July 31. 1947 – April 19, 2020
David Garmaise, a longtime member of the Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC) passed away after battling liver cancer for two years at Bangkok Hospital Pattaya at 2:40pm on Sunday, April 19, 2020, just shy of his 73rd birthday with his loving Thai partner Urasin (Wat) Khantaraphan at his side. His funeral and cremation were held at Wat Boon Samphan on Saturday, April 25, with both Expat and Thai friends there to say goodbye.
David was one of the pillars that held up the Pattaya City Expats Club since he joined in October 2007. He served on the Governing Board beginning in 2010 and as Club Secretary from July 2011 to July 2016, at which time other illness forced him to step down and limit his participation. His partner, Wat, devotedly took care of David, but also continued to participate in the PCEC Sunday meetings, taking photographs for the Club’s Pattaya Mail articles.
One of David’s much appreciated and great contributions to the Club was to share his hobby of making video clips from movies and other sources. He shared these in several presentations at PCEC meetings, accompanied by informative and often very humorous narrative about his chosen theme; much to the enjoyment of his PCEC friends.
David also involved himself in other projects. He helped organize a PCEC special interest group in 2009 called Friends of PDA, which raised funds to participate with the Population & Community Development Association (PDA) formed by Mechai Viravaidya in their Village Development Partnership program. A very successful achievement. In addition, he was the editor and contributor since 2005 to the Global Fund Observer; a publication of the non-profit organization Aidspan. This non-profit is based in Kenya and its mission is to reinforce the effectiveness of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
David was born in Canada on July 31, 1947 and led a productive life before moving to Thailand. The youngest of three siblings, he is survived by his two sisters, Tanya and Mona. His sister Mona was able to visit him recently here in his second home, Pattaya, Thailand.
David graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science in 1968 from McGill University. After graduating, he worked in Human Resources with various Non-Governmental Organizations, which led to his visiting Thailand where he met Wat in 2001 and subsequently coming to Thailand to make it his home.
In David’s life he has shown integrity, compassion, and empathy to those less fortunate and truly believed in helping others. For this, he was loved by all that were fortunate to have known and worked with him.
Upon his passing, one of his nieces provided a great insight into the person he was when she wrote on his Facebook page. Here is an extract from it:
“A few hours ago, my uncle David Garmaise died, with his loving partner Wat beside him, in a hospital not far from their home in Thailand. I normally wouldn’t do this on Facebook, but I don’t know if there will be a funeral and I have things I would like to share about him.
“My uncle has had a tremendous influence on my life. His work and his way of being in the world profoundly shaped my sense of justice and what it means to respect and care about other people. Certainly I would not have spent my adult career so far writing and teaching about health law, justice and human rights were it not for him.
“My uncle David was one of the leaders of the gay liberation movement in Ottawa in 1970s and 1980s and one of the leading voices in the HIV/AIDS movement in Canada, serving as Executive Director of the Canadian Aids Society in the 1990s. Because he was so understated and humble about his accomplishments, I only recently learned that he was honoured as a Community Hero by Ottawa’s Village Legacy Project and there is a flag bearing his name and image flying at Bank Street and Nepean. For the last two decades, he had been living in Thailand with Wat and continuing his work, including monitoring the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. I was lucky to benefit from his informed, careful mentorship when I finally got the chance to write for HIV/AIDS Policy and Law Review which he edited, in the early 2000s.”
In these trying times in the world today, we are reminded of life and death. As David had a good life, we mourn his death but must believe that David’s Karma rewards for this life on earth will see him seated in the best place in the afterlife.
He was a true friend to many of us. Yes, David, you will be missed, but not forgotten by those of us whose life you enriched with your presence.