DFiT, Dusit Thani Pattaya: Visitors using the group fitness membership can avail of the THB 2,000 offer for five visits to the gym after their membership has expired. The offer includes unlimited use of DFiT facilities including tennis courts. For more information, call 038-425611 ext. DFiT.
1:00 p.m. The Pattaya Bridge Club meets upstairs at Altos Restaurant, 144/99 Thappraya Road near flyover. Contact Jeremy Watson 085 818 2172, www.pattayabridge.org.
2:00 p.m. Pattaya Sports Club Bowling at PS Bowl on the top floor of Tops Supermarket at the junction of Central and Second Roads. Contact La at PS after 1:30 p.m.
Pattaya Archery Club meets between 10am and 12 midday every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at our dedicated shooting range within easy reach of Pattaya, near the new railway road. Beginners of all ages are welcome, and equipment and coaching are free. For more information call Eric, the club President , on 089 535 1193 or visit www.pattayaarcheryclub.com
Ocean Marina Yacht Club invites experienced sailors and learners for racing weekends and funsail/training weekends. The club has 5 star clubhouse facilities and a fleet of 25' racing yachts available. www.omycsailing.com, phone Kev Scott 087 825 0011.
8:30 am. -10:00 am. International Players Academy meets every Sat. morning for Jr. Intermediate level Tennis at Ambassador City Tennis Courts. Visitors are welcome, just bring your tennis racket, ages range from 10-16. For more details call CJ on 086 086 2121
Indoor Lawn Bowls Free at Coco Club every Saturday for school or college aged children from 11.00am - 2.00pm, with Male – English and Female Thai tutors. Parents can sit at the bar and watch. New champions needed! Call Sue on 087 135 8357 or pop in to the club at Baan Amphur - signposted behind Phoenix Golf.
Badminton players are invited to play 3 mornings a week at X-zyte Sports Club on Third Road. We play 10-12am Sunday, Tuesday and Friday with a mix of mostly 50+ farangs and younger Thai’s.
12:00 p.m. Pattaya Sports Club Softball plays slow pitch recreational pick-ups games at every Sunday at 12 noon. New players always welcome regardless of skill level, experience, age or time away from the game. For more information and directions see the softball page at the Pattaya Sports Club website www.pattayasports.org or contact John at scrabbleking @yahoo.com or call 089-932-5433
3:00 p.m. Pattaya Jungle H3 meets every 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month and departure is from the Lek Hotel on 2nd Rd at 3pm. For more info please call Kai on 01 863 5095.
1:00 p.m. The Pattaya Bridge Club meets upstairs at Altos Restaurant, 144/99 Thappraya Road near flyover. Contact Jeremy Watson 085 818 2172, www.pattayabridge.org.
2:45 p.m. Pattaya Hash House Harriers: The club for drinking people with a running problem meets every Monday at 2.45 pm at the Lek Hotel, (between Soi 12 & 13 on 2nd Road). The bus leaves at 3.00 pm, and the run starts at 4.30pm. More info at www.pattayah3.com
Chess and Scrabble Club: every Tuesday 12pm - 5pm at Hoek-Van-Holland in Jomtien. Take Thappraya Road to intersection with Beach Road. Dong Tan Police sub-station is right there. Walk back towards Pattaya 10 meters along walking path. Hoek-Van-Holland is on the right, before the parking lot. Bring your own chess set and/or scrabble board. For more information please see website www.hoek-van-holland.com - Everyone welcome.
The Pattaya Chess Club meets every Tuesday evening from 6:30 p.m. onwards at Brauhaus on 2nd Road between Soi 7 and Soi 8. Learners and anybody who would like to play chess are most welcome. Boards and clocks are provided.
1:00 p.m. The Pattaya Bridge Club meets upstairs at Altos Restaurant, 144/99 Thappraya Road near flyover. Contact Jeremy Watson 085 818 2172, www.pattayabridge.org.
At the Happy Workplace Forum organized by the Federation of Thai Industries, Chonburi Chapter held at the Tide Resort Chonburi recently, Dr. Chanwit Wasabthanarat presented an award to Ms. Jidanun Sripatcharapas, Manager of Human Resources of the Dusit Thani Pattaya in recognition for their endeavor to create a happy workplace conducive to the employees’ healthy and positive state of mind, thereby enjoying a pleasant environment while being productive.
Brendan ‘one eyed pirate’ Daly (centre), GM of the Amari Pattaya was chief guest at the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean Night’ themed corporate thank you party. The Amari Pattaya thanked their loyal corporate partners who have been supportive throughout 2013 and 2014. Attendees enjoyed performances including a close up magic show and a spectacular dance performance. There were prizes for the best male and female costumes as well as many lucky draw prizes including accommodation vouchers and much more.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Surin Palarae (centre right), Secretary of the Central Islamic Council of Thailand is greeted by Somkiet Ratanaopath (centre left) A-One Hotel Managing Director during the recent seminar on ‘Developing the potential of Halal inspectors, assessors, advisors and scientist in Thailand 2014’.
Well know actor Niti “Job” Samutkojorn and his family were warmly welcomed by Andre Brulhart, General Manager of Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya recently where the children enjoyed the afternoon at the Kid’s Club Camp Safari.
To commemorate the auspicious occasion of HM the Queen’s birthday, members of the Lions Club of Taksin and the Leo Club donated blood to the Thai Red Cross Society at the Royal Garden Plaza recently. Chaired by Mayor Itthipol Khunplome, other dignitaries included City Councilor Banjong Bantoonprayuk, Chayapa Wuthisanwaraporn, President of the Lions Club Taksin and Praichit Jetapai, President of the YWCA Bangkok- Pattaya. Students from Pattaya School No. 11 also joined in to sings of praise and loyalty to HM the Queen.
Jay David Garmaies secretary of the Pattaya City Expats Club celebrated his 67th birthday at his residence recently. Many old and new friends from the community and members of the PCEC attended this happy occasion. Amongst the myriad of guests were (l-r) Monthree Bubphakin, Hal Carpenter, Sheldon Shaeffer, David Garmaies, Roy Albiston and Judith Edmonds.
Start by remembering that F is for “fun” and F is for “Fajitas. A tortilla wrap with onions, capsicums, guacamole, cheese and salsa. The fun comes as every time you can make it differently, and personally it is the guacamole/cheese with the chicken that is the best. Another tip - don’t overfill the tortillas.
|Chicken breast (sliced thin strips)||500 gm|
|Yellow onion||1 large|
|Juice of 1 lime|
|Olive oil||2 tbspns|
|Garlic, peeled, minced||2 cloves|
|Jalapeño pepper finely chopped||½|
Mix all marinade ingredients and leave the chicken in it for one hour.
Peel the onion and slice with the grain and slice off sections around 1 cm wide. Take the capsicum, deseed and sliced lengthways into 1 cm wide strips.
Heat a large cast iron pan or griddle to high and add a teaspoon of olive oil. Quickly fry the chicken strips and then turn down the heat to medium and add the onion and capsicum, stirring until the onion becomes translucent.
Serve immediately with shredded cheese, salsa, shredded iceberg lettuce, sour cream, guacamole and warm flour tortillas. (Hint for warming tortillas - put in microwave over a paper towel for 20 seconds on high heat.)
The next Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC) meeting will be held on Sunday, August 17. Everyone is warmly welcome. The speaker will be Dr. Watanachai Bangken, Orthopedist at Phyathai Sriracha Hospital. His topic will be on “shoulder rotator cuff injuries.” There will also be a nurse to do free blood pressure checks for members and guests. The Club meets every Sunday morning at the Tavern by the Sea restaurant located on the north end of Beach Road (part of the Amari Orchid Resort). The program starts as usual at 10:30 a.m. with a buffet breakfast available from 9 to 11 a.m.
A Joint Chambers Eastern Seaboard Networking Evening will be held at the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya on Friday, August 15, from 6.00 - 9.00 p.m. (last drinks served at 8.30 p.m.) Price of admission is THB 400 for members of BCCT, AustCham, AmCham, GTCC & SATCC and THB 800 for non-members. For more information and reservations, go to chamber websites: www.bccthai.com, www.austchamthailand.com or www.amchamthailand.com.
The East Pattaya Annual Buffalo Races will be held on Sunday 17th August from 8:00 a.m. onwards. The event will take place on Siam Country Club Road by Lake Mabprachan and Khao Po Thong Temple. The day’s events will include a buffalo beauty pageant, Miss Farmer beauty contest, comic buffalo costume contest, rides for children and concerts of folk music. There will also be food and handicrafts stalls offering authentic Thai food and souvenirs.
Horseshoe Point Pattaya is hosting a range of Ranch Day activities this month. These fun days are created for children aged 5-yrs onwards who may lack in confidence or have issues in areas of learning/strength/speech/motor skills, all of which gain from the therapy given by equine activities. The riding therapists have based the fun days on pony club games with learning and lots of fun. No previous riding experience is necessary. Summer Ranch Days will take place on the following dates: (Monday’s) August 18 & 25 and (Friday’s) August 15, 22 & 29. The cost to attend is THB 2,000 (cash only) per person. Space is limited so early registration is recommended. For more information contact Horseshoe Point riding therapist Sandra Cooper on 086 848 3684.
The Rayong-Pattaya Ladies Circle will hold its 2nd annual red-carpet gala charity evening on Saturday, November 8 at the Amari Pattaya ballroom in north Pattaya. The event will feature live music and entertainment, a silent auction, spot prizes, champagne reception, buffet dinner and a free-flow of beer and wine. Tickets cost THB 2,800 and proceeds from the event will be donated to Women With A Mission to help with their charity work. For more information or to reserve tickets, call Michelle on 082 179 1037 or Rosy on 092 252 9119 or Bron on 089 898 0658.
Saturday Night BBQ Buffet at The Palm Court: Dine al fresco and enjoy a fantastic selection of meat and seafood BBQ items as well as international cuisine in the Saturday Night BBQ Buffet. Open from 6:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. at The Palm Court of Dusit Thani Pattaya. Buffet price is THB 1,490++ per person (food only) - add a free flow of wine, beer, juice and soft drinks at an additional THB 599++ per person. For reservations, call 038 425 611-7 Ext 2149-50.
Havana Bar & Terrazzo at Holiday Inn Pattaya offers the following on a weekly basis: Monday - signature cocktail at just THB 180 net per glass; Tuesday - enjoy all traditional and signature pizzas at only THB 279; Wednesday - ‘Ladies Night’, buy 1 get 1 free’ from 5.00 p.m. - midnight (minimum 2 people); Thursday - enjoy a selection of pasta dishes with a glass of house wine or beer at only THB 450 net/person; Friday - try various Italian cheese and cold cuts paired with selected wines for 2 hours; Saturday - enjoy one of the best Mojitos in town at THB 159 net all night; Sunday - Lucky draw, a chance to get 50% discount off your bill. For more information or reservations, call 038 725 555 or email to: info@ holidayinn-pattaya.com.
A-One Hotel Pattaya is offering an “Eat & Play” menu for kids this summer. More than 15 menu items are available for your children while they enjoy the hotel’s swimming pool facilities, including golden chicken nuggets with french-fries at THB 150 and delicious banana supreme sundaes at just THB 140. Food served everyday at the poolside bar from 08.00-17.00 hrs. For more information, call 038 259 555.
Saturday Seafood Bonanza Night at Oasis Restaurant: Enjoy a seafood BBQ buffet with various mouth watering dishes including salmon, king crab, rock lobster, tiger prawn, fresh oyster trolley, and much more every Saturday night from 18:30 - 23:00 hrs at only THB 1,099++ per person with half price for children from 6-12 years. Duo musicians and live Cabaret show will perform from 19:00 - 21:00 hrs. Oasis is located at the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya. For more information, call 038 714 981.
Halal international buffet dinner @ Harbour - only THB 420 net per person. The buffet dinner includes halal food, an international buffet line and many selections of dessert. The food is certified and cooked by a halal chef with 40 years experience. Both indoor and outdoor dining options are available. Harbour restaurant is located at the A-One Royal Cruise Hotel on Pattaya Beach Road (Soi 3), Open daily 6.00 pm - 10.00 pm. For more information, call 038 259 555 Ext 4236.
Sugar Hut Restaurant is open for lunch with set menu prices from 240 to 350 baht net/set. Menu items include chili fried rice, pork soup with tofu, noodles, fresh spring rolls, salad, fruit, desserts and more. For inquiries and reservations, call 038 364 186, 038 251 686.
Enjoy a steak and grilled BBQ buffet at “Flames” restaurant of the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya every Monday night from 18.30 - 23.00 hrs, priced at only Baht 999++. The original Cowboy night buffet serves a wide variety of dishes including steak, polar fresh seafood, salad, desserts buffet, ice cream and enjoy live country music performances from 19.00 - 22.00 hrs. Flames opens from 18.30 - 23.00hrs. For reservations call 038 714 981.
Edge restaurant at Hilton Hotel Pattaya offers a Monday “Post weekend BBQ” featuring freshly grilled sausages, Korean style pork cuts and chorizo burritos while Tuesday’s “Mediterranean Fare” includes Middle Eastern dips and salads, pizza and pasta. On Wednesday, Edge presents “Burgers, Salads and Gourmet Sandwiches” where guests can create their perfect burger, toss a fresh salad or grab a gourmet sandwich. The tastes of Southeast Asia, India, China and Japan come together for Thursday’s “Extended Asia” followed by Friday’s “Seafood Pattaya” where the crystal waters offer up fresh local prawns, crabs and lobsters served on ice or grilled. Saturday’s “Classics & Confectionaries” presents timeless favorites such as Greek salad, oven-baked whole salmon, green curry and bouillabaisse and margherita pizza. In addition, guests will be able to indulge in traditional Thai desserts with a modern twist. Every Sunday, the chefs pull out all the stops and offer the hotel’s famous “Sunday Brunch” that brings together a wide selection from around the globe. Bookings are absolutely essential for this very popular event. Monday to Thursday @ THB 480 net; Friday and Saturday @ THB 540 net, Sunday Brunch @ THB 1400 net; Wine Buffet @ THB 1100 net. “Seven Days, Seven Themes” is available from Mondays to Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. and from 12 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. on Sundays. An International Buffet Dinner is also available 7 days a week priced at THB 920 net on Monday - Thursday and Saturday & Sunday, and THB 1100 net on Friday. Edge restaurant is located on the 14th floor of the Hilton Hotel Pattaya. For bookings, please dial +66 (0)38 253 000.
As well as the excellent European food for which it is very well known in Pattaya (including some very rare Dutch items), Mata Hari restaurant also has a complete range of Thai cuisine, including Thai Isaan on request from Chef Jackie, herself coming from Isaan. Mata Hari restaurant is located at the top of the hill on Thappraya Road, and for reservations (strongly recommended) phone 038 259 799 or email louis @mataharirestaurant.com or go through the website at: www.mataharirestaurant.com
The Tavern by the Sea Restaurant introduces the following daily promotions: Monday Curry Night features the tastiest curries, naan bread and salad buffet for just THB 499 net per person. Wednesday is Ribs & Wings evening: finger licking good ribs and 6 different kinds of wings - all you can eat for THB 449 net per person. Thursday features KFC (Krazy Flying Chicken) from 18:30 to 22:00. As much as you can eat of wings, legs, breasts and whole chicken - BBQ grilled, Thai, Tex-Mex, Indian and French style, served with rice, potatoes and a salad bar: only THB 449 net (excludes beverages). Friday & Saturday Churrasco Nights offer prime meats and seafood, grilled to perfection on the fire and freshly skewered for you on the churrasco pens at the Tavern. All complemented by a full buffet of starters, side dishes and desserts. Only THB 749 net per person. Every buffet is open from 18.30 - 22.00 hrs. There is also a daily happy hour from 11 am - 6 pm. Watch all the premier live sports on one of the many widescreen TV’s or on the big projector screen (Sports hotline 038 418 419). Amari Pattaya, Beach Road, North Pattaya, Tel 038 418418.
Eat to the New Beat at Starz Diner located at the Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya between 2nd Road and Beach Road, Central Pattaya: A selection of Pan Asian and continental flavors, from the griddle, BBQ char-grill, pan, fryer, steamer, wok, and tandoori oven, as well as some really delicious desserts. Sat: THB 850++, Sun-Fri: THB 750++ food only. Sat: THB 1,080++, Sun-Fri: THB 980++ including free flow drinks. Children under 11 years of age eat for free. Show time for live music is from 6:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. For more information call 038 428 755-9 or go to http://pattaya.hardrockhotels.net.
The Thai Garden Resort offers nightly dining presentations with different themed buffets! Happy Hours are from 17:00 - 18:00 with most drinks at 50% discount. The “All You Can Eat Buffet” starts at 18:00 until 21:00 hours and offers a wide variety of soups, salads, bread, cold cuts, smoked salmon, choices of hot food dishes, live cooking stations and of course a home-made desserts selection. All this for just 399 baht net for adults and 199 baht net for children under 12 years old. What you see is what you pay, no additional service charges or VAT. For reservations call 038 370 614 or make your booking at www.thaigarden.com under “buffet reservation”. Thai Garden Resort is located on North Pattaya Road, 200 meters from the Dolphin roundabout and 200 meters before Tesco Lotus.
Breeze Spa at Amari Pattaya is offering a special treatment for men who are looking for a place to unwind. Take a break with a 90-minute massage and get a free 30-minute facial treatment from Comfort Zone Products for only THB 2,400. This special promotion is being offered from now until 31 August 2014. For more information, contact Breeze Spa, Amari Pattaya on 038 418 418 ext. 840.
eforea spa at Hilton Pattaya has announced its new special promotion package, “Relax, Renew and Emerge Brighter”. Guests can book the package for only THB 3,500 and receive a 90-minute meditation massage, inspired by traditional Australian Aboriginal techniques, which focuses on instilling a deep sense of mental and physical relaxation. A choice of native aromatic oils is prescribed to suit your individual needs to rejuvenate, harmonize or detoxify. For an additional THB 500 guests can enjoy a 30-minute body scrub and receive an eforea music CD, which features soothing tunes that they can relax to in their own home. For more information, call 038 253 000, email pattaya.info@ hilton.com or visit eforeaspa.com.
Havana Bar @ Holiday Inn Pattaya will be the venue for a Latin Night hosted by Henry Knowles on Saturday, August 16 from 8 p.m. onwards. With free admission, come and enjoy a variety of Latin rhythms, from Salsa to Bachata, Merengue and much more and don’t forget to try the popular pizzas or the Mojito specials for only 159 baht net all night. For more information or reservations, call 038 725 555.
The Beach Club at Pullman Pattaya Hotel G will be hosting a white themed beach party on Saturday 6th September from 7 p.m. until late. Make sure to dress up in all white and come to enjoy first class entertainment provided by French DJ Alex Fischer, resident @ OSKAR, and the amazing French crew One Touch. Pullman Pattaya Hotel G is located on soi 16, Naklua in North Pattaya. For more information, call 038 411 940 or go to website: www. pullmanpattayahotelg.com.
Ruffino Restaurant & Lounge at Centara Grand Phratamnak Resort Pattaya presents Thailand’s premier female music maestro, DJ Diva, every Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 19:00 - 23:00. Ruffino also offers wine by the glass from its ever-evolving selection, a refreshing cocktail or an ice cold beer at special prices during sunset hours from 5-7 p.m. Centara Grand Phratamnak Resort is located on Soi 5, Pratamnak, South Pattaya. Tel. 038 306 337 for more information.
Come and enjoy live music at the Jazz Pit Pub. Listen to great music by Thomas Reimer, one of the most famous European Jazz guitarists, playing live on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7.00 p.m. - 11.00 p.m. The Jazz Pit is located on Soi 5 off Pattaya Beach and 2nd Road. Tel: 038 428 374. And you can also catch Thomas performing on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. at the Sugar Hut restaurant on Thappraya Road, call 038 364 186 for details.
Al-Anon Family Group: Are you bothered by someone else’s drinking? Maybe we can help. Sunday meeting at 2 p.m., Pattaya, Satree Pattaya Center, 519/56 Pattaya 2nd Road, Soi Skaw Beach near the Skaw Beach Hotel, next door to Scandalia Restaurant. Thursday meeting is at 10:30 a.m. on the 4th floor of Jomtien Plaza Condotel. For more information, call the Helpline 092 674 4109 or Richard 084 867 4138.
Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in Pattaya: The Pattaya Group meets Wednesday and Thursday at noon (open); Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 5 p.m. (closed) and Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. (closed) at the Satree Pattana Center, Soi Skaw Beach (2nd Rd): contact Mick on 087 994 6224, Bob 087 939 2463 or Joe 082 715 2082. The Good Morning Pattaya Group meets 9 a.m. every morning. All meetings are ‘open’: contact 084 564 8479. The Jomtien Group meets every day at noon at Jomtien Long Stay Hotel: contact: Warren on 086 158 9688, Andy 080 570 1404 or Henk 086 070 6684, Thai contact: Somchai 081 445 3302. The Scandinavian Group meets on Tuesdays and Fridays 6 p.m. at the Norwegian Seaman’s Church, Thappraya Road Soi 7: contact Hans 085 135 7755 or Rune (Rayong) 089 754 9515. 10.30 a.m. meetings every day at Satree Pattana Centre on Soi Skaw Beach off Second Road. Call 084 564 8479.
For the past 28 years the Samaritans of Thailand have been providing confidential crisis intervention services over the telephone. The English-speaking unit, Samaritans English Help Line operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support to the expatriate community. English-speaking staff, trained in crisis intervention will provide active, non-judgmental and empathetic listening services on the phone. All calls will be handled on an anonymous basis and are free of charge. Please call (02) 713-6791 (24hrs a day, 7 days a week).
Overeaters Anonymous meetings in Pattaya/Jomtien - The ‘Up to You’ group meets Wednesdays at 9:30-10:30 a.m. in the housing area just behind Pan Pan Restaurant in Jomtien on Thappraya Road. Call Steve at 038-364-207(h) or 089-250-1359 (cell) for directions or more information.
Narcotics Anonymous - Hotline: 082 811 2686. There are 3 English speaking meetings in Pattaya near Central Festival and 2 more in Jomtien each week. Also regular Thai speaking meetings at 12 Midday every Sunday and Persian Farsi speaking meetings at 5.30 pm on Thursdays. Please call the Hotline for details.
The Committee for Documentary Compilation and Archives
Photographic Credit: The Royal Private Department of Photography, Office of the Royal Household; Royal Private Film Her Majesty the Queen’s Personnel Affairs Division
For over six decades of His Majesty the King’s reign over the Kingdom of Thailand, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit has resolutely followed his guiding principle and course of action with regard to the numerous activities pertaining to the welfare of their subjects. With a strong determination to alleviate the hardship and suffering of the rural people, the royal couple has devoted time and energy to finding effective solutions for a better living, with sufficient income, in order for them to enjoy a peaceful and happy existence.
It is with this special royal Power of Love that has enabled them to carry out their responsibilities with unwavering dedication and caring concern, without exception or discrimination, for all their subjects. The Royal Secretariat to Her Majesty the Queen and the SUPPORT Foundation continue to actively carry out the royal guidelines and procedures to extend assistance and support to the people.
Through this supplement, the Royal Secretariat to Her Majesty the Queen and the SUPPORT Foundation, along with the Pattaya Mail Media Group, hope that readers will now understand and appreciate the hard work and unceasing activities, which have been initiated and continue to be meticulously carried out until the present, are all due to the immense Power of Love and infinite sympathetic support that Her Majesty has for all her people.
“I firmly believe that healthcare is a very important issue because it is the essential foundation of life, according to the age-old saying that ‘an active mind requires a healthy body.’ If our people enjoy good health and are not suffering from any chronic illnesses, they will have the ability to study and enjoy higher education. Later, they can hold an occupation or a profession which will assist in developing and promoting the advancement of the nation.” - Her Majesty the Queen’s Speech to the Thai people, on the occasion of her Birthday Anniversary August 11, 1988 at Dusidalai Hall, Dusit Palace, Bangkok.
For over 40 years, it was the annual practice of Their Majesties to spend a certain period of time at each of their regional palaces. They’d make daily visits to surrounding villages and travel to remote areas to promote the welfare of their subjects, who are filled with deep gratitude for their caring concern and continuous support.
During those early visits, it has come to their attention that their people are suffering from various ailments without proper care, due to lack of doctors and nursing facilities. It is most unfortunate that this very important aspect in the development process of the country has been overlooked. Human resources are essential for the advancement of a nation, which cannot progress effectively if its people are weak and unhealthy. Therefore, at each location, doctors who always accompany the royal entourage will extend immediate medical assistance to the villagers. The seriously ill are sent to the nearest hospital or onto Bangkok according to the severity of the illness. These people are known as Patients Under Royal Care.
Later on, Her Majesty the Queen took over the duties with regard to social welfare and medical support in order to reduce some of the numerous responsibilities of H.M. the King. On each visit to underprivileged villages and remote areas, they observe that a huge number of people are obviously very ill. But for some, the symptoms have not yet shown up and these are sometimes overlooked for medical assistance.
However, Her Majesty has a talent for being able to pick out sick people in a crowd by just looking into their eyes. She stops to chat and puts them at ease by casually inquiring about their family and general well being. Then she will instruct a doctor to give basic medication or whatever else that is needed to take care of these people.
In the meantime, H.M. the King would remain occupied with inspection trips to search for suitable water sources and establishment of appropriate irrigation systems for agricultural projects.
For her long sessions with villagers, H.M. the Queen will settle herself at a designated area such as in the temple grounds, a space in front of a house or even a shady patch in a rubber plantation. The natural elements of heat, high humidity or drizzling rain do not deter her from her earnest wish to give assistance to her subjects. She sits on the ground, informally chatting with the gathered villagers. Sometimes, she will even spread out a piece of plastic cloth near her for them to sit on.
Meantime, doctors start basic examinations, with medicines prepared and distributed accordingly. Members of the royal entourage help to record information on each patient and jot down comments for further medical care.
Her Majesty is most concerned with the health of children, especially when it was discovered that they had never received the necessary vaccinations to prevent tuberculosis, whooping cough, tetanus, diphtheria or polio, as it was not yet possible for the local public health services to reach these remote villages. Therefore, her doctors always travel equipped with these required vaccinations.
Members of the royal entourage distribute milk, prepared in baby bottles, to under-nourished infants. Iodized salt is also distributed, especially to the people in the north and northeast (Issan), where goiter is widespread due to lack of iodine.
Although seriously ill, some people are frightened of modern medication and filled with fear at the thought of surgery. Her Majesty always takes time to explain patiently the necessity of such a medical procedure, which will finally persuade them to take the appropriate treatment. Then it is the turn of the ladies-in-waiting to make regular hospital visits and report back to her on the progress of each case.
Patients are given baskets of nutritious drinks and some personal items to make a hospital stay more comfortable. For the accompanying relatives, travel and pocket money are arranged for them accordingly.
Her Majesty’s deep concern and sympathy for the plight of her people is endless. To effectively extend medical assistance, she has established the Patients Under Royal Care Division as part of the Royal Secretariat to H.M. the Queen, with appropriate procedures in the treatment of patients. Her accomplishment is in line with the direction set by H.M. the King in providing close supervision and the most efficient medical care.
Later on, more and more sick villagers would travel from long distances to gather in front of the royal provincial residence, eagerly awaiting the scheduled arrival of Their Majesties. Therefore, it became the practice of the Royal Mobile Medical Unit to travel in advance in order to extend prior treatment.
The Royal Mobile Medical Unit originated in Chiang Mai at Ban Mae Tho, Tambol Bo Salee, Amphoe Hod in 1970 with Professor Dr. Danai Snidvongs na Ayudhaya as chief of the unit, assisted by a group of ladies-in-waiting. The royal doctor, Dr. Pramote Sophark is also another unit chief, but travels separately to carry out duties in different areas. Later on, a team of specialists from several hospitals, together with a group of rotating volunteers, always accompany the unit on each visit.
On a daily basis, a huge crowd of sick villagers gather in front of the provincial royal residence, anxiously awaiting some medical assistance. Therefore, Her Majesty instructs the Royal Mobile Medical Unit to set up a medical center right there, which is simply known as the “Palace Front Medical Unit” such as at Phuphan Rajanives in Sakon Nakhon and at Taksin Rajanives in Narathivas.
The unit starts treatment in the early morning at the palace, and later in the afternoon accompanies Her Majesty on her daily provincial visits. A group of ladies-in-waiting help in dispensing medicines (later they are assisted by palace officials to prepare the medicines). After examination by a doctor, if necessary, the patient is then sent to a nearby hospital. The royal secretariat officials prepare the necessary letter of admittance for hospitalization, confirming that this particular patient is under royal care. However, if the hospital is far away, then travel money is provided, and the patient is escorted by a village official or border patrol police, and later accompanied home.
Some patients undergo surgery by “Volunteer Doctors” who are stationed at nearby local hospitals during the royal visit. The volunteer doctors program was initiated when Their Majesties were on a visit, in 1973, to the Southern Settlement Development Project at Amphoe Waeng in Narathivas Province. At that time, there were no doctors or nursing facilities, and a trip to the hospital required travel through remote and dangerous areas.
After consultation with the public health minister, Professor Dr. Udom Posakrisana immediately organized a rotating group of doctors to make regular inspection trips to the public health center at King Amphoe Sukhirin, Narathivas. Later, the project expanded to include a group of rotating volunteer specialist surgeons from several hospitals, who contributed their expertise in extending the much needed medical treatment at the Narathivas Hospital during the royal visit. Thus began the “Volunteer Doctors” project headed by Siriraj Hospital doctors and nurses, followed by the University of Surgeons, who took on the additional responsibility of recruiting specialists from various medical fields to carry on this valuable contribution, which continues until present, during the royal provincial visits.
In the case of patients suffering from an illness that cannot be treated locally due to lack of equipment or a specialist such as patients with heart problems, brain damage or needing constant close care, they will become the responsibility of the relevant division at the royal secretariat to H.M. the Queen, which will make arrangements to bring these patients to Bangkok to receive appropriate treatment. Travel money is provided together with food or train tickets. If they cannot travel alone, relatives can accompany with help from the border patrol police or a village official, who will deliver them to the royal secretariat at Chitralada Palace, Bangkok.
For over 40 years, the State Railway has contributed towards this royal charitable assistance by organizing complimentary train vouchers for these patients. On arrival in Bangkok, the official concerned will open a file for personal data and detailed information on the illness in order to make appropriate arrangements.
While awaiting treatment by a specialist or during convalescence after surgery, these patients are accommodated at a rest house at Sukantharam Road in the Dusit district in Bangkok area. The house is divided into male and female sections and is monitored on a 24-hour basis. Food, of three meals daily, is provided from the royal kitchens at Chitralada Palace, with choices of halal Muslim food, supplementary food, nutritious drinks for the elderly, special diet and milk for infants. Personal items such as soap, toothbrush, towel and talcum powder are also provided.
There is a van for hospital visits escorted by officials, who will also accompany the patient during a doctor’s examination and wait for the results.
At present, there are 200-300 patients each month receiving care or being hospitalized in Bangkok. For patients who are hospitalized far away from home, ladies-in-waiting and volunteers make rotation visits to give them warmth and comforting support. A report is kept on the progress of each patient, which is most helpful to the medical division of the royal secretariat. When a patient is fully recovered, arrangements are made for the return trip home, together with periodic hospital visits, as necessary. If a patient dies, then a proper funeral is arranged according to the particular religious rites.
Her Majesty’s medical assistance is not limited only to those who are in attendance during her provincial visits. Assistance is also extended to those people reported by the media, such as newspapers or television, who are suffering from a serious illness, a rare disease or accidentally hurt while doing a good deed as a helpful citizen. Medical assistance is extended until recovery, no matter how high the expenses. Assistance is also given to numerous impoverished villagers who have written to request for help.
Patients under royal care are assured that they will receive the best medical assistance, not only for them but it is also extended to their needy families. Arrangements are made with village officials and members of the local Red Cross to take care of parents or infants. Cash contributions are also given to families until the patient is recovered. In the case of a patient who cannot reach full recovery or has become handicapped with lost limbs and cannot earn a living, Her Majesty will take these under royal patronage or bring other family members to be trained in handicrafts so they can have a profession and will be able to help their family.
Her Majesty’s project of Patients Under Royal Care is effective with the most satisfactory results. Impoverished and sick people, without hope, are given a new lease on life and are able to enjoy a normal family environment again. For those who are not entirely cured, they can still lead a contented existence for many more years. Handicapped people are encouraged and given a chance to create their own profession. Some who think they are terminally ill have miraculously recovered, or those who are ignorant and have such a great fear of any medical care have been persuaded to undergo successful treatments. Her Majesty’s unceasing compassionate concern and sympathetic understanding have brought peace and hope to the people, without discrimination toward any to either class, race or religion.
“Our present day youth is our country’s future. They will be instrumental in the effective development and successful growth of the nation. As a mother, I wish to see all children enjoying a happy childhood, and lovingly cared for from a young age. When they grow up, they will be an asset to the community. They will be ready to assist in developing and promoting the progress of the country and also of the world as a whole.” - Her Majesty the Queen’s Speech, on the occasion of the opening ceremony of a UNICEF event January 13, 1964 at Sala Santitham, Bangkok.
Education is a significant basic foundation and a most important factor for a successful life. It will promote progress and bring security for the future, together with developing a person to be informative and cautious in bringing knowledge and experience to create a profession suitable for himself or herself and generate a happy environment for family and fellow citizens.
An educated person is similar to an individual who is equipped with a personal shield safeguard against being taken advantage of, as well as being easily mistaken or misguided. If a nation is composed of well educated citizens, then it is certain that they will be instrumental in bringing prosperity and stability to the land.
Her Majesty the Queen is fully aware of this from accompanying H.M. the King on their visits to all corners of Thailand. Besides finding people suffering from various ailments, she discovers that the people in underprivileged and remote areas are destitute and existing in a hand to mouth manner. On top of that, they are totally illiterate, without the benefit of any form of education.
Due to their bleak and impoverished circumstances, children do not have the chance of an education, and even a few fortunate ones who attended school have to leave early to find jobs and help support their family. By the time they grow up, they have already lost the chance for education and are unable to make any effective progress for themselves.
With her far sighted vision and grave concern for this situation, Her Majesty searched for ways and means which will alleviate these problems and make all-round improvements.
If a family is so poor and has no land to make a living or is burdened with family responsibilities of too many children, Her Majesty will recommend a suitable occupation which will enable them to earn sufficient money to support the family. If a child wishes to attend school, she will grant a scholarship which will later allow them to be financially independent and to be of help to their family. If a person is creative, then he or she is encouraged to take art or handicraft courses at the SUPPORT Foundation training center.
She is also most skillful at encouraging and supporting these villagers to expand their knowledge and experience which will enable them to enjoy a much better life. For those who have never had the chance or are unable to attend school, she has established several village reading pavilions or “Sala Ruam Jai,” equipped with reading materials, from basic school texts, to picture books and magazines, for villagers to gather in basic reading lessons and enjoy being part of a community.
Because of Her Majesty’s awareness of the value of education, she has contributed her personal funds to grant scholarships. These numbers have increased so significantly that a new division of “Students Under Royal Patronage” was created at the royal secretariat to H.M. the Queen in order to supervise the progress of these numerous students in all regions of the country.
Up to the present, there are tens of thousands of students who have been granted scholarships, and each year these graduates have either set up their own business or returned to their village to promote the social welfare of their own community.
“I am so proud that all the Thai people enjoy a touch of the creative talent, no matter if they are farmers from remote corners of the land or just ordinary villagers with simple occupations. The Thais are equipped with a delicate artistic sense. Given the right opportunity, they can quickly absorb knowledge and will diligently train to present the most exceptional creations.” - Her Majesty the Queen’s Speech, on the occasion of her Birthday Anniversary August 11, 1989 at Dusidalai Hall, Dusit Palace, Bangkok.
Her Majesty the Queen established the arts and handicrafts center on July 21, 1976. It was auspiciously named “Silapacheep” by His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch, Somdej Phra Sangharaj Sakol Maha Sangha Parinayok.
The English version was appropriately translated by Mom Rajawongse Thongnoi Thongyai, Deputy Principal Secretary to H.M. the King as “The Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques, Under Royal Patronage of Her Majesty the Queen.” It became known as “The SUPPORT Foundation” and Her Majesty also took on the position of Chairperson of the Executive Board of Directors.
Her Majesty the Queen has personally managed the operation of this foundation. Therefore, it was considered most appropriate to change the foundation name to The SUPPORT Foundation of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, Phra Baromma Rajini Nath. Changes were also made to the existing Bylaws as the original group of executive directors have passed away or are unable to continue their board duties.
The training center, located at Chitralada Palace in Bangkok, is considered to be the heart of the foundation, as originally planned by Her Majesty who wished to create such a center right in the palace grounds. At first it was not a permanent structure, but rather an informal area where tents were erected beside the royal secretariat.
Then, it was simply known as the art and handicraft training shed.
Later, there was such a rapid increase of underprivileged villagers from all over the country who were being trained at the center that a two-storey building was constructed in 1980 to house trainees, officials and handicraft products. However, space became quickly overcrowded with the increasing number of new trainees that a higher floor was added to the present building in 1982.
In August 1990, H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn contributed her own funds, which were personal gifts from the people that she had accumulated over the years, to construct a 3-storey building opposite the royal secretariat location. She personally oversaw the construction details and presented the building as a birthday anniversary gift to Her Majesty the Queen, which was officially opened by her on August 11, 1991.
The aim of the foundation training center is not only to train these people in various skills, but also to preserve the national heritage and promote traditional arts and handicrafts. It is also the coordination center for officials and foundation members who are located in different parts of the country. It acts as the central purchasing center with suitable storage space, and the distribution center for all foundation products. Most importantly, it is also the headquarters for the SUPPORT Foundation of H.M. the Queen.
Following the establishment of The SUPPORT Foundation in 1976, there was an increasing number of projects generating supplementary income for the villagers. In the central region, a cotton weaving project was launched at Amphoe Pa Mok, Ang Thong Province on August 27, 1976; at Amphoe Bang Pahan, Ayuthaya Province on November 5, 1976; and at Amphoe Bang Ban, Ayuthaya Province on January 19, 1977. From then on, several training centers and training projects were established in all regions of the country.
It was Her Majesty’s aim to create arts and handicrafts from local raw materials, to promote weaving and other skills in traditional designs according to the traditions of that region. This action will preserve the ancient legacy handed down through generations, and inspire and encourage the local people to create a more modern motif that can be harmoniously combined with traditional designs. Therefore, each regional product has its own well known identity that is exclusive to that particular location.
There is a continuous flow of creative art and handicraft items being produced at The SUPPORT Training Center at Chitralada Palace, handed down through the creativity and talent of the masters to the younger generation from provinces or handicapped persons, who are fully supported by the ever caring concern of Her Majesty the Queen. She is also their most supportive instructor in giving compliments and constructive advice, together with presenting prizes, showing morale support and extending necessary assistance and funds. The resulting successful production, accumulated over the years, has appeared in seven exhibitions. These masterpieces are the delight and pride of the nation.
When a member of the foundation is able to stand on his own feet, Her Majesty will start to search for new trainees and needy people to extend her support. At present, the foundation has expanded its activities to include assistance and support in the agricultural field, livestock, forest preservation for water sources, revival of local skills and expertise through numerous projects.
The royal entourage to Her Majesty the Queen is ever ready to lend assistance in these widespread royal projects of various nature varied schemes, from problems of nutrition, occupation, social welfare to environmental issues of the nation.
It is now well over half a century that Their Majesties have made regular visits to their people in all corners of Thailand. From the beginning, it was apparent that, in the provinces and especially the more remote areas, their people were faced with persistent problems which contributed to many types of suffering. Some of their people lived near destitution and even in total misery. With unwavering determination, they embarked on their quest to improve the lives of their people in the most appropriate ways. Their Majesties were well aware that many of these problems and deprivations could be reduced and even eliminated. However, without apt solutions, some of these difficulties could increase significantly to the changing social clime, environment and economy of the nation.
While the majority of H.M. the King’s attention was occupied with core projects to improve agriculture, H.M. the Queen was busy with the development of handicrafts and promoting the welfare of provincial women, children and the elderly. Once these projects operated smoothly, her interests diversified to environmental and some agricultural programs to assist the responsibility of numerous schemes initiated by His Majesty. She considered that agriculture could also be seen as handicraft, because farmers needed to have imagination and creativity to produce the crops and their living. Her early environmental projects were the successful Royal-initiated Forest love Water Project (Paa Rak Nam), and Royal-initiated Little House in the Big Forest Project (Ban Lek Nai Paa Yai), which were soon followed by several other thriving projects.
Her Majesty firmly believed that the most practical way of life is for man to live with the forest, and to protect while also benefiting from the available natural resources. The Royal-initiated Forest Loves Water Project (Paa Rak Nam) in Sakon Nakhon Province, villagers were educated, in simple terms, to thoroughly understand the importance and value of the forest in their lives.
They were taught that the forests were the source of their precious water resources and so they must immediately cease to destroy the forest whether for agriculture or to take the wood. They also learned that if they were to continue to enjoy abundant natural water, they must help to preserve and expand their forested areas.
At the same time, Her Majesty commenced a project know as Doi Kham the Royal-initiated Little House in the Big Forest Project (Ban Lek Nai Paa Yai) on the hills of Chiang Mai Province.
The concept was to create a community where villagers could support themselves by gathering food from the forest. As this was in a border area, they also helped with forest fire protection, safeguarding from illegal loggers, and were on the alert for illicit drug trafficking.
They were discouraged from clearing the forest for their traditional practice of shifting cultivation, which not only destroyed large areas of the forests but also left them unproductive for many years. Instead, they were taught to farm in the more permanent and productive terraced agriculture on the steep hillsides.
There are now several of the Royal-initiated Little House in the Big Forest Projects (Ban Lek Nai Paa Yai) throughout the Kingdom. After establishing each project, Her Majesty would extend appropriate assistance and advice to help improve living conditions, no matter how remote.
For example, the venture at Sibrae, a remote corner far from other villages towards Amphoe Omkoi in Chiang Mai Province, was only reachable by a 4-hour car trip. Another example of Her Majesty’s work was the Forest Preservation Project at Ban Huay Ja Khan, Tambol Ping Khong, Amphoe Chiang Dao in Chiang Mai, where Her Majesty had arranged for the hilltribes, who had migrated from the Muser Lang Muang, Amphoe Omkoi in Chiang Mai to re-settle. As of 2004, there were now 60 families enjoying a peaceful and productive life at this site.
The Royal-initiated Highland Agricultural Development Station was initiated when villagers in Mae Chaem watershed in Chiang Mai Province were suffering from a long drought. They petitioned Her Majesty for royal assistance. After consultation with H.M. the King, an irrigation project was initiated to alleviate these problems. Meantime, Her Majesty also set up the Royal-initiated Highland Agricultural Development Station, where experts assisted the villagers in new farming techniques which were more productive and most suitable to this particular area without having to resort to high technology or expensive machinery.
The project became a model center for neighboring villages to carry out the same successful innovative practice, which also included raising different types of crops and cultivating livestock.
“We created Model Farms in order to educate and train the villagers to increase their food stock so that they will not be faced with problems during the lean months. Secondly, it is our wish that everyone should have an occupation which will enable them to earn a living. Therefore, we extend assistance by giving them jobs at the model farm.
“At the same time, they begin to learn the proper way of raising chickens, ducks and other livestock.
When they are ready to start their own farms, they can put these innovative methods to good use…” - Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Anniversary Speech Monday, August 11, 2003 at Dusidalai Pavilion, Chitralada Palace.
The concept of the Royal-initiated Model Farm Project was not only to end forest destruction caused by shifting cultivation and opium growing production, but was also another way of extending assistance and, at the same time, educating the villagers to new agricultural methods, together with teaching them the importance of producing and storing sufficient food. The principal aim of the Royal-initiated Model Farm Project was as follows:
1.To produce quality products.
2. To educate and carry out on-the-job training in new technologies.
3. To offer employment and teach villagers new farming methods.
Later, Her Majesty commanded that the model farm should consider employment as its first priority as it was evident that the villagers and their families benefited from a regular income for food, clothes, school fees, transportation and doctors. Another advantage was that a model farm also served as a site for educational field trips for students and as a tourist attraction.
“We were able to establish the first Model Farm from contributions received by The SUPPORT Foundation, which were generously donated by people throughout the country. We purchased a plot of land on a hill in Chiang Mai where there were so many destitute hilltribes. As there was such a scarcity of food, they existed by smoking opium. During our visit, they made an appeal to their “mae” or mother, for any kind of jobs for their village. In return, they were willing to destroy all the poppy fields and would start to work hard and honestly.” - Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Anniversary Speech, Saturday, August 11, 2001 at Dusidalai Pavilion, Chitralada Palace.
The first model farm was initiated in the northern region. When Her Majesty made a visit to Ban Khun Pae, a group of former drug addicts petitioned her for assistance as they had no way to earn a living. She commanded Sahas Boonyaviwat, Deputy Secretary-General for Special Affairs attached to the Royal Household, to search for a suitable location, which was found at Ban Khun Tae, Amphoe Jomthong, Chiang Mai Province. As it was such a remote corner, the villagers were still awaiting help for the piece of land that they had already cleared for cultivation.
Her Majesty immediately put her new plan into practice by starting a Model Farm. In fact, it was the same group of villagers who had appealed for help earlier. They were indeed fortunate that their request was so promptly realized.
Ban Mae Taam, Amphoe Soem Ngam in Lampang Province already has a flourishing handicraft center for supplementary income, but no agricultural project, so Her Majesty organized another model farm at this location, followed by another at Ban Mae Tung Ting, Amphoe Samoeng in Chiang Mai.
After these first model farms met with success, model farms were established in disadvantaged areas throughout the country.
For areas experiencing problems but unable to receive assistance from The SUPPORT Foundation, Her Majesty would contribute funds to start up a small village livestock farm, which was closely supervised by local officials. Another budget would also be allocated for maintenance, necessary construction and replenishment of livestock such as pigs, cows and ducks. For the southern region, which was more suitable for fishing and fish farming, the villagers were encouraged to cultivate Krasang fish or Garoupa at Ban Laweng.
In November 1995, Her Majesty was in residence at Phuphan Rajanives Palace in Sakon Nakhon Province. The then Colonel Pichet Visaijorn informed her that 12 families living in the area of Paa Dong Yai forest were suffering because the land they had previously farmed had become very infertile and unproductive. Through joint cooperation, they decided to stop farming and instead start restoring the forest until the area would be once more lush and green.
Her Majesty felt that such a good deed should be rewarded and honored to become an incentive for other villagers to follow this fine example.
Therefore, a royal Forest Preservation to Protect Life Flag was created and presented to the villagers of Paa Dong Yai, Amphoe Hua Taphan in Amnat Charoen Province, which was soon followed by the villagers of Dong Na Tham in Ubon Ratchathani Province who also worked as a community to protect their forests.
The Forest Preservation to Protect Life flag of honor is blue, 80cm wide and 114cm long, decorated with a crown in the center and H.M. the Queen’s royal initials SK in an oval space. The center is also decorated with two trees flanked by 1, 2 or 3 elephants in accordance with the grade of the flag. The edge is embroidered with dark blue silk.
Blue is Her Majesty’s personal color, green indicates a cool and pleasant area, trees for the forest and elephants mean a prosperous land.
The Forest Preservation to Protect Life flag is used for activities concerning the preservation of forest, wildlife and the environment and is proudly flown by the villagers. However, if it is discovered that the villagers have not kept up their vigilance, then the flag will be removed.
The Forest Preservation Volunteers are villagers who actually live in the area where the forest is being protected. Although capable and alert in their protection tasks, their efforts have not reached the required standard to achieve a Forest to Preserve Life Flag. Therefore, in order to show appreciation for their vigilance, Her Majesty has set up a Forest Preservation Volunteers Unit, known by the initials Ror Sor Por Tor, with regular training by forestry officials and military personnel to promote the proper way of life to achieve “harmony between man and forest.”
It was Her Majesty’s farsighted vision, and her firm belief, that if people were fed and led a reasonably happy life, they would not seek to destroy forests in order to make a living, and would not even consider other dishonest means to earn money. Therefore, she established the Food Bank with the purpose of ensuring that villagers would have sufficient food stored to last during the lean months.
At first, the idea was put into practice to support farmers who were unable to produce anything because of a long drought or a flood disaster. Food and grains were distributed to help the villagers survive during such hard times.
When the fields were productive again, villagers reimbursed the food banks with some of their produce. For food banks located outside agricultural areas, villagers were able to make their reimbursements with some other available produce.
The Food Bank concept came out of true royal support or royal sponsorship. A granary would be constructed as a food bank to stock rice and grains, which was supervised by the village committee, selected by the villagers themselves. Regular reports would be made to local officials and sometimes regional military units. At present, there are over 200 Food Banks located all over Thailand.
It was Her Majesty’s custom to make regular visits to Ban Laweng in Pattani, where she would hold work sessions at the pavilion with local villagers, and those from nearby Ban Rang Mod Dang, Amphoe Mai Kaen.
At one time, villagers petitioned for royal assistance as fishing was becoming very scarce. Her Majesty discussed this issue with the fisheries officials and mentioned that the villagers were hoping to have some sort of refuge for the fish to lay eggs in, which could also act as a safe shelter away from fishing nets. At that particular time, the railway department was about to offer old rail carriages for sale. This was an ideal solution and the train carriages were transformed into fish houses, and would also act as a stimulus to develop new coral reefs.
H.M. the King advised the officials concerned to carefully study the terrain as the act of sinking large train carriages into the sea could cause water flow problems and might even be ecologically harmful. After careful consideration, during the first year, a fleet of 200-300 train carriages were sunk around Sai Buri, which was about 10-12 km from shore at a depth of 25 to 25 meters. The next drop was only 3 km from shore. Within one year, schools of huge fish such as Potato Cods or Pla Moh Talay, whose size were larger than the train windows, could be seen happily swimming around the new “homes”, which were already heavily covered with oyster shells and coral.
The colored caladium plants are quite rare and much sought after by avid gardeners. However, they are rather difficult to cultivate due to their delicate nature. The green leaves are beautifully streaked with a reddish-pink glow or they can turn bronze-red all over, an appearance much admired by experts.
Her Majesty was concerned that this beautiful plant could soon become extinct, and initiated a project to research the best cultivation, and at the same time to further improve its beauty. When Her Majesty was in residence at Taksin Rajanives Palace, where she regularly held handicraft competitions on Yan Lipao, Krajude, Rua Gorae and other items, she suddenly realized that the southern climate was most suitable to raise these colored caladium plants. If encouraged and nurtured properly, it could become another successful project to provide supplementary income for the southern people. The project was established in 1998 and annual competitions, entered by villages from the three southern-most provinces, were held for the flourishing colored caladium plants.
The many projects, established by Her Majesty’s the Queen, all progress in line with the concept of development and advancement for a better living.
First, the existing problems are solved, especially with regard to lack of food. Then after careful consideration, a suitable solution is found together with an appropriate occupation initiated for these many different areas.
With her far-sighted vision and supreme benevolence, Her Majesty continues with her lifelong mission in improving the quality of life and welfare of her people.
“As for this prestigious award, I myself as another Thai citizen, received it with pride on behalf of all our people. It will be an honor to take this award back to our country. It clearly shows that the Thais are now well known and admired by overseas people.” - Her Majesty the Queen’s Speech on the occasion of an informal audience with the Thai Community during her Official Visit to receive an award at the Grand Ballroom, Plaza Hotel, New York City, U.S.A. November 5, 2001.
From the glorious celebration of her Royal Wedding day over half a century ago, Her Majesty the Queen has dedicated her time, strength and energy following in the direction, clearly set by H.M. the King, with regard to the advancement of the nation and the development of welfare for their people. With her indomitable spirit and determination to alleviate the hardships experienced by those in underprivileged and remote areas, she was also resolute in her wish to bring the country and its potential to the attention of the global arena, as Thailand was a relatively unknown entity fifty years ago.
Through decades of dedication and hard work, Her Majesty has been instrumental in bringing the country into the global limelight and gaining worldwide recognition. Among other attributes, Thailand is now famed for its charming traditions and creative talents. It is no wonder that, through the years, both international and local organizations, and institutions, have honored her with exceptional awards and university degrees.
In 1960, Their Majesties embarked on a lengthy journey to make a series of state visits overseas. The impact of such an undertaking was truly memorable. Thailand, with its young monarch and exquisite queen, was suddenly identified as a most attractive prospect for trade and travel. The royal couple was most warmly welcomed by royalties and heads of state throughout the western world. Over the years, these illustrious leaders made reciprocal visits to Thailand, which have resulted in much closer relationships between the countries. In fact, Their Majesties have effectively opened the doors to Thailand. Later, they also made state visits to neighboring countries, both in Asia and the Pacific.
When Their Majesties finally returned to Thailand after these long and strenuous trips, H.M. the Queen continued with her various handicraft projects and numerous other occupations such as promoting educational and social welfare schemes, supporting women’s rights issues, establishing plans for environmental preservation and restoration of forest and wildlife, commencing campaigns for charitable organizations and acting as head of the Red Cross Society. With ever increasing responsibilities over these numerous projects, it was not possible for Her Majesty to make many visits overseas.
However, when the SUPPORT Foundation was firmly established and its members at the training center at Chitralada Palace in Bangkok were producing exceptional traditional handicraft items, some of which were truly exquisite masterpieces, it was time to promote these treasures overseas. With great pride, Her Majesty wished to let the world see how simple farmers could create the most beautiful and delicate works of art. When her intentions were known, invitations were extended from the United States, Japan and France for Her Majesty to organize exclusive exhibitions. At major cities such as Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, the American people were able to enjoy these wonderful exhibits, with a special introduction and narration by Her Majesty.
In Japan, Her Majesty escorted Emperor Akihito and personally introduced these treasures at a grand exhibition. He was most impressed and interested in these magnificent handicrafts. The Japanese viewers, well known for their selective and discerning taste, wished to immediately purchase several pieces, but unfortunately, these exhibits were on show only. However, Japanese designers were so impressed with the Mudmee Thai silk that they used this lovely fabric to create elegant kimonos, which were included in a special fashion show.
In France, a unique exhibition was held at the Eiffel Tower which was accompanied by leading artists from The SUPPORT Foundation. Madame Chirac, wife of the President of France, was delighted with these remarkable items and commented on the surprising creative talent of simple Thai farmers.
Rich with an ancient culture, charming traditions and inspirational handicrafts, it has always been Her Majesty’s steadfast objective to present the opulent heritage of Thailand to the world. Now, her wish has been fully realized. As Asther Coopersmith of the Children’s Museum in Washington, D.C., who has had the opportunity to be in attendance to Her Majesty on several occasions, comments:
“For Her Majesty, the culture, tradition, and the ever increasing potentials of Thailand are her first priorities. She has an infinite pride and loving concern for her people and takes every opportunity to show the impressive culture and traditions, together with the rich treasures of Thailand. These are definitely the most sophisticated mode and effective approach to promote friendship and understanding between Thailand and the rest of the world.”
Through the decades, Her Majesty continued with her hard work and single-minded devotion in responding to the directives and required actions, as set by H.M. the King, in the total commitment to their country. It was their royal duty and responsibility to extend assistance to their deprived subjects. They were both earnest in their various undertakings in order to enhance and improve the welfare of their people.
International organizations have shown their recognition and warm appreciation for her long and arduous endeavors by presenting Her Majesty with high honors and exceptional awards for her various accomplishments.
Her Majesty the Queen has been a constant companion by H.M. the King’s side throughout the year. Whenever H.M. the King has been able to visit his loyal subjects, H.M. the Queen always accompanied him.
In 2012, to mark the 80th birthday anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, the Government Public Relations Department (PRD) published the book, “By the Grace of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit” as a tribute to Her Majesty. The book features life and work of Her Majesty, who is recognized as Mother of the Land. Since her first appearance by the side of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1950, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit has been the benefactress of the land, the joy and inspiration of the Thai nation. With her great compassion and keen aesthetic sense, Her Majesty the Queen initiated various projects to improve rural life, livelihood, and the environment in all localities visited by her.
In Sept. 2012, the Government launched a project to plant 800 million saplings by 2016, as part of the celebrations of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s 80th birthday anniversary this year. Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Preecha Rengsomboonsuk, said that, throughout the five-year period, people from all walks of life are being urged to join the project as volunteers to help replant forests. In 2012, the first year of the project, 20 million saplings were planted. In 2013, 180 million saplings were planted, and each year from 2014 to 2016, 200 million saplings will be planted. The project is meant to show gratitude to Her Majesty the Queen, who is well known for her efforts in natural resource and environmental conservation.
The Government is proceeding with the project known as Water Conservation for the Mother of the Land, in response to Her Majesty the Queen’s wishes for natural resource and environmental conservation. The master plan for the second phase of the project won Cabinet approval on 2 October 2012 following a proposal by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. The second phase, scheduled for 2013-2016, comes after the first phase, carried out from 2008 to 2011, was completed. The Cabinet was told that, although the first phase was successful to a certain extent, many rural remote villages and communities still faced water shortages during the dry season. As a consequence, local farmers were unable to produce sufficient rice for consumption. The project has also faced some constraints, since a number of villagers in target areas have low education and are not able to read Thai. For this reason, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives deemed it necessary to continue the project in the second phase to cope with the constraints and to achieve the set target for sustainable development.
In the second phase, human development will be carried out for people living in river basins to achieve balanced development and conservation, in accordance with His Majesty the King’s initiatives. Local communities will be empowered through learning promotion and occupational development. The second phase of the project also focuses on natural resource and environmental management in a holistic manner. Food security will be given a major boost, and local people will be provided with greater access to government services and more opportunities to make use of natural resources.
May 7, 2013: The Cabinet endorsed the proposal by the Ministry of Education to present Her Majesty Queen Sirikit with the title of “Mother and Teacher of the Land.” The presentation is meant to honor Her Majesty the Queen in commemoration of her 80th birthday anniversary, 12 August 2012. The Cabinet has appointed a committee, chaired by the Permanent Secretary for the Prime Minister’s Office, to screen relevant documents to seek royal permission for the presentation.
Her Majesty is aware of the need to eliminate illiteracy and reduce social disadvantages. She believes that education is necessary for human, social, and national development. Her Majesty has contributed to Thailand’s education in many ways. For instance, she has granted scholarships for needy students and disadvantaged youths.