HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

The Yale Whiffenpoofs - A Cappella at its Best

Chang Klan Shopping Plaza opening soon

Dreams, past lives and spiritual freedom

Chiang Mai farewells the Indian Consul

Safari Night Zoo Logo needed - a tiger with a torch?

The Yale Whiffenpoofs - A Cappella at its Best

Marion Vogt

The long awaited day had come - the Whiffenpoofs’ return. The world famous Whiffenpoofs, and Chiang Mai had reason to be excited. US Consul General Eric Rubin and his wife Nicole Simmons had the additional pleasure of having them perform in the garden of the US Consulate and then listening to them at the Amari Rincome Hotel one day later.

Jimmy Johnson with his ‘background dancers’ Chirag Badlani, Courtney Williams and another Whiffenpoof.

Children and teachers from the Prince Royal College posing with Whiffenpoof Chuck Colman and ‘Ex Whiffenpoof’ John Muse who now lives in Chiang Mai, performing the ‘Whiffenpoof Song’ with this year’s Yale group.

In his bilingual welcome speech, Eric Rubin explained the background of the Whiffenpoofs. Every year, 14 senior Yale men are selected to be the Whiffenpoofs, the world’s oldest and best known collegiate a cappella group. Founded in 1909, the “Whiffs” began as a senior quartet that met for weekly concerts at Mory’s Temple Bar, the famous Yale tavern. Today, the group has become one of Yale’s most celebrated and hallowed traditions. The Whiffenpoofs have grown from their humble beginnings as Monday night crooners to claim a permanent niche in American culture.

The culmination of each Whiffenpoof year is the group’s 12 week summer World Tour, which this year included Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Honolulu, Japan, NZ, Australia, Bangkok and Chiang Mai, India, Turkey, Austria, Spain, Sweden and Ireland.

For the opening performance, the 14 ‘gentlemen songsters’ marched up on stage already singing. The next 45 minutes were filled with fun, entertainment and the joy of music from the group. A great mix of jazz standards, classic ballads, traditional Yale songs, and popular song titles like ‘Bye Bye Blackbird’ and ‘Too Darn Hot’.

However, just enjoying singing and having a good voice is not enough to call yourself a Whiffenpoof. You also need to have acting and drama in your blood, which was shown when Jimmy Johnson from Memphis did a brilliant impersonation of Kevin Costner.

For the audience, the concert ended much too soon. The final number “The Whiffenpoof Song”, written by two of the founding members, is an adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling poem “Gentlemen Ranker”.

When they marched out still singing the last verse, the audience arose, demanding an encore. They returned and sang James Taylor’s classic ballad ‘New Hymn’ and then stayed for dinner, photos and chats with the audience. We are all looking forward to Whiffenpoof 2004.

Chang Klan Shopping Plaza opening soon

Supatatt Dangkrueng

Chang Klan Shopping Plaza is in the downtown business area about 3 kilometers south of the famous Night Bazaar. The grand opening is expected to be in October and the construction is already about 90 percent finished.

Boonlert and Aim-orn Buranupakorn present flowers to Chalida Eakchaipattanakul at the grand opening of the new Black Canyon branch at the Chang Klan Shopping Plaza.

Aim-orn Buranupakorn, managing director of Chiang Mai Tassanaporn said this shopping plaza was a new alternative for Chiang Mai shoppers. He said that the plaza has been well planned and prepared with rest areas provided for visitors, tourists, businessmen and students’ parents who wait to pick up their children after school.

60 percent of all 50 units in the plaza project have already been booked. There is good variety in the outlets, including a coffee shop, jewelry, boutiques and restaurant. The coffee shop had its grand opening recently and is a Black Canyon, the third branch held by Ms. Chalida Eakchaipattanakul. She hopes that the new venture will reach break-even point in two years.

Further information can be obtained from Chiang Mai Tassanaporn, tel. 053- 820 035 and 01 885 0849.

Dreams, past lives and spiritual freedom

Spiritual skills students meet to learn and share techniques in Chiang Mai

Seekers and students of the spiritual skills of active dreaming, past life recognition, and soul travel from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand will meet on July 29 in Chiang Mai to exchange techniques and ideas through workshops and small group discussions.

The annual spiritual skills seminars 2003, organized by the Bangkok Eckankar Satsang group, will include local speakers discussing the following topics this year: ‘Dreams the key to heaven’; ‘Spiritual purposes of relationships’; and ‘Surrender, love and past lives’ among others.

The featured guest speaker, Dr. Karen Jensen, of Vancouver Canada, will present an interactive workshop titled, ‘The Grace of God’s Love in All Life’ - how people can recognize the hand of divine spirit in their lives.

The Chiang Mai seminar is part of a series of worldwide events tapping into the growing interest by individuals into spiritual exercises and dream techniques to open their hearts and consciousness to divine guidance, spiritual freedom and wisdom.

The organizers, Bob of Bangkok and Sukhbir, Vancouver Canada, report that the interest by individuals in receiving information and first-hand experiences on the topics of dreams, past-lives, and outer body experiences has skyrocketed in the past few years.

Bob says, “Not only older people, but students, businessmen and housewives have expressed interest in the topic of spiritual skills development at a significantly higher level than previous years. We are not teaching people anything that they don’t already know in their hearts. It’s just a matter of being able to recognize what is in there and how to use it for their own personal development and the development of their families.”

The upcoming spiritual skills seminars titled, ‘Is Life a Random Walk’ - Spiritual tools to help answer life’s questions’ will be held on July 29 at the Empress Hotel in Chiang Mai. The free events are open to the public.

Further information about the upcoming seminars may be obtained by contacting Bob at 01 8018 809 or Sukhbir at 06 5599 232.

Chiang Mai farewells the Indian Consul

Marion Vogt

For many people in Chiang Mai it was a rather sad week, like it always is when you have to say goodbye to friends. And the friends this time were the Indian Consul, Mathew Abraham and his wife Shanti.

Manit Mantala presented mementos to ‘never forget us’ from the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai West. From left: Shanti, Consul Mathew, President Manit and Past President Dr. Amnuay Tapingkae

Shanti Abraham with friends from the Choral Society, Jo and Becky.

The new Indian Consul being welcomed to Chiang Mai - Aafreen (10), Vigil and Consul Anil Varna.

Men to men talk for the last time with Consul Mathew Abraham, Daniel Peterson and David Hardcastle.

A dictionary definition for ‘consul’ is a diplomat appointed by a government to protect its commercial interests and help its citizens in a foreign country. But there are exceptions. There are some people who stay not only in our mind but also in our heart, people who are born leaders or visionary leaders, who are especially noted for transforming paradigms and creating strategies that are “outside the box” of conventional thoughts. Conventional thoughts for a typical Consul are to be involved with matters related to Visas, Diplomatic dinners and Diplomatic speeches. An outside the box thinking is, to not only do these important conventional duties but also going beyond calls of duty to inspire, challenge and provoke the community to think beyond the day to day accomplishments and plant the seeds for a long term framework of success, which Mathew did, by getting involved in charity developments and expanding the knowledge of the community towards his native country, India .

Balancing her husband’s career, in a constantly changing environment requires a committed, caring and passionate wife and here we are talking about Mrs. Shanti Abraham. As it was said very clearly at the ‘Good Bye Party Night of the Choral Society’, - what a privilege it is to have known her.

From left: Preecha Pongcharoenkul, president Lanna Condo and his wife Waranan presented a beautiful Jade ‘elephant family’ to their friends Shanti and Mathew.

Shanti with the British Honorary Consul David Hopkinson and Mme Suzuki.

Acchar Jit Singh Srichawla, president of the Indian Community of Chiang Mai presented a wonderful silver bowl to Mathew and Shanti when the time had come to say goodbye. They are surrounded by many friends of the Indian Community.

From left: Miss Tina, Roshan Dunjibhoy, with Frank Weicks from the US Consulate and Becky Lomax from Payap University at the Payorn Room at the Amari Rincome to wish Shanti and Mathew a great new beginning in Dehli.

The last of the many farewell parties took place at the Amari Rincome Hotel where the Consul himself had invited everyone to a reception to say goodbye. There was an overwhelming response with people of all nationalities attending.

Chiang Mai will miss their warmth and leadership - we wish them the very best and thank them for all their support while they were with us in Chiang Mai.

Safari Night Zoo Logo needed - a tiger with a torch?

50,000 baht up for grabs

Nuttanee Thaveephol

Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat is inviting everyone to enter the Chiang Mai Safari Night Zoo Logo contest. The winner will receive 50,000 baht cash prize.

The adjudication committee is looking for nocturnal animals, northern symbols, color, Thai and English captions, and a frame for the logo. All entries will end up being the property of the Provincial Office.

All people who would like to try for the big prize can send their work on 21 cm x 29.7 cm or landscape A4 white paper. The logo’s concept and title must be written on another landscape A4 paper. Both of the pieces must be attached to a 40 x 60 cm backing.

All entries must be drawn in black and white and another in color, using no more than three colors. All entries must be original.

For additional information contact 053 890 528.