HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Deer in town

Anusarn Market’s 30 Year Anniversary

Kad Suan Kaew hosts Lanna Photo Open House

Ruth Eastmond

Deer in town

Oh deer! I seem to be lost! Should I wait for public transport or just buck the system? Somebody told me it might rain, dear. Oh deerie, deerie me!

Reader Michael McDaniel sent in this photograph of a young deer found in Chiang Mai city. He expressed wonder that they are still able to be found, and to see one in the city environs is even more rare.

Anusarn Market’s 30 Year Anniversary

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

Buddhist novices from the Chetupon Temple School.

Songkran, the Thai New Year, is also known as the water festival as people believe that water washes away bad luck; but in order to have your bad luck washed away, merit-making rituals are performed everywhere in the mornings, and offerings are made to the Buddhist monks.

Staff of Anusarn Market and Pantip Group of companies recently organized a merit making ceremony to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of Anusarn Market, as well as this year’s Songkran festival. Everything was aimed at keeping Lanna culture and Buddhism beliefs alive in our fast-paced world; and preserve Northern traditions before the madness of the water fights began.

Food and essentials for over 100 monks and Buddhist novices from the Chetupon Temple school (near Prince Royal’s College) were handed out early in the morning; and the young monks received food, drinks, incense sticks, lotus flowers, sweets and of course also some money to support the temple.

Even today in modern Thailand it is a common thing for boys or young men to become monks during the hot/rainy season, which their mothers and grandmothers believe will bring them luck and help them can gain merit for their next life.

Staff of Anusarn Market and Pantip Group, at the merit-making ceremony where rituals were performed and offerings made to the Buddhist monks.

Buddhist novices arriving to receive supplies at Anusarn Market.

Kad Suan Kaew hosts Lanna Photo Open House

One of the photos which will be exhibited in “Lanna Photo Open House”.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai Northern Photo Club is holding a photo exhibition, called “Lanna Photo Open House” on May 1-31 at G Floor of Kad Suan Kaew department store between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. every day.

Amornrit Panthumin, president of Chiang Mai Northern Photo Club said that in the exhibition, the club will show over 100 of their beautiful and very rare photos, which they have collected over the years. Most of them depict tourism, culture, and Northern traditions.

Junnapong Saranak, Director of TAT Northern Region 1will open the exhibition “Lanna Photo Open House” on May 1, at 6 p.m. For more information, Tel. 0-9755-0321, 0-9432-5446.

Ruth Eastmond

Eulogy to a much loved lady

Christmas Day 2005 at Jong Suk.

Thailand is the Land of Smiles but one of the most endearing smiles you would ever see and experience was that emanating from the blue eyes of Ruth Eastmond. One could see and feel a genuine warmth in those eyes!

Ruth died after a long illness due to cancer on 6 March 2006. She was at home with her husband, David, and some of her many Chiang Mai friends.

Anyone who knew Ruth loved her warm and sunny personality that was also blessed with the spirit of gentleness and kindness, thoughtfulness and consideration for others.

When talking of her own adversity she was quick to compare her plight with those she considered worse even than her own. Ruth was thinking of children with HIV Aids; other people much younger than her who had their lives cut short by serious circumstances outside of their control. At 56, Ruth died early but, compared with many people she knew of she thought: “At least, I had a life”.

From diagnosis to passing, a period of 21 months, Ruth had to endure the certain knowledge that she would not recover from her illness. This gave her plenty of time to think about the practical and emotional problems this situation inevitably brings and she did so with an outward appearance of cheerfulness and fortitude that was an inspiration to all those observing it.

Even in her final days she was able to inspire her visiting friends with the knowledge that dignity in dying was possible; that, whilst acknowledging and at times being afraid of death, acceptance was a way forward and this proved to be encouraging to several people who gained an improved attitude to the inevitability of dying.

Ruth was inspiring others from the age of just one. She was one of the first children in the world to have surgery that involved living the rest of her life with only one kidney; she was an inspiration to her Doctors and nurses who marvelled at her lovely nature, spirit and zest for life! More than just a survivor from that time, she lived her life with a continuous zest, enthusiasm and purpose right to the end.

Only three years before coming to Chiang Mai, she undertook a degree in art at The University of Sunderland in the North East of England. She decided her medium would be glass and passed all her examinations with flying colours. Ruth became a skilled expert in the art of glass sculpture and thus inspired many people of a similar age that academic achievement was not the sole preserve of the young. In fact, Ruth won the ‘Charles Bray’ (an eminent Glass Sculptor) award, rarely given, a proud moment, indeed, for her.

Her work was much sought after and, today, hardly any pieces are available or on the market. Ruth’s expertise in this subject was taken advantage of by the University of Chiang Mai and she was able to pass on some of her skills and knowledge to fascinated Thai students. Disadvantaged Hill Tribe children had the chance to meet Ruth and learn some interesting properties of glass as well as enjoying a quality diversion from their usual day to day trials and tribulations.

While working for a large Advertising Agency (for 20th Century Fox), Ruth won an award for her production of the famous (or infamous) ‘Alien’ commercial: “In space no-one can hear you scream”.

Ruth was gifted in painting, collage, dressmaking and she had a penchant for hats!! At a horse race meeting in Chiang Mai in January 2005 she attended a ‘Ladies Day’ (Ascot style); she actually created and wore a different hat for every race!!

Before this, Ruth and David engaged in businesses ranging from a Health Club, a Free House, an Estate Agency for French properties and, later, Ruth ran a dog grooming business that sustained her love of animals.

Animals were an important part of Ruth’s life and many unfortunate creatures became her love when she saw them in adverse circumstances. As recently as last year she found a puppy running after motorbikes and after failing to find its owner, promptly took it home and cared for it until a new home could be found. That female dog now lives with a safe and happy future.

Also in the last year, Ruth had an unusual request for her birthday. She wanted to learn how to care for an elephant. She attended a mahout course over three days that enabled her to ride, bathe and generally understand how elephants live and behave. She loved every minute of it and she found herself bonding immediately to her charge for three days and nights; this time, she being inspired.

For nearly thirty years Ruth was a devoted and loyal wife to David. She leaves him with a void that is impossible to fill. For David and the rest of us we have fond and loving memories of a special person whose example in life casts a light that will shine within us for ever.

A memorial to celebrate Ruth’s life will take place at a venue to be announced and will follow the Buddhist tradition of allowing 100 days to pass so the event is likely to be on Wednesday, 14 June.