The Royal British Legion
spreads its wings in Thailand
Says goodbye to colleague
Andy’s friends all attended
Both the work and the word of the Royal British Legion
have spread to the remoter parts of Thailand. Since the formation of our
branch here in Pattaya we are now in the process of forming a sub branch in
Korat and following that, Chang Mai. I am sure both of these will be a
success, allowing us to get trained welfare officers in place and able to
both visit and report on ex-servicemen / women or their dependants who may
be in need here in Thailand … and of course meet up for social events as we
do here every Sunday.
Our welfare officer and myself recently have been travelling to and from
Buriram to visit an ex WWII RAF pilot who unfortunately broke his hip and
was admitted to hospital. At 87 years old, Spitfire Andy, as the locals
affectionately called him, was not with us long but the Legion ensured his
wife had no worries about hospital bills. When he passed away we cleared all
his outstanding bills. His wife Tu now becomes a dependant and once again is
entitled to our help. However, thanks to Andy’s friends in Buriram this
probably won’t be needed.
Both Glenn and I attended the funeral along with his friends and Tu’s
family. To our surprise it was a Christian service, but held in the outback.
Glenn read the words of remembrance, his farang friends read poems or spoke
of Andy and out of the jungle a choir appeared singing with both meaning and
It was a pleasure to have known Andy if only for a short time and an honour
to attend his funeral. It made all the travel worth it and gave meaning the
Legion’s motto “Service Not Self”.
Being the only branch in Thailand at the moment means we have to cover a
country rather than a county as in the UK. We also do most of our travelling
by bus as it’s efficient and cheap; however, with the increase of branches
our coverage will get better.
Should you wish to join the Legion (you do not have to have been in the
armed forces) please contact Bert or call in to Tropical Bert’s 2nd Road any
Sunday afternoon. We hope to expand to Chang Mai soon, and a meeting will be
announced in the Chang Mai mail shortly.
Secretary Royal British Legion
Chonburi Thailand Branch
Mob 089 8072335
The Beauty of Simple Things
A solo exhibition by Morrakot Naksin
Lars Norgaard, Jon Glendinning (the Honorary
British Consul), Morrakot Naksin (the artist), Prof. Kade
Javanalikikorn, Joanna MacLean, Heather Glendinning and Sommai Lumdual.
Last Friday, February 15, the La Luna Gallery on Charoenrajd Road hosted
the opening of a single artist exhibition of work by Morrakot Naksin,
entitled ‘The Beauty of Simple Things’. The exhibition features 17 of
his latest paintings and is open until March 9.
In these large masterpieces, some of which have been submitted as part
of his Master’s Degree study at Chiang Mai University, Morrakot
beautifully portrays the human form in its simplicity, but manages at
the same time to capture the hidden passions and complex emotions which
all humans harbour in their innermost being. The traditional clothing,
hairstyles and gestures clearly identify his portraits as Thai, but the
feeling and elegance of each of his paintings carries a universal
message of empathy, yearning and hope.
Morrakots’s masterful use of earth colours and golden hues bring a
sombre note to his paintings, and contrast with some of his earlier
works which showed his training in the more traditional Thai style
painting. If less is more in the art world, then these latest works by
Morrakot perfectly demonstrate that simple lines, a restrained use of
colour, expressions shown in the turn of the head and emotions captured
in the gesture of the hands, indeed show this to be true.
Prof. Kade Javanalikikorn, from the Faculty of Fine Art at Chiang Mai
University, attended the opening of his pupil’s exhibition and said,
“Inspiration, idea and form are important components in creating art
pieces. Inspiration and ideas may have harmonious or differing contents;
this is apparent in Morrakot’s work. He has been inspired by his tough
lifestyle in adverse and potentially lethal environments; however, when
he creates his work, he presents simple things and peace. His paintings
portray women in traditional ceremonies and activities”.
La Luna Gallery is open Tuesday - Sunday 10 am until 8 pm. For further
details, please email laluna @lalunagallery.com.
Thailand remains one of the world’s favourite destinations
The smiles ARE still genuine
Thailand’s long-established slogan, “The Land of Smiles” still
helps draw inbound visitors and foreign revenue into the country, which
remains in the top 10 international tourist destinations.
Travel & Leisure, the US magazine that is regarded as one of the
yardsticks of the international tourism industry, has been publishing
its annual survey for 12 years. Its latest survey, which appears in the
February issue of its magazine, points up just how successful Thailand’s
leisure industry still is at attracting top-end visitors to the country.
Bangkok was voted into third place in the “world’s favourite city”
stakes, whilst Phuket’s vote placed it eighth in the “world’s favourite
island” section. Narrowing the choice down to the Asian region, Thai
hotels accounted for more than one in four of the properties selected as
Whilst the classics still reign - the Oriental Bangkok debuted at No 1
in 1996 and comes in at No 2 in Asia this year - the popularity of
hotels in the Asia category such as Amanpuri, Banyan Tree, and the Four
Seasons Resort in Chiang Mai are proof that Travel & Leisure readers now
eagerly venture beyond Thailand’s capital to beach resorts on Phuket and
jungle retreats in the North.
Other elements that go into the tourism mix are undoubtedly Thai food,
the weather, the culture, entertainment, and the warmth of the Thai
people. It is a highly successful mix; despite the intense efforts of
competing nations around the region, all fighting hard for tourism
revenue, it seems that Thailand certainly has something to smile about.
Co-founder of the School for Life
Prof.Dr. Jürgen Zimmer’s 70th birthday
Celebrations at the School for Life
Friends and colleagues from all over
Thailand came to celebrate with Prof. Dr. Jürgen Zimmer, (fifth right),
at a party hosted by Joy Worrawittayakurn (third right). These included
Lung Kaew, head of the Karen Group at Chiang Dao, (seventh right),
Sompong Chu Sombat, from Pang Nga, (second right), and the Iman from Mai
Pai Island, (sixth right).
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Zimmer celebrated his 70th birthday in Chiang Mai
surrounded by friends and colleagues. As co-founder of the School for
Life he received a hearty reception from the staff and children of the
School, who put together a variety of performances for his enjoyment.
Under the theme “Friends’ reunion - back to the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s”,
the 100 guests enjoyed music and dances not only from that period but
also from different countries from around the world and from different
areas of Thailand. Visitors came from various hill tribe villages and
the southern province of Phang Nga to join the celebrations. The event
was organized by Joy’s House and Children’s Shelter home together with
the staff of the School for Life. After a day of rest, Prof. Dr. Jürgen
Zimmer travels to Germany where another birthday celebration is waiting
for him. The following is a summary of the past activities of Prof.
Jürgen before he dedicated his time mainly in Thailand to work with the
School for Life projects.
Born in 1938 in Bielefeld, Germany, Prof. Dr. Jürgen first studied at
the Salem Boarding School. After receiving his leaving certificate, he
continued his studies, specializing in Educational Science, Community
Education, Psychology, and Law in Hamburg, Freiburg and Munich. In 1965
he gained a research fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for
Educational Research in Berlin. Subsequently, in 1971, he became the
director of the Pre-School Education Section of the German Youth
Institute, planning and monitoring the nation-wide reform of the
kindergarten system. By 1978, he held the posts of Scientific Counsellor
and Professor at the University of Münster, and in 1980 became a full
Professor at the University of Berlin during which time he founded the
Institute of Intercultural Education. At all times during his
distinguished academic career, he has served with various organizations
and bodies, including the German Education Council, UNESCO, the UN, the
Council of Europe, etc, acted as advisor to many foundations, and as
supervisor of parts of the education reform strategy in the former GDR.
For almost 30 years Prof. Dr. Jürgen has undertaken consultancy and
project work in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe, within the
framework of community education with special attention to early
childhood education, particularly in Thailand. His many other worldwide
consultancies have earned him the gratitude and admiration of everyone
with whom he has been involved.
Chiang Mai International
Heritage Festival 2008
‘Viva in the Air’ Hot Air Balloon Weddings record attempt
On March 7 - 9, the first ever Chiang Mai International Heritage
Festival will take place and will include a Hot Air Balloon Weddings
record attempt. The event has been scheduled to take place at the Lanna
Polytechnic School, (off the Superhighway), and will feature booths both
from Thailand and from abroad, including Germany, India, Italy, Korea
the press conference, held at the Manderin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, to
launch Viva in the Air & Chiang Mai International Heritage Festival
2008. Ram Jafri, Montri Wongkasem (Vice President, Chiang Mai Chamber of
Commerce), Junnapong Saranak, (Director T.A.T.), Staporn Sirisingha,
(Senior Executive Vice President Travel Management Department), Eileen
Wee, (Vice President, Thailand Mastercard), and Yut Wanichanond,
(Advisor of Earth Wind & Fire Co., Ltd), pictured l/r.
The event’s press conference last week, held at the Mandarin Oriental
Dhara Dhevi, was opened by Junnapong Saranak of T.A.T. Shim Hoon Shig,
President Executive of the Korean Culture Centre told the Chiang Mai
Mail that “the Korean booth will promote Korean modern culture, I.T. and
Korean movies, with a possible second booth sponsored by Korean Air”.
Merlyn Dendy, from the Association of Filipinos in Thailand - Northern
Capital Region, said their booth would concentrate on “food,
handicrafts, traditional dancing, tourism and San Miguel beer”.
The festival will commence on the March 7 in the morning with a free
flying balloon display. In the afternoon there will be marching bands
and song, dance and other forms of entertainment from around the world.
Festival visitors will enjoy a global presentation of traditions,
national dress, music, handicrafts and cuisine in an ambiance designed
to engender goodwill between nations, increase trade and boost tourism.
Just after dawn on Saturday morning, March 8, 15 hot air balloons will
gently lift fifteen excited couples high above the city. The couples
will be accompanied by a registrar who will conduct an official wedding
ceremony in the sky at Green Valley Country Club in Mae Rim. The
specially-selected brides and grooms from all over the world will enjoy
numerous sponsored privileges, including an expenses-paid honeymoon. The
record breaking ‘Weddings in the Air’ attempt, which will be certified
by “Ripley’s, Believe it or Not”, is expected to draw a large number of
spectators and might well bring early morning traffic to a halt! On the
same evening, the wedding couples will attend a traditional Lanna style
marriage ceremony at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi hotel.
The Cultural Heritage Festival will also feature some of Thailand’s top
showbiz personalities, spectacular parades, marching bands and concerts
by first-class performers. The schedule includes the concerts of E.T.C.
on the 7th, Calories Blah Blah on the 8th and Groove Riders on March 9.
To top it all, there will be hot air balloon “Night Glows” and fireworks
synchronized with music.
The festival is expected to become an annual spectacle. One of the
organizers, Earth Wind & Fire Co. Ltd., is the first and
longest-established hot air balloon operating company in Thailand.
Nannapas Krainara also said that organisers are committed to showcasing
the Lanna Thai capital as the vibrant cosmopolitan city it has become in
The festival will take place on the sports field of Lanna Polytechnic
School during March 7-9. Tickets are 50 baht, 25 baht for students, and
children under 12. For more information, please visit