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The Royal British Legion spreads its wings in Thailand

The Beauty of Simple Things

Thailand remains one of the world’s favourite destinations

Co-founder of the School for Life Prof.Dr. Jürgen Zimmer’s 70th birthday

Chiang Mai International Heritage Festival 2008

The Royal British Legion spreads its wings in Thailand

Says goodbye to colleague

Andy’s friends all attended the funeral.

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 heart.
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.
Bert Elson,
Secretary Royal British Legion
Chonburi Thailand Branch
BR3588
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

Kamolthep Malhotra
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 Asia’s best.
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 projects and
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

Staff reporter
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 and Nepal.

At 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 recent years.
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 http://www.chiangmaiheritagefestival.com/index.html.