HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Weeraya wins China Girl contest

Sutkhet Sakunthong seeks organ donors

The 9th Thai Lue Festival will be held March 8-9 in Chiang Kam, Phayao


Weeraya wins China Girl contest

Supatatt Dangkrueng

Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Complex this year held a “China Girl” beauty contest during the Chinese New Year celebrations February 1-2.

Winners of the China Girl contest (from left): Rongrong Harnpanichanont, Weeraya Tosaengchai, Siriporn Malatui, carrying flowers and prizes from the sponsors.

Pol Lt Suchai Kengkarnka, managing director of Kad Suan Kaew said it was a chance for teenage girls, aged 14-19, to show their natural abilities. Judges were looking for a girl who would be representative of the new generation, who had a good personality, self-confidence and was smart.

The first round of the China Girl Contest 2003 was held on February 1, and the final round took place on the following day. More than 30 girls got “China-dolled up” and took part, and after much deliberation, eventually the judges narrowed the field down to the final three.

After even more deliberation, judges announced that Miss Weeraya Tosaengchai was not only stunning in appearance, but also best fit the qualifications the judges were looking for. She was duly crowned “China Girl 2003”.

Miss Rongrong Harnpanichanont finished second and won the popular vote. Siriporn Malatui finished third.

Sutkhet Sakunthong seeks organ donors

A young political science graduate, born in Chiang Rai and who has lived most of his life in Chiang Mai, is looking for organ donors. He is Sutkhet Sakunthong, the Programme and Training Coordinator for the YMCA of Chiang Mai, who has made it his endeavour to do his part in promoting organ donation in the local community, working through the Thai Red Cross and other agencies.

Sutkhet Sakunthong is looking for organ donors.

A period spent overseas changed his perceptions of life, “When you live by yourself in other communities you begin to realise just how valuable life really is.” This brought him to the decision that he should donate one part of his life to his local community (Chiang Mai) and he felt that he could benefit the community by bringing organ donation into the public consciousness.

He is pushing for a question on organ donation to go into the application for driving licences, and prospective organ donors should have this information recorded on the licence. He believes this will work positively in two ways - firstly by indicating those people who are ready to be an organ donor, and secondly that at each renewal, the licence holder will have the opportunity to think again on why organs are needed, and why the safety of everyone under their care while driving or riding, is important.

With the shocking road toll over festive periods in this country, anything that can be done should be actively pursued. Those who would like to contact Sutkhet Sakunthong may do so through the YMCA, telephone 053 221 819, fax 053 215 523.

The 9th Thai Lue Festival will be held March 8-9 in Chiang Kam, Phayao

Chiang Kam District will host the 9th Thai Lue Festival March 8-9 this year at Wat Phrathart Sob Wan. Sanit Boonrueng, chief of Chiang Kam, said that this festival is designed to conserve the art and culture of the Thai Lue, and many activities are scheduled, including stage performances, parades, merit making, singing, dancing, wedding ceremony shows and cooking done in Lue style.

The Thai Lue tribe migrated from Xixuangbanna (Sipsong Panna) in China’s Yunnan Province to northern Thailand provinces such as Phayao, Chiang Rai, Lampang, Lamphun, Phrae, and Nan.

In 1991, Nan’s Prince led the Lue people to Chiang Muan and Chiang Kam districts, where they continue to live in their traditional ways.

Visitors can also visit the Thai Lue Cultural Center, which contains equipment, utensils, and items showing the Thai Lue lifestyle. The center is located in Wat Yuan in the Chiang Kam District, Phayao.


Gary Dilley

Gary Dilley, long time resident of Thailand, died at home on the 31st of January. A memorial service will be held at a future date.

Gary received a PhD from the University of Kansas in Chinese Studies. His professional life was spent as a banker with the ABN-Amro Bank and he served in various capacities in Tokyo, Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong and the Philippines. After retiring in 1997, Gary moved to Chiang Mai and built his showplace home, Twelve Gables, which was featured in Architectural Digest and several other books. His collection of antiques, assembled during his travels, was displayed at the house. His many friends will always remember his hospitality at Twelve Gables. Gary is survived by his Mother, Father and Brother Gerry.

In 2000, Gary was one of the founding members of ‘The Foundation for the Education of Rural Children’ and served as chairman of the board. He was very involved in the development of FERC and it would not be what it is today if Gary had not always have contributed in it. He supervised the construction of foundation schools in Mae Jong, Doi Saket, and the Karen village of Sadosa, Mae Chaem, and was working on a dorm to house tribal children at the Pang Hin Fon Thai school. The dorm will be completed in February 2003, which sadly has to be without Gary’s driving force.

Gary was also very dedicated to the Foundation’s scholarship program.

Anyone wishing to make a memorial to Gary is asked to make a contribution to the Foundation for the Education of Rural Children in his memory at:

The Bank of Asia, Chiangmai Branch

SWIFT routing code: BKASTHBK

For the account of the Foundation for the Education of Rural Children

Acct. No. 017-2-18824-5

Gary will be sadly missed by all his friends but he will live on in their memories and most of all in the memory of the children whose lives he changed for the better.