“Araya” Arlette Cykman, will be well remembered for her vast contribution to various charities and work with the Pattaya International Ladies Club, Pattaya.
Born in Shanghai to a Russian aristocratic mother and Armenian-Egyptian father, she arrived in Thailand in 1949 and her family quickly became a significant contributor to business in the Kingdom.
From their introduction of the very first ice cream parlor, “Dairy Bell” to dealing in bronze and Nielloware, they added Thai silk to their products and built a weaving factory in Surin.
After schooling in the United States, Arlette returned to Thailand to help her mother co-ordinate and design accessories for their silk garment shop, the Star of Siam.
Arlette came to Pattaya in 1995 and became one of the founding members of PILC. This involvement marked the start of her life’s work improving the lives of the less-fortunate.
As one of the organizers of the first PILC Bazaars, she started a raffle and gained sponsors. What began as a market of 30 booths grew to a bazaar of more than 80 stalls. Together with the annual charity ball, which she initiated, the bazaar continued to earn a considerable sum of money for charities in and around Pattaya.
Arlette continued to donate her time, adding the Rotary Club to her list of activities. In 2002, she received a plaque from the mayor of Pattaya for her contributions. She received the Paul Harris Award from the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya.
Arlette’s biggest achievement stands today on Sukhumvit Road: The North Star Library. The facility was built through Arlette’s efforts on behalf of orphans from the Father Ray Foundation to learn and a community space for all of Pattaya to use. Books from her mother, Vera Cykman, and her friend, Maxine North were used to stock the library initially, and photos of the two women can be seen in the library today.
Among her many talents, she was a fine embroiderer and painter. Beautiful hand painted t-shirts and place mats raised funds for school scholarships. Arlette’s generosity raised many hundreds of thousands of baht for charity.
While Arlette became a recluse in her later years, she was much loved, and will be remembered with fondness by expatriates who are now spread across the globe.
Funeral services will be held at St Nickolas Church on Tuesday June 1, 2021 at 10 a.m.