The Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC) had their annual Christmas Program on Sunday, December 16. Fourteen children in their beautiful Santa costumes began the main program by performing dances which was followed by the singing of Christmas carols after they were joined on stage by 26 more; all from the ASEAN Education Centre. This all was to the delight of their PCEC audience.
Before the children came in, MC Judith Edmonds reminded all that in addition to Christmas, it was also Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of lights. To commemorate this, Judith lit the candles on a Menorah while explaining the purpose. She then recited the usual blessings in Hebrew followed by the English translation. Father Christmas (well played by Rodney Charman) then brought the first group of children to the front of the stage where they began with a couple of dances.
All the children took the stage to entertain with carols charmingly sung which were, “Santa Comes to Town”, “Feliz Navidad”, “Joy to the World”, “Jingle Bells”, and the Thai song “Sawasdee Peemai” (Happy New Year). They concluded with the always favorite, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” At this point, Father Christmas gave out presents to the children.
The ASEAN Education Centre is under the care of the Human Help Network (HHN) and helps educate children of migrant workers from Cambodia and Myanmar working in the building sector. Radchada “Toy” Chomjinda, Director of the Human Help Network Foundation Thailand (HHNFT), arranged for the children to perform. PCEC Member Judith Edmonds, for several weeks before the program, solicited donations from PCEC members and guests which raised 67,300 baht to buy some nominal presents for the children and provide the remaining funds to the HHN for the benefit of all the children they help.
Prior to Member Roger Fox leading the audience in singing Christmas carols, MC Judith read out two letters received providing further donations. The first, from Mona Klein, the sister of David Garmaise, a valued Club member who passed away in April, offering a cash donation in David’s memory. The second was from David’s partner, Urasin (Wat) Khantaraphan, thanking the Club for the opportunity to donate David’s motorized wheel chair to Toy for the benefit of handicapped children. He noted in his letter that, “If David was still sitting here, if he could hear or see, he would be very happy and proud of it.”
Then it was time for singing. Member Roger Fox, with the assistance of MC Judith Edmonds, led the audience in singing several Christmas Carols. In introducing them, Roger included some historical information. For example, he mentioned that “White Christmas” was written 1941 by Irving Berlin, three weeks after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Further, it was the first such song to be at the top of the Hit Parade three times. Another was “Silent Night”. It was first sung in a small church in Austria in 1818 and has been translated into more than 300 languages.
Roger also encouraged the audience to drum on their tables keeping time for “The Little Drummer Boy”, and dividing the audience into two groups of tables; one group to sing the verse and the other to sing the “Fa la la la” for “Deck the Halls”, which Roger noted was most likely originated from a 16th century Welsh drinking song. The other carols sang were: “Joy to the World”, “Come All Ye Faithful”, “Jingle Bell Rock”, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem”, “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”, “Away in a Manger”, and “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”. No one forgot the words as they were each displayed on the big screen for all to see.
The caroling concluded with the same song as that from the children, with audience members facing each other as they sang “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.”
To view a video of the Children singing, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TT0P8D03MkQ
For more information about the Pattaya City Expats Club, visit: https://pcec.club/