Chiang Mai bids farewell to U.S. Consul General Mike Morrow
On a rainy evening, outgoing U.S. Consul General Michael
K. Morrow delivered a sweet, moving speech both in Thai and in English to
the gathered crowd at the U.S. Consulate General on Wednesday, June 23,
Shannon Morrow fixes an American flag pin on the jacket
lapel of her husband, U.S. Consul General Michael K. Morrow.
The line to greet U.S. Consul General Mike Morrow and his
wife Shannon stretched through the Consulate grounds and to the main door as
people from all walks of Chiang Mai life gathered to bid their farewells.
Deputy Governor Chumphon Saengmanee, Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn, Provincial
Police, Consuls, media, business people, artists, and more joined the
Dr. Nirund Jivasontikarn, the Honorary Consul of Belgium
is joined by German Honorary Consul Hagen Dirksen at the party at the U.S.
The heavens may have broken open during the speech but it
did not deter either Consul General Mike Morrow or Deputy Governor Chumphon
Saengmanee from their task. Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn stood resolutely in
the rain, paying his respects to the outgoing Consul, until finally the
deluge was too strong.
However, it did not dampen the spirits of the crowd and,
in Chiang Mai fashion, another large tent was walked in and the rain abated.
Consul General to the People’s Republic of China Zhu Weimin remarked that
Chiang Mai was crying its goodbye.
Shannon Morrow is joined by Dr. Howard Graves Jr. at the farewell party.
U.S. Consul General Michael K. Morrow came to Chiang Mai
after having previously served at the U.S. Embassies in Gaborone, Warsaw,
Moscow, and Lagos. Consul General Morrow received a Masters Degree in
International Affairs from Columbia University in 1986, a Certificate from
Columbia’s Averell W. Harriman Institute for the Advanced Study of the
Soviet Union and a B.A. in Political Science at Miami University in 1984.
Michael Morrow hails from Saline, Michigan and his wife, Shannon, from
Vancouver, British Columbia. They have two sons, Sean and Brett. His next
assignment will be in Iraq for one year while Mrs. Morrow will return the
boys to the United States to attend school.
U.S. Consul General Michael Morrow is joined by Ayoe and
his wife Miju, members of the Akha tribe who have been working closely with
the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai.
The crowd toasted Their Majesties the King and Queen
after the Royal Anthem was played and then, with hand over heart, Americans
honored their flag with the Star Spangled banner.
The evening ended on a high note as the crowds filtered
out into the gray evening, with friends and colleagues bidding the family a
very fond farewell and a safe journey as their lives continue down a new
Zhu Weimin, Consul General of the People’s Republic of
China in Chiang Mai joined Japanese Consul General Junko Yakata under the
tent at the party.
Piergorgio Lattuille of Italasia and his charming wife are joined by Phairoj
Phatsorpinyosakul, President of Rimping Supermarket and his wife to
celebrate the anniversary of the U.S. Consulate General and bid farewell to
its’ outgoing Consul General, Mike Morrow.
Deputy Commissioner Bundop Sukhotaman of the Provincial Police Bureau 5
and his colleagues present outgoing U.S. Consul General Michael K. Morrow
and his wife Shannon with a bouquet of roses.
Japanese Consul General Junko Yakata joins with other guests to toast
Their Majesties the King and Queen of Thailand at the conclusion of the
Goson and Margaret Bhadungzong of Welcome to Chiang Mai,
Chiang Rai Magazine flank U.S. Consul General Michael Morrow and his wife
Shannon after being greeted on their arrival.
Julie Hastings of Tai Chi Chiang Mai, Toby Allen of Oasis Spa, LiLi Tan
and Marisa Marchitelli of Sangdee Gallery enjoy their drinks before the rain
at the party.
From left, Thanu Boonywatana President and Managing
Director of Creative Kingdom, Toby Allen of Oasis Spa, Areeya Chumsai, Miss
Thailand 1994, Tony Malhotra, Managing Director of the Chiang Mai Mail and
Eduardo Robles, Chairman and CEO of Creative Kingdom enjoyed the atmosphere
of the party, despite the earlier rains.
Santad Saksoong, Editor for the ChiangMai News
CR Manager for Tamarind Village, Worawat Tantranon of
Robinson’s Department Store, Watchara Tantranon of Furama Hotel, Phitsanu
Chiang Mai Mail Editor and Tony Malhotra, Managing Director
of the Chiang Mai Mail for drinks at the party.
(Left photo) Managing Director of the Chiang Mai Mail,
Tony Malhotra presents a flower arrangement of lilies to the U.S. Consul
General and his wife. (Right)
Santad Saksoong, Editor for the ChiangMai News
joins the Chiang Mai Mail team, Tony Malhotra, Managing Editor Shana Kongmun
and Editor Phitsanu Thepthong in greeting U.S. Consul General Michael K.
Morrow and his wife Shannon.
U.S. Consul General Chiang Mai Michael Morrow
Farewell Speech, June 23, 2010
we’re celebrating three things: First, the 234th birthday of the United
States of America. For the last 177 of those years, we’ve had a formal
treaty partnership with Thailand. Second, the 60th anniversary of the
founding of the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai. This has highlighted
the special relationship between the American people and the people of
northern Thailand. Third, the end of a wonderful three-year experience that
my family and I have enjoyed here in Chiang Mai.
On the first point, I’m happy to say that the U.S.-Thai
relationship is in excellent shape. For many decades we’ve cooperated
closely on security and law enforcement matters. Our economic ties are
powerful, in both trade and investment. And our people-to-people ties are
extensive, with thousands of Thais and Americans visiting, studying, and
living in each other’s countries. Our two countries must continue to
cooperate closely on regional and international issues to meet the
challenges of the 21st century.
This year has been a difficult one for Thailand. But the
American people have supported you faithfully during this time of trouble.
We’ve been careful not to take sides in Thailand’s internal dispute.
Instead, we’re on the side of a strong, stable, and prosperous Thailand,
where all the people of Thailand live together peacefully.
The second thing we’re celebrating today is the
Consulate’s 60th anniversary. Our presence in Chiang Mai for six decades has
created a special bond between the American people and the people of
northern Thailand, and between the American and Lanna cultures. We’re proud
to say that there are many American threads woven closely into the Lanna
We’ve marked this 60th anniversary year with several
special events. One of these is visible on the opposite side of this wall.
In January, we invited over 100 youth from diverse backgrounds to express
the theme “Freedom Is . . .” with their paint brushes by painting murals on
the Consulate wall. The results exceeded our expectations in terms of beauty,
color, and creativity. Two other events were recent conferences we held to
support Chiang Mai’s development as a regional and global IT hub. I want to
thank Governor Amoraphun for his participation in both events. He and I
share a common vision that Chiang Mai can diversify its economy and create
high-wage jobs by expanding the region’s high-tech industry. The U.S. firm
IBM has already opened an office here, and other leading U.S. IT firms will
The third thing we’re celebrating today is the end of a
wonderful three-year experience that my family and I have enjoyed here in
Chiang Mai. We’re so happy that so many of our friends have come tonight to
help us with this celebration. For us, of course, it’s a bittersweet feeling
because we don’t really want to leave. So here in the house that Cao Kaew
Nawarat built, and in the city that King Mengrai built, my wife, children
and I will each leave behind a small piece of our heart. And, with your
permission, we’ll take with us a small piece of your warm hearts, a wisp of
the wonderful spirit of Lanna culture, a longing for the spectacular smell
and taste of Thai food, and a map that will guide us back here many times in
Thank you to all of you for sharing these last three
years with my family and me.
And now, let’s listen to the Royal Anthem and toast to
the good health of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Thailand, and to a
bright future for the Kingdom of Thailand.