HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Special service marks 126th anniversary of Kruba Sriwichai

Hopeful teen presenters strut their stuff

Queen of England’s birthday celebrated in Chiang Mai

Merit making and prolonging the history of Chiang Mai

First TOT shop in Thailand opens at Central Airport Plaza

Double artist photo exhibition at Gong Dee

Sun continues to shine on California wines

Chiang Mai sets sausage record

Special service marks 126th anniversary of Kruba Sriwichai

Lanna saint began building road from foothills to Doi Suthep

Supatatt Dangkrueng

A special service marking the 126 year anniversary of Kruba Sriwichai, the Lanna saint who began building the road from the foothills to Doi Suthep, was held at the Kruba Sriwichai monument on June 11. Local people, led by Chief District Officer Chumporn Saengmanee, gathered there to make merit and offered alms to 126 monks.

Kruba Sirwichai, the Lanna saint who had the idea to build the road to Doi Suthep.

To begin the ceremony, alms were given to monks, in this instance a novice, in the early morning.

Kruba Sriwichai was born in Lamphun Province in 1877 and passed away in 1938. He joined the priesthood when he was 18. He was called “the developer monk” because he always encouraged and led people to construct and refurbish religious buildings, chedis and temples. In all, he helped with 106 places in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Lampang and Mae Hong Son.

In 1934, Kruba started the construction of the road to Doi Suthep, which previously involved a climb of at least 4-5 hours. The road construction began on November 9 with the support of the people who pledged a 20 million baht budget as well as 5,000 hands physically helping each day. The 11 km road took 5 months and 22 days to complete.

Many people made merit by offering alms to 126 monks.

A special service marking the 126 year anniversary of Kruba Sriwichai, the Lanna saint who began building the road from the foothills to Doi Suthep, took place at the Kruba Sriwichai monument on June 11

The ceremony is held to remind Chiang Mai of our obligation to the memory of Kruba Sriwichai and to always respect his monument at the foothill of Doi Suthep.

Hopeful teen presenters strut their stuff

Who best can present the anti-drug message?

Supatatt Dangkrueng

The first round of the ‘Freshy Model Anti-Drug’ competition took place on June 14 at Kad Suan Kaew Complex. More than 60 boys and girls participated in the contest, all vying for the chance to become presenter of the anti-drug message.

The 25 round one winners of the ‘Freshy Model Anti-Drug’ contest will compete on stage this Saturday afternoon to select one boy and one girl as the anti-drug campaign youth presenters.

The project is a joint venture of the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) Northern Region Office, Chiang Mai Provincial Education Office, the White Family Project and Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Complex.

Each contestant took to the stage to present their ideas and points of view about staying away from drugs and to invite and encourage their friends to step away and never get involved with drugs. Organizers hope that youthful attitudes towards drugs can be changed to believing that drugs are not good for anyone and drug users are not smart.

The first round whittled down the field to 15 girls and 10 boys. The final round will determine the one girl and one boy winner, who will then go on to be the new generation presenters of this project.

The final round will be held on today, June 21 at the fourth floor of Bully Hall at Kad Suan Kaew Complex.

Queen of England’s birthday celebrated in Chiang Mai

Marion Vogt
Photos by Michael Vogt

Worldwide, people are interested in ‘The Queen’ and her family and in the monarchy in general. So is of course the British Community in Chiang Mai; therefore the deputy head of mission from the British Embassy in Bangkok, Peter West, invited his fellow countrymen (and women) to a reception in the Payorm Room at the Amari Rincome Hotel on the evening of June 10.

Deputy Head of Mission and Counselor Peter West, who arrived in Thailand in May 2000, came all the way from Bangkok. His address included facts and business information, before he proposed a toast.

From left to right - Hagen Dirksen (Hon Consul Fed. Rep. of Germany), Prawit Archarachinores (Hon. Consul of Austria), Supawat Poowakul (Hon. Consul of Finland), Chittiphan Sukhakij (Sen. Dir. Bank of Thailand, Northern Branch), Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat, H.S.H. Prince Bhisadej, Peter West, Mme. Ornadda Tantipat, David Hopkinson, Mme. Julie Hopkinson, Mme. ‘Poo’ Baude, Thomas Baude (Hon. Consul of France).

David Hopkinson, Honorary British Consul and Director of the British Council Chiang Mai, during his opening address.

Definitely of British origin (from left) Miss Sarah, Tom Delaney Jr., Dean & Pim Kemasingki, MD of ‘Citylife’ Chiang Mai.

Not only British people celebrated the birthday of Queen Elisabeth II, it was more like a convention of the “Who is Who” of Chiang Mai, mingling happily in the Payorm Room of the Amari Rincome Hotel.

When the Hon. Consul of the UK to Chiang Mai, David Hopkinson, opened the evening, he gave a brief overview of the life of Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II. She was born in London on 21 April 1926, the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York, subsequently King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Five weeks later she was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary in the chapel at Buckingham Palace.

Her official birthday is celebrated in Britain on the 3rd Saturday of June each year. This is a National Holiday in the United Kingdom.

She has several titles. In the UK her official title is: “Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.”

Her Majesty’s Coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953. Representatives of the Peers, the Commons, and all the great public interests in Britain, the prime ministers and leading citizens of the other Commonwealth countries, and representatives of foreign states were present. The ceremony was broadcast over the radio around the world and, at the Queen’s request, on television. It was television then in its relative infancy that brought home the splendor and the deep significance of the coronation to many hundreds of thousands of people in a way never before possible. The coronation was followed by drives through every part of London, a review of the fleet at Spithead, and visits to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

On 20 November 1997 the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary, indeed something very special in times such as today.

Not really a Brit, but seen at many functions around town is MD of Chiangmai Mail, Michael Vogt, in conversation with H.S.H. Prince Bhisadej.

Almost like in a fashion show, 3 elegant ladies posing for a picture (from left) Mrs Ilkay, Khun Daeng and Mrs. Shanti, wife of the Indian Consul of Chiang Mai.

Bonnie Scotland was well-represented this evening, and could be spotted from far away - Alistair in the red kilt and David Brown from LIST in the green version.

British residents of Chiang Mai from left: Margaret Osborne, the Delaney Family - Tom, Dot and Tom ‘Senior’, with Geoff Thompson.

Pandee Buchart, secretary to Hagen E.W. Dirksen, and Mrs. Carol Street taking a break to catch up on the latest ‘news’ during the festivities.

All ears are Eric Rubin (Consul of the USA), Mathew Abraham (Consul of India), Hagen Dirksen (Hon. Consul of Germany), as well as Mme. Suzuki and Mme. Abraham.

The Royal couple has four children, and so far six grandchildren. Prince Charles, now the Prince of Wales, heir apparent to the throne, was born in 1948.

The year 2002 saw the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, marking 50 years since the Queen’s Accession (rather than the Coronation, which took place in 1953). This special milestone had previously been achieved by only four earlier British monarchs - King Henry III, King Edward III, King George III and Queen Victoria. Celebrations in the United Kingdom ran throughout the summer months, including extensive regional visits.

Peter West was then invited to the podium, addressing the audience more from a business perspective. He pointed out that this year 670,000 Brits have visited Thailand so far, many on business, but also many tourists, but a decrease can be seen due to SARS and the war in Iraq. He thanked the honoraries for attending this auspicious occasion, and accentuated what a pleasure it always is to be in Chiang Mai. After the national anthems of both Thailand and England were played, a toast was proposed by the more than 200 invited guests who kept on mingling afterwards.

Merit making and prolonging the history of Chiang Mai

Ancient ceremonies held all over the city

Surachai T. Bunditkul

Chiang Mai Municipality organized merit-making ceremonies on June 14 to preserve the history of Chiang Mai, with cooperation from government, private sectors and Chiang Mai people. Similar ceremonies were held at 10 spots around the old city, with Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat presiding over the ceremony staged at the Three Kings Monument in the morning.

Buddhist monks sat serenely overlooking the ceremonies in every spot around the old city of Chiang Mai.

People pay respect to the Lanna ancestors’ spirits protecting the city wall at Hua Rin Fort.

Since the founding of Chiang Mai City, it has been believed that Lanna people must make merit to prolong the life of the city. These ceremonies then became traditional rites from that time.

The ceremonies took place at the Three Kings Monument, Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai Gate, Suan Prung Gate, Suan Dok Gate, Chang Puak Gate, Sriphum City Fort, Katum Fort, Ku-huang Fort and Hua Rin Fort.

Chiang Mai Governor Suwat solemnly pays his respects at the Three Kings Monument.

Many Chiang Mai people participated in the ceremonies around the city.

The ceremonies begin at the Three Kings Monument in the morning.

The ceremonies were divided into two sections with the first ceremony to worship ancestor spirits in Lanna style, while the second was a Buddhist ceremony.

First TOT shop in Thailand opens at Central Airport Plaza

Alexander Graham Bell didn’t know what he started!

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut

The Telephone Organization of Thailand opened the first TOT shop in Thailand at the Central Airport Plaza, Chiang Mai. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Minister Surapong Suebwonglee presided over the opening ceremony at Central Airport Plaza’s grand hall.

Minister Surapong uses a new smart card at the opening of the TOT shop.

Since the Telephone Organization of Thailand (TOT) went public last year, this is the first TOT shop, with the concept “Communication Friendly”, to assist TOT customers.

The TOT shop opens every day from 10.30 a.m. - 7.30 p.m., and provides many services such as payment receipts for TOT and TT&T, applications for new services, selling pin phone and TOT cards, and providing information on TOT services.

The managing director of TOT Corporation, Sitthichai Songpiriyakit said that following the interest in this first shop, TOT shops would be opened at various population centers throughout the kingdom.

Double artist photo exhibition at Gong Dee

Supatatt Dangkrueng

Two young talented photographers opened their joint exhibition at the Gong Dee Studio on June 1. Phum, 29, and Ms. Uthaiwan, 25, combined their efforts to share their photo-artistic impressions with the public.

Many art lovers attended the opening ceremony of the photo exhibition at Gong Dee Gallery.

Phum Narischart is an independent Bangkok photographer who is displaying a selection of black-and-white photographs, ranging from 1999 until now, showing memories of places he visited.

Ms. Uthaiwan Boonloi has collected photographs since she started at university. Some of her pieces are from her thesis during her last semester, while others came from her impressions of the good times and good feelings she had whenever she visited new places. Uthaiwan previously participated in a photo exhibition ‘Space Contemporary Art’ a few years ago.

The concept of their exhibition is to catch and hold memorable moments, with most of the photographs in black-and-white.

Some examples of the black-and-white pictures on display.

The artists, Phum Narischart (3rd left) and Uthaiwan Boonloi (4th left) proudly show their pictures to VIP guests Hon. Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany Hagen Dirksen and his wife, Wanpen.

The opening ceremony was presided over by Manop Silapee, the managing director of Siam Studio Co., Ltd., with VIP guests including the Hon. Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany, Hagen Dirksen, and his wife, Wanpen, plus the owner of Gong Dee Gallery, Vichit Chaiwong.

The exhibition will run until June 28.

Sun continues to shine on California wines

California’s wines continue to enthral its share of drinkers, especially the young, rich and uninitiated. The United States’ most populous state is a major proponent in the New World wine revolution rivalled only by Australia in terms of production.

Domaine St. George, California winemaker and Sonoma Wineries Association “2002, Wine Person of the Year” Robert Fredson.

In 2002 Californian wineries shipped a record 463 million gallons of wine to domestic and international markets, an estimated 3 percent increase from the previous year according to the San Francisco-based Wine Institute trade association.

This phenomenal growth is a testament to the world’s steadily increasing awareness of the state’s constantly improving wine quality. And if the trend continues, wine experts believe that more people would be wishing that their next bottles would all be Californian wines.

Inspired by lifestyle changes of the past four decades, raised income for many, and more worldly perspectives, California’s diverse array of vintners has come from all walks of life, giving rise to a heady spirit of optimism and experimentation.

The state’s modern winemaking era is perhaps best marked by Robert Mondavi’s 1965 departure from his family’s Charles Krug Winery to the Napa Valley. The charismatic winemaker helped America’s palate to evolve with a combination of personal charm, dedication to wine quality along with innovative marketing techniques.

California’s rise to stardom remains most startling in its rapid evolution. Back in the ’60s the state was merely known as a leading jug wine producer. Even in the mid-1980s, California was still considered a promising but immature wine region by non-Californians.

Today, however, the state’s winemakers have caught up to, and in some cases, surpassed their competitors from around the world. Vineyards have been fine-tuned along with winemaking to the point that hundreds of exceptional wines are released each year. Fact is, the once lofty French and other Old World hegemony is now continually challenged by a relatively young but tightly-forged New World wine industry.

Connoisseurs need look no farther than Napa Valley or Sonoma County, for example, to find satisfaction with nearly every popular variety. Positive reviews from Wine Spectator Magazine and from many other organizations and individuals, including some from Europe, have established that many California wines belong on the table with the best wines of Europe.

In Sonoma County, several outstanding labels have had their share of the limelight. Coupled with the attention given to fine produce, their winemakers too have not gone unnoticed.

For his significant contribution to the local wine industry, winemaker Robert Fredson was honoured as “Wine Person of the Year” by the Sonoma Wineries Association in 2002. With more than thirty years of hands-on experience cultivating Sonoma’s rich soil and eco-climate, the fourth-generation winemaker has transformed Domaine St. George from a rustic family operation to an internationally acclaimed winery.

Domaine Saint George is a traditional winery located in the hills above the Russian River Valley near Healdsburg, in the heart of Sonoma County. Wine grapes were first planted here in 1928, and the winery was founded in 1934.

Chiang Mai sets sausage record

Who said size doesn’t matter?

Surachai T. Bunditkul

The world’s longest “sai ua” (northern sausage) was rolled out in Chiang Mai on June 10. Chiang Mai Provincial Authorities along with Wanasanan Shop organized the record breaking event at the 700 Years Anniversary Sports Complex, setting a new measure for the longest sai ua.

The Wanasanan staff set the world benchmark for sai ua sausages.

The previous longest sausage was 1,011 meters long, displayed at Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi Province. Our newest and longest sausage was 1,707 meters in length and about 2-3 centimeters in diameter. It was kept at that length to celebrate the 707 year anniversary of Chiang Mai City this year.

Chadcharn Eakchaipatanakul, the managing director of Wanasanan Shop, said that the sausage was made from a ton of pork, 500 kg of fish and 600-700 kg of other ingredients and cost 600,000 baht. Sales of the super-sausage were expected to bring in around 170,000 baht. All income raised from the event would be donated to Maharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital to help purchase medical equipment.

Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat presided over the opening ceremony.

The newly installed Chiang Mai governor, Suwat Tantipat presided over the unveiling ceremony of the world’s longest sai ua.