally” Techasopon show they are keeping the tradition alive for meeting every Sunday since the PCEC was formed in March 2001.

The Pattaya City Expats Club came into existence in March 2001 when its founding members recognized there was a need for a way for members of the expat community to meet and share advice and information on the best ways to live and enjoy life in Pattaya. Since then, the club has grown from its humble beginnings into a vibrant social organization that continues to emphasize the club’s motto of “Expats Helping Expats.”

The Monday discussion group meets every week. The group was started in 2004 and has been meeting weekly ever since. With no set agenda, it offers a freewheeling and sometimes vigorous discussion on any subject which participants care to engage in.The Monday discussion group meets every week. The group was started in 2004 and has been meeting weekly ever since. With no set agenda, it offers a freewheeling and sometimes vigorous discussion on any subject which participants care to engage in.

Initially meeting at the Sportsman Inn, it became evident that the growing attendance required a larger place; the meetings were moved to Shenanigan’s Restaurant, then to the Marriott Hotel in April 2001. But soon they had to move again to the Café New Orleans for more room and then again to even larger space at the Astoria Hotel in Naklua.  When the Astoria closed for remodeling, the club moved to a meeting room at the Amari Orchard Resort and then to Amari Resort’s Henry J. Beans Restaurant (now named The Tavern by the Sea), a location where it continues to meet today.

The PCEC welcomes visitors to participate in their Sunday meetings and other activities. The Sunday meeting usually has a guest speaker on a topic of interest to expats and concludes each meeting with an Open Forum, where questions are asked and answered about expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya.

PCEC Members Gary Hacker, Richard and Janet Smith meet with some of the local Surin participants at the elephant round up. Read more about this excursion in the Pattaya Mail: http://www. pattayamail.com/ourcommunity/pcec-members-attend-surin-elephant-round-up-8642#sthash. UkcUfgeH.dpufPCEC Members Gary Hacker, Richard and Janet Smith meet with some of the local Surin participants at the elephant round up. Read more about this excursion in the Pattaya Mail: http://www. pattayamail.com/ourcommunity/pcec-members-attend-surin-elephant-round-up-8642#sthash. UkcUfgeH.dpuf

But, there is more to the club than just a weekly meeting. Many of their members and visitors share a common interest, such as golfing, writing, or just good conversation. These individuals get together to pursue these interests – some meet weekly, some monthly, and others periodically whenever the mood strikes or the situation warrants.  Every so often, the club will assist in the planning and carrying out of an excursion, which may be a day trip, an overnighter within Thailand, or even a trip to another country. Everyone enjoys these excursions organized by members because of the camaraderie shared when traveling with friends.

PCEC members and guests on a day trip pose in front of the sign for the glass factory they visited on their way to Rayong’s famous Fruit Farm.PCEC members and guests on a day trip pose in front of the sign for the glass factory they visited on their way to Rayong’s famous Fruit Farm.

The club also has some volunteers that provide assistance to expats and the community – English conversation classes sponsored by the Banglamung District Government – assisting those that want to obtain a Thai driving license – assisting with visa and immigration advice. These services are available to members and visitors alike.  However, certain benefits, such as discounts at Bangkok Hospital Pattaya, Phyathai Hospital Sriracha, certain restaurants and businesses, does require membership, as does participating in the PCEC group health insurance policy.

Overall, it is the friendly atmosphere and willingness to help their fellow expats that has made the PCEC a success.  For more information, subscribe to the PCEC’s weekly newsletter at http://www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com/expats/newsletter.html; visit their Face book page at https://www.facebook.com/pcecclub.org?ref=profile or YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2opW5oFp784YjaUT-6JoLw or website at www.pcecclub.org.