It was a joyous Christmas celebration at the Pattaya City Expats Club meeting on December 18. During the past three years, it has been almost standing room only at the Amari’s Tavern by the Sea restaurant when the Children’s Choir from Pattaya Orphanage comes to the meeting to share the spirit of Christmas. This year was no exception as everyone waited in eager expectation of hearing again those wonderful voices.
Master of Ceremonies Pat Koester called on fellow member Richard Smith to introduce Radchada Chomjinda (Toy) from the Pattaya Orphanage. Toy said it was a privilege for the children from the orphanage to be back this year to again sing Christmas carols for the Club.
‘Khun Toy’s angels’, aka the children of Pattaya Orphanage, commenced their performance for PCEC members with a splendid Thai traditional dance.
The program started when Toy brought in seven very cute Thai girls dressed in black and gold traditional costume and said they would perform a dance in honor of His Majesty the King. This was followed by a more modern song and dance.
After a hearty round of applause, about 50 children in choir robes then entered. They started with “Jingle Bells,” followed by “Joy to the World,” “Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
Santa and his helpers worked hard to make this young lady’s day, and that for many other children.
Lo and behold, who should appear, but Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick himself with his flowing beard and red suit. With a merry “Ho, Ho, Ho” he wished one and all a “Merry Christmas.” Santa then brought out his sack of goodies and handed them out to very happy and smiling children.
While Santa was handing out gifts, Toy briefly mentioned her history with the Orphanage that began 19 years ago when she took a job as personal secretary for Farther Ray Brennan, the founder of the orphanage. She briefly explained how the orphanage began and Father Ray’s contributions to its continued existence. She noted that they currently have about 180 children at the Orphanage ranging from one day old to college age. She said the older children keep Father Ray’s memory alive by telling the younger children about him and how much he was loved.
Toy invited everyone to come to the orphanage on Christmas Day to enjoy a meal with the children as they celebrate Christmas. She also mentioned that anyone who would like to visit the orphanage can do so between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., but noted that from noon to 2 p.m. is nap time when the children will not be available as the little ones sleep and the older ones are in school. For more information about the Orphanage, visit their website at: http://www.thepattaya orphanage.org/index_en.php
Radchada “Toy” Chomjinda introduces Saichon Sulonluea, who has recently graduated from university, studying marketing. Saichon has spent his entire life at the orphanage, and now has a job with Supavut Industry in Chonburi.
Meanwhile, the children were having a delightful time and it was fun to watch some of them pull on Santa’s beard to see if it was real – it was (and many thanks to member Bill Francis for being a natural Santa, with his large white beard, rotund body, and jolly demeanor).
The program concluded with Santa leading the choir in two more songs, “Oh Tannenbaum” and with the audience joining in for “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Member Judith Edmonds thanked everyone who had made donations to buy gifts for the children.
After the children left, Pat called on Stuart Saunders to update everyone on upcoming events and to conduct the always informative and sometimes humorous Open Forum, where questions about living in Thailand and Pattaya in particular are asked and answered.