A Celebration of Life dinner party for Archie Dunlop was held at the Royal Cliff grillroom following his death last month whilst on a cruise in Sri Lanka. Born in Scotland in 1922, Archie had a varied career in the RAF and the British police – including responsibility for the security of the British contingent at the Nuremburg trials after the Second World War – before becoming the proprietor of two London gay night clubs and conducting substantial property transactions in Spain.
The dinner, attended by 64 friends and associates, was not a somber affair but an opportunity to share laughter and storytelling. Ron Weston, a fellow Scotsman, formally welcomed the guests whilst Ben Vickers, who was with Archie on his final cruise, gave thanks to the people who had cared for him in his final years. A one minute silence was held as a mark of respect for the nonagenarian. Another long term friend, Brian Songhurst, read out a letter from Diane Walker, Archie’s niece living in New Zealand, in which she reviewed her uncle’s life and noted his generosity and sense of humour. Archie’s ashes are to be returned to Carstairs in Scotland where he was born.
Archie began visiting Pattaya as a vacationer in the late 1970s and, over the years, made the resort his second home. He became an active fundraiser for several local charities, in particular those dealing with medical treatment for sufferers of aids-related diseases. His dinner parties were a significant element of Pattaya’s social calendar and his regular world-wide cruises the subject of wonder and amazement. He was well into his 90s when he visited the Falkland Islands and several South American countries. Not even an accidental fall and broken bones during a Mediterranean cruise in 2017 could persuade him to give up his love of international travel.
In a short obituary speech, Barry Kenyon reminded everyone of Archie’s accomplishments and suggested that part of farang Pattaya died with the passing of such a well-known icon. “He started life in the same year as Judy Garland and Christopher Lee, but outlived them both,” said Barry. “Not even movie stars could outmatch his many-sided achievements and zest for life.”