The Skål Pattaya and East Thailand monthly networking meeting for January was held at the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya, and was one of the best attended functions of the revamped club, under the presidency of Tony Malhotra.
The guest speaker was Jens Maspfuhl, a man with some very different reasons to have an association with Pattaya. Ten years ago, Jens was in a road accident on his way to the Eastern Star golf course. In the emergency department, the Bangkok Hospital Pattaya’s neurosurgeon Dr. Alongkorn found that Jens had fractured his seventh cervical vertebra, a catastrophic injury which would condemn him to being a paraplegic and in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
(L to R) Peter Strehlau, Dieter Maspfuhl, Uschy Maspfuhl, Jens Maspfuhl, Boonyang Maspfuhl, Erika Strehlau and Peter Malhotra enjoy the cool ocean breezes during the Skål meeting at the Centara Grand Mirage.
For many people this would be thought of as the end of the world. One’s mind dwells on all the items in life that are no longer available to the newly handicapped person. However this was not Jens Maspfuhl’s response to his injury. He had been an excellent golfer with a handicap of 8.9, so he looked at ways for him to return to the golf course.
The first need was a wheelchair that could let him stand up and swing a club. Not an easy task, but one that he managed to find and then perfect a new technique. Using one arm only, Jens’ handicap is now 23, considerably better than a large percentage of able-bodied golfers.
(L to R) George Kenton, Executive Assistant Manager, Rooms, of the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya; Dominique Ronge, General Manager of the Centara Grand Phratamnak Resort Pattaya; Tony Malhotra, President of Skål Pattaya and East Thailand, Sirilak Khampan, Sales and PR Manager of the Centara Grand Phratamnak Resort Pattaya; Robert John Lohrmann, General Manger of the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya; and Carl Duggan, EAM F&B at Centara Grand Phratamnak Resort Pattaya.
Jens’ address to the Skål members was not designed to engender sympathy, but rather to alert the members involved in the hospitality business that there were a great number of active handicapped people able to travel these days, with the major restriction being whether the destination’s facilities could be used by those in wheelchairs.
(Back, L to R) Dr. Iain Corness, Chef Alberto Bruni, and Boonyang Maspfuhl with the evening’s guest speaker Jens Maspfuhl (front).
Of course, there was also the responsibility which had to be taken up by the city fathers to allow wheelchair access to pavements and shopping centers.
After Jens’ presentation, the Skål members continued with the excellent buffet supervised by Chef Alberto resplendent in yellow with his trademark red shoes, twins to those of Dr. Iain.
The night’s guest speaker, Jens Maspfuhl.
The next Skål meeting will be on Thursday 20 February in the ballroom of Bangkok Hospital Pattaya, on the topic of ‘Medical Tourism’. To reserve you can contact: [email protected] or www.facebook.com/skalpattaya.
Tony Malhotra President of Skål Pattaya and East Thailand, and Deputy Managing Director of the Pattaya Mail Media Group, addresses the gathered Skålleagues.
(L to R) Chonlatee Nakamadee, guru of the dusitD2 baraquda Pattaya, Tony Malhotra, President of Skål Pattaya and East Thailand and Rungratree Thongsai.
Robert John Lorhmann (left), GM of Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya chats with Tony Malhotra, President of Skål Pattaya and East Thailand.
(L to R) Elfi Seitz of the Pattaya Blatt has a nice visit with her friends Peter and Erika Strehlau.
(L to R) Rene E.H. Pisters, GM of the Thai Garden Resort Pattaya; Dr Iain Corness; Nattakarn Sinprasom; Peter Malhotra, Managing Director of the Pattaya Mail Media Group; Ploy Pisters, Luciano Lillus, General Manager of the Sunshine Hotels & Resorts Pattaya; and Danilo Bockert, Deputy General Manager of the Thai Garden Resort Pattaya getting ready for the Skål meeting.