Vol. IX No. 26 - Tuesday
June 29 - July 5, 2010



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FEATURES
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chiang Mai bids farewell to U.S. Consul General Mike Morrow

U.S. Consul General Chiang Mai Michael Morrow

 

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, 2010.

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 throng.

Dr. Nirund Jivasontikarn, the Honorary Consul of Belgium is joined by German Honorary Consul Hagen Dirksen at the party at the U.S. Consulate General.

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 path.

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 Royal Anthem.

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 joins Kaimook Chankravee,
CR Manager for Tamarind Village, Woraw
at Tantranon of Robinson’s Department Store, Watchara Tantranon of Furama Hotel, Phitsanu Thepthong,
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

Today 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 fabric.

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 surely follow.

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 future.

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.



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