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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
Charitable meals for Chonburi Children Center

Sikh community celebrates Gurpurab

Wooden Heart

Networking Brits

The British aren't coming

Chonburi to celebrate "Handicap Day 1999"

Charitable meals for Chonburi Children Center

The Associate Court Judge of the Family and Juvenile Court of Chonburi, Sophin Thappajug met with other community members last week to visit and present donations to the Chonburi Juvenile Observation and Protection Center.

Juvenile and Family Court Associate Judge Sophin Thappajug visiting the children at the Chonburi Observation and Protection Center in Rayong.

Located in Rayong, this center is a training and detention facility for over 1000 children aged seven to eighteen, who have been processed by the Juvenile Court.

Visiting with Sophin were the President of Pattaya and Naklua Gold Shops Group, Somchai Marnotavorn, the Assistant Director of the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, Neera Sirisampan, the Chairman of the Pattaya Sports Club Golf Committee, Mike Franklin, Chatri Areepitax of the Sing Construction company and members of the Pratumnak Lions Club.

Chatri Areepitax donated the lunch for the thousand children including some very welcome ice blocks. It was an impressive sight to see one thousand children lined up and sitting politely through speeches while waiting for lunch, reciting their thanks and not fidgeting at all.

Sophin said, “The center was very pleased to have lunch donated, not many people do that. It costs 20,000 baht for each meal, and they are very under-funded, being only given a budget of 6 baht per child per meal. So they have to rely on community donations. To run the center with its 1000 children and staff and metal work, music, electrical, hairdressing and carpentry workshops takes a budget of 9 million baht a year and the government only provides baht 6 million. That leaves a large gap. They also desperately need books both in Thai and English, so if there are there are any community members out there who are able to donate books, they would be very welcomed.”

Somchai Marnothavorn presented 2000 kg of pineapples on behalf of the Pattaya Naklua Gold Shops Group and the Pratumnak Lions Club. Neera Sirisampan presented two boxes of first aid and medical supplies from the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, and Mike Franklin presented a further cheque for 30,000 Baht on behalf of the Pattaya Sports Club for much needed tables and benches. The center is overcrowded and about fifty or more children have to sit on the floor to eat.

Sophin said, “Pattaya is the second worst area for juvenile crime, after Bangkok. The first problem is drugs and the second theft. Because of the overcrowding situation here in Rayong we have to release some of these children before their sentence is up. We are desperately looking for charity from the community. We have the land to build another Juvenile Center in Chonburi but we have no budget.”

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Sikh community celebrates Gurpurab

Anniversaries associated with the lives of the Sikh Gurus are referred to as Gurpurabs (festivals). Of these the important ones are the birthdays of Guru Nanak and Guru Govind Singh and the martyrdom days of Guru Arjun Dev and Guru Teg Bahadur.

Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith, was born in a Punjabi village (which is now in Pakistan) in 1469. His birth anniversary, or Guru Nanak’s Jayanti, which falls in the months of October-November (Kartik), is enthusiastically celebrated by Sikhs as Gurpurab.

Gurpurabs witness the culminations of Prabhat Pheris, the early morning religious procession which goes around the localities singing Shabads (hymns). These Pheris generally start three weeks before the festival. Devotees offer sweets and tea when the procession passes by their residence.

The ladies of the Sikh community at the celebrations.

In Pattaya the celebrations start with the three-day Akhand Path in which the Granth Sahib (the holy book of the Sikhs) is read continuously from beginning to end without a break. Conclusion of the reading coincides with the day of the festival.

On this day the Granth Sahib is carried in procession throughout the village or city. It is placed on a float or a van strewn with flowers. Five armed guards, who represent the Panj Pyares, head the procession carrying Nishan Sahibs (the Sikh flag). Local bands are hired for playing religious music for the procession. Marching schoolchildren are a special part of the procession. Free sweets and langar are also offered to the general public outside some gurdwaras.

Last week, devout Sikh residents of Pattaya made a special pilgrimage to the Siri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara (Sikh temple) in Soi 17, where special programmes were arranged and kirtans (religious songs) were sung. Langar or community lunch was also arranged in the gurdwara. The Langar was open to people of all walks of life and of all faiths. Local volunteers served it with a spirit of Seva (service) and Bhakti (devotion).

At night Sikhs illuminated and decorated their houses and Gurdwaras with candles and electric lights.

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Wooden Heart

The Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) were present for the opening of the Royal Garden Resort’s exhibition of elephant wood carvings. Under the tutelage of master carver Petch Viriya, the carvers from Baan Chang Nak are displaying their talents and methods in carving these life-like statues.

Expert woodcarvers from Baan Chang Nak create life-like masterpieces of elephants in intricate detail.

Mai-Mai shop from Bangkok are also running a special auction of one of these masterpieces, with the proceeds going directly to the FAE to assist them with their wonderful work in preserving and helping distressed elephants.

Soraida Salwala, the founder of the FAE Foundation was on hand to describe some of the work the FAE carries out. This ranges from running an elephant hospital at Lampang, through to arranging mobile veterinary clinics to go directly to the villages to diagnose and treat elephants too sick to make the journey to the hospital. In this way, the FAE have, to date, helped over 500 of these majestic beasts.

The exhibition will close this weekend, so if you are quick you will not miss out on this opportunity to marvel at the skills of these master craftsmen.

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Networking Brits

The British Chamber of Commerce, Thailand, held a networking evening at Henry J. Bean’s Bar and Grill last weekend. As Assistant Chairperson, Jill Thomas said, “These evenings give us all the opportunity to meet up with different business people for mutual advantage.”

(L to R) Gethin Thomas of Hercules Co., Ltd., Jill Thomas, Headmistress of St Andrews International School, Tom Athey, Director of RAI Media Co., Ltd., and Nick Halliwell, Managing Director of Evergreen Comware “network” at Henry J. Bean’s Bar and Grill.

The advantage seekers were all seen earnestly discussing everything from IT needs, IT problems and IT providers, logistics, real estate and restaurants, while scoffing up the finger food supplied by the Henry J. Bean’s staff and washing it down with Carlsberg.

One interested networker was Tom Athey, a Brit from Newcastle, who is now the Director of RAI Media in Bangkok. Tom was in Pattaya to oversee the huge MUST Convention being held at the even huger Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall. Making sure that everything ran smoothly, Pierre-Andre Pelletier of the famous smile flashed his pearly whites and a good time was had by everyone. The Pattaya Mail will let all the BCCT members know when their next function is being held.

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The British aren't coming

Faced with a number of blank weekends in the Pattaya Panther’s sporting calendar, fixture secretary and master tactician Adrian Sparrow sent a team to the Bangkok 7s with the express instructions to lose as heavily as possible as often as possible. Having carried out these instructions to the letter, we now have several clubs eagerly hammering at the door of Delaney’s in search of a game. Recently it was the turn of the British Club from Bangkok.

The Panthers sent out a team with possibly several changes from last time, however no one could quite remember. There were one or two enforced changes including stalwart scrumhalf Oink Quirke who was unavailable and so he was replaced by fellow Scot Steve Turner. Eco-warrior Dave “Rain Forest” Garred has returned from picketing The Beach and so resumed his place on the wing.

A notable highlight of the day was the long-awaited debut of Fijian centre Jean-Paul Daniels, a French teacher at G.I.S. Despite joining the club back in September, Jean-Paul has yet to make an appearance in a competitive fixture for the Panthers. In fact, doubts about his Fijian heritage had begun to circulate at the club. It was rumoured that what he actually said on the day he first arrived was “I’ve been to Fiji” or the even more plausible “I’ve seen Mount Fuji.”

In a last minute change of plans, the Panthers were able to include Thomas Paemeleir in the starting line-up alongside Ralph Mounty in the second row. In a somewhat fortuitous turn of events, Thomas accidentally turned up on time by arriving four weeks late for the Panther s previous fixture.

In keeping with the Remembrance Day weekend, at 11am precisely referee Dave William’s whistle signalled a minute’s silence for those members of the British Club missing in action in Singapore. A further five hours of silence followed whilst we waited for the remaining members of the British Club to turn up for this fixture.

Eventually, however, at 4 o’clock the match kicked off with the Panthers anxious to make up for lost time. In an amazing opening, flying prop-forward Dave Richardson twice broke through the frankly non-existent defences of the British Club and the Panthers were 14-0 up with barely five minutes on the clock.

This set the tone for the rest of the half with the Pattaya forwards able to exploit their 80kg-a-man advantage in the scrum at will. Pete Lomu went on many a foray up field, swatting away the B.C. tacklers as if they didn’t exist. By now Pattaya were rampant and further tries were scored by Z.T. Greek & Cameron Highlands and the Panthers reached the interval leading 40-0.

The only player reluctant to get involved in the action was Fergal O Neal who had modelling commitments later that evening. He also complained that the shocking pink of the B.C. shirts clashed with his socks. In a curiously eloquent and wide ranging half-time team talk, Fergal felt that the shirts were an affront to modern sporting haute couture “more Jasper Conran than Fran Cotton” as he put it.

The Panthers made several changes for the second half, bringing on Pattaya Playboy and general man about town Phil Thompson at prop and wonderkid Paul Crouch, the Oklahoma farm boy, in the centres. Paul has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the rugby world since arriving in Pattaya. Only a matter of weeks ago he was still playing little league baseball on his parent’s farm in Gooberville.

The break gave little respite for the beleaguered British as the Panthers continued the onslaught in the second half. “Man” of the match was surely Welshman Ceri Davies who, not to be outdone by his sister’s exploits in the Pattaya Panties fixture earlier, ran in a hat-trick of second half tries through a defence that at times was nowhere to be seen.

The British misery was compounded by the accuracy of Charlie Nordchamps conversions which saw the opposition hopes sink “faster than the Rainbow Warrior” as, a rumoured, team francophobe was keen to point out. Charlie is one of a number of players who, due to recent French successes, have come out of hiding in Pattaya’s little known French quarter. We have also been joined by the back-row twins Laurant and Jean-Charles Lebouef who blockaded the midfield superbly to ensure the British Club never threatened the Panther’s line.

There were further late tries for Hiro Kubota and Pete Bull who ran through the B.C. cover that was noticeable only by its absence. By the end the Panthers had amassed a totally unbelievable 78 points without reply. As the sun sank behind the I.S.R. tower the referee’s whistle signalled the last post for team captain and fitness guru Chris Bradshaw who leaves us for a recently vacated position with the All Blacks.

All players then returned to Delaney’s where wingman Rob Oldfield showed excellent handling skills and was awarded a try that he was unfortunately unable to convert.

The afternoon had been a spectacular success for the Panthers who provided a festival of running rugby. David McCallum, the B.C. captain, thanked the Panthers for the excellent spirit in which the highly entertaining game had been played. The Panthers now go into their next match against the Bangkok Japanese full of hope with one consecutive victory under their belt.

See us in action or contact Dave Garred on (038)425611 ext. fitness club or Kim Fletcher (038) 710641-43. Training is on Tuesday nights at the Ambassador Hotel, Jomtien 6pm Panties, & 7pm Panthers.

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Chonburi to celebrate “Handicap Day 1999”

The Chonburi Handicapped Development President, Prakid Inthisit announced a combined activity between the Chonburi Handicapped Development Group and the Pattaya Redemptorist Center for the Blind. The two groups will be organizing a “Chonburi Handicapped Persons Day” at the Pattaya Redemptorist Center for the Blind on 4 December.

Prakid explained that the activity is planned to encourage handicapped people in Chonburi and adjacent areas to participate in activities as persons having full rights, and to instill awareness in others that handicapped people are important individuals with rights just like everyone else. The activities of the day will include on-stage performances providing handicapped persons the chance to display their skills and improve their talents illustrating what handicapped persons can achieve.

Krydsana Chayarat from ITV Television will be the moderator for the show entitled “Meet Famous People”. In addition, various agencies in the administration and private sector will be putting on other expositions. Handicapped people will also have the opportunity to register for employment.

Over 2,500 handicapped persons are expected to attend and everyone is welcome. The day’s activities will begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m.

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Copyright 1999 Pattaya Mail Publishing Co.Ltd.
370/7-8 Pattaya Second Road, Pattaya City, Chonburi 20260, Thailand 
Tel.66-38 411 240-1, 413 240-1, Fax:66-38 427 596; e-mail: [email protected]
Updated by Boonsiri Suansuk.