A surprise birthday celebration for its first female member, Marjorie Blissett was held during the Pattaya City Expat Club’s Sunday, February 26, meeting. To make it a real “surprise”, the program began as usual with a presentation by Member John Lynham. John provided a slideshow presentation of his recent visit to Bangkok’s Lumpini Park, where the “Annual Lumpini Thailand Tourism Festival” was celebrated.
John began his presentation by describing how the Thailand Tourism Festival takes over a major portion of the downtown park each year during the month of January. Admission is free and normally runs Wednesday through Sunday, from 2 pm until 10 pm. The Thailand Tourist Authority (TAT) sponsors this event to showcase the many ethnic, cultural and food varieties throughout Thailand.
The opening ceremony starts with a colorful parade around the park, led by a Chinese dragon, since the festival is held near or during the Chinese New Year. Many Thai people trace their roots to China and Thai people are known to celebrate almost any holiday to have a great time. The parade is represented by the five major regions of Thailand, with music, costumes and dance traditions of each region. Lumpini Park is a 360 rai (142 acres) open public space in downtown Bangkok, offering an artificial lake, walking paths and a beautiful green area, with many trees, flowers and even some indigenous animals. For this year’s festival, the park was divided into ten zones of fun activities.
Zone One – features a tribute to King Bhumibol, with floral displays and recognitions of the many projects he initiated during his reign. Zones Two and three highlight the culture of the five major regions of Thailand. This includes replicated villages and landmarks of each of the regions. The Northern Village has a local hill tribe theme along with produce from that region. The Northeastern Isan Village has a replica of the Phra That Phanom Temple. The Central Thai Village has markets, houses and their food. The Eastern Seaboard Village displays their famous gemstones and the Southern Village has displays of seafood and local markets. The culinary or food zone are in Zone Three as well as the 50 food areas of Bangkok.
Zones Four and Five show information on what travel is available and features planned TAT activities, food trucks, along with products and goods from the many Royal Projects and TAT’s booths, with recommended tourist routes and travel packages.
Zones Six and Seven provide outdoor activities for the adventurous minded people, such as rock climbing, paintball and net climbing, and the main entertainment stage where many leading acts are presented, including traditional dances and cultural performances. Zone Eight presents a Chinese atmosphere and provides a variety of themed activities and Zone Nine is a geological area featuring dinosaur exhibits and many other geographical finds in Thailand. Zone Ten provides selfie enthusiasts with over 77 provincial backdrops.
John’s slideshow presentation provided an interesting review of this year’s festival and promotes future Lumpini Park Tourism Festivals. He encouraged all expats to attend this wonderful celebration.
After John’s presentation, MC Roy Albiston called on Pat Koester to say a few words. Pat then “surprised” Member Marjorie Blissett with a celebration of her life as she celebrates her 90th birthday, on 28 February 2017. She was the first female Pattaya City Expat Club member (Governing Board Member in 2008-2010). Board member Pat presented a slide show of Marjorie’s remarkable life, including pictures of her childhood, school years, marriage, family life and many of her life adventures.
Her very active participation in many of the PCEC “Special Interest Activities” groups were also highlighted. Since Marjorie was the originator of the special interest Writing Group, Pat Koester and John Lynham honored her with a unique melodrama skit, featuring a murder plot, involving club members, in a fictional murder mystery, naming Marjorie as the main suspect. It was all in fun and very entertaining. A cake, flower arrangement and “Special Lifetime Membership Card” were presented to Marjorie by Roy Albiston, Chairman of the Governing Board.
After the presentation by John and the surprise party for Marjorie, Roy Albiston, Chairman of the Governing Board thanked all of those that had provided suggestions for the PCEC’s new meeting place. Although it is with regret that the PCEC’s regular meeting place for 15 plus years at the Amari Resort’s Tavern by the Sea Restaurant (previously Henry J. Bean Bar and Grill), their plans now call for the demolition of the building with the PCEC’s last meeting date there to be March 26.
Roy announced the selection of a new meeting location to begin with the PCEC’s Sunday, April 2, meeting, after outlining many of the considerations and requirements established by the board for an acceptable meeting place, including central location, a long-term agreement, transportation/handicap access, parking, meeting room layout, audio/visual equipment/support and meal price/quality considerations.
After a multi-week search for the best option, the Holiday Inn Pattaya was selected. It is located next door to the Amari, just south of the PCEC’s present meeting location, with access from both Beach Road and 2nd Road. He mentioned that it has excellent underground parking, elevator access to the new, 4th floor meeting room in the Executive Tower, modern audio/visual equipment, including 3 large-screens, adequate seating and an excellent menu. He said additional information will be forthcoming for members and guests, including a video showing directions from Beach/2nd Road.
Roy than called on Judith Edmonds to conduct the Open Forum, where questions are asked and answered or comments made about Expat living in Pattaya.
For more information about the PCEC, visit their website at www.pcecclub.org.