PCEC looks back at busy fiscal year

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It was a busy year for the PCEC and its members.  Pat Koester at the Sunday, June 29, meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC) gave her Chairman’s Report on the club’s activities and accomplishments during the past year. She mentioned that she was giving it a week early since she would not be available for the PCEC’s Annual General meeting on July 6.

Her report was in the form of a pictorial slide show. Pat began by highlighting some of the speakers during the past year including the interesting talk by Col. Mike Cavanaugh (Ret.) about the US Air Force’s Forward Air Controllers assigned to a special unit involved in the “Secret War in Laos”; by David Cole who not only described his climbing of Mt Everest but also brought his climbing parka and gear for all to see; and by Victor Kriventsov, Deputy Honorary Russian Consul, to tell us about the 60,000 Russians living in Pattaya and explained how Russian culture influenced Russian tourists’ interactions (or lack thereof) with expats from other countries.

Pat Koester highlights some of the more interesting speakers at the PCEC meetings during the past year.Pat Koester highlights some of the more interesting speakers at the PCEC meetings during the past year.

In addition to the Sunday meetings, Pat mentioned the many outside activities organized by club members. These activities, which range from discussion groups to day or overnight tours, give members and guests an opportunity to get to know each other better while participating in activities they like.  During the past year, there were two one day tours and two overnight tours. The latest being to Samut Songkhram & Petchaburi. Pat mentioned that following her report, there would be a photo contest to judge the best photo of those that went on this latest tour; the winner receiving a bottle of wine.

Member Richard Smith updates the PCEC on the current classes being given by the English Conversation Group.Member Richard Smith updates the PCEC on the current classes being given by the English Conversation Group.

She also described how the club is giving back to the Thai community through its English Language Conversation Group organized by Richard Smith that operates under the auspices of the Banglamung District Chief.  Richard also arranged for children from the Pattaya Orphanage to have a free visit to the Art in Paradise Museum. Jerry Dean has organized a Friends of Youth group that provides for periodic fun activities for disadvantage children, such as fishing trips, bowling outings, and more.

There are also social get-togethers to enjoy fine food and wine including a monthly club dinner at a different restaurant each month and that a member will usually arrange for a PCEC table at the Amari’s monthly Wine Experience and various wine dinners offered periodically by other restaurants and hotels. Pat also talked about the services provided to members and guests such as the monthly driving license assistance trip for those wanting a Thai driving license and the offering of guidance for those needing help in understanding Thai Immigration procedures. The club also has available a book and DVD exchange table at most of its meetings.

Pat then reported on some “new projects” that were started and accomplished during this past year.  One was the design of a new more modern logo for the club – ideas were solicited from the members and a committee made up of Board and regular members chose the winning design.  The club also purchased its own notebook computer, no longer relying on “borrowing” one from a member and upgraded its audio visual equipment. The club also has joined the social media websites Facebook and YouTube to better publicize the club and its activities.  In addition, with the advent of the new logo, many members are now proudly wearing their club polo shirt with the new logo imprinted on them.

In concluding her report, Pat announced that although she will be remaining on the Board of Governors, she has decided that after two years of being the chairman, it was time to step down and let someone else take the helm to continue the club’s activities into the future.

After her report, Pat then proceeded into the photo contest for those that took pictures during the Samut Songkhram & Petchaburi tour.  She explained that out of the several pictures that would be shown, she had asked those submitting them to select one or two to be in the contest. Further, the judging would be done by the members and guests present. The winning photo was submitted by Ren Lexander. Dot Casey and Richard Smith received honorable mention for the two runner-up photos.

After the Chairman’s Report and photo contest, Master of Ceremonies Roy Albiston brought everyone up to date on upcoming events and called on Tony Heron to conduct the always informative Open Forum where questions are asked and answered about expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya.

For more information on the PCEC’s many activities, visit their website at www.pcecclub.org.

PCEC members and guests selected this photo by Ren Lexander as being the best of those submitted for the photo contest of photos taken during the Samut Songkhram & Petchaburi tour.PCEC members and guests selected this photo by Ren Lexander as being the best of those submitted for the photo contest of photos taken during the Samut Songkhram & Petchaburi tour.