Grand celebrations held at Thai Garden Resort
It was indeed an honour not only for Austrians in Pattaya but also for the local community as H.E. Dr Eva Hager chose to celebrate the Austrian National Day in Pattaya on 26 October at the Thai Garden Resort.
This was all made possible by the inspiration and generosity of Gerrit and Anselma Niehaus, owners of the Thai Garden Resort, who were instrumental in organising the festivities.
As if that wasn’t enough, the benevolent entrepreneurs invited 5 members of the Grand Opera of Bangkok to perform classical numbers composed by the greats of classical music, Amadeus Mozart, Johann Strauss, Franz Schubert and Gustav Mahler.
Adding a sense of dignity and importance to the gathering were our city fathers, led by Banglamung District Chief Naris Niramaiwong, Deputy Mayors Poramet Ngampiches and Ronakit Ekasing, along with VP of the Pattaya City council Rattanachai Suttidechanai. The Honorary Consul of Austria in Pattaya Rudolf Hofer was in attendance to ensure that the guests received the best of Austrian hospitality and gemütlichkeit.
Pattaya Mail MD Peter Malhotra led guests through the proceedings, introducing the VIPs and other guests.
H.E. Dr Eva Hager launched the celebrations whereby the Grand Opera singers gave an emotional rendition of Thailand’s Royal Anthem followed by the Austrian National Anthem, proposing a toast to both H.M. King Vajiralongkorn of Thailand and H.E. Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President of the Republic of Austria.
H.E. the ambassador delivered her speech to the guests by narrating excerpts of Austria’s proud history and the long and cordial relations between Thailand and Austria saying, “In 2018, we commemorate the 100 years’ anniversary of the end of the First World-War. At the end of the war, the international architecture had changed considerably with the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the rise of new nations. On 12th of November 1918, the First Austrian Republic was proclaimed. The new State had to struggle with the brutal post-war reality: devastation, hunger and malnutrition, especially of children, want, misery, poor health and desolate medical supply.
“Despite audacious reforms such as the introduction of modern labour rights, and of general suffrage for women as early as 1920, pervasive unemployment, devaluation of the currency and the economic crises swept the new State into a loop of rising extremism combined with racism and into the tragedy of the 2nd World War.
“In 2018, we also commemorate the sinister year of 1938, when Austria was taken over by the forces of Nazi-Germany and ceased to exist as a sovereign and independent state. The consequences such as massive persecution, genocide and destruction world-wide were again devastating.
“Austria was to revive only at the end of the 2nd World-War. On 27th of April 1945 the Second Republic was proclaimed and Austria finally regained its place among the community of sovereign and independent nations with the State Treaty in 1955.
“As early as 1953, the relations between Austria and Thailand were formally resumed followed by decades of friendship and co-operation in areas such as education, culture, strong commercial and economic exchanges and important political visits such as the State visit of Their Majesties the late King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit to Austria in 1964.
“Our relations had been established by a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the Kingdom of Siam as early as 1869. So, next year we shall celebrate the depth and richness of our 150 years of bilateral relations with important cultural and social events both in Bangkok and in Vienna.”
Banglamung District Chief Naris Niramaiwong and Deputy Mayor Poramet Ngampiches thanked the ambassador for her kind words and ensured her that Austrians living and working in Pattaya and the Eastern Seaboard were under the love and care of the local authorities and promised to look after their safety and welfare throughout the length of their stay whether they were short term visitors or permanent residents.
Formalities over, guests were entertained by the magnificent Grand Opera Bangkok singers including Stefan Sanchez, Mashima Meebamroong, Kittiphong Klabprathum, Tae Miyata and Nutchapong Asavakarn with repertoires of the immortal classics composed by Mozart, Strauss, Schubert and Mahler.
The Thai Garden Buffet laid on a most extraordinary buffet with a vast selection of Thai, International and Austrian food whilst the inhouse trio serenaded the guests during the intermission.
As guests bid fond farewells to each other, one could hear the Austrian Ambassador praising the high quality of hospitality and service of the Thai Garden staff and thanked the management for honoring the Austrians by putting together a most memorable evening of food, drink, culture and music.