HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Princess of Lanna cuts the ribbon on new clinic

Consul-General Junko Yokota bids farewell to Chiang Mai

Zonta installs new President


Princess of Lanna cuts the ribbon on new clinic

Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon and Wuttipong Arayatumsopon are joined
by friends in the Buddhist blessing of the new clinic on the morning of August 1.

By Shana Kongmun
Photos Hallo Chiang Mai

Dr. Dirk, as he is affectionately known by those who know him, celebrated the grand opening of his expanded clinic, the Podology Center, on Sunday, August 1 with Princess Dr. Chao Duangduen Na Chiangmai joined by Swedish Honorary Consul Mrs. Supajee Nilubo in cutting the ribbon to open the expanded clinic.

Dr. Chao Duangduen Na Chiangmai is joined by Mrs. Supajee Nilubo, Honorary Consul for Sweden and Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon in cutting the ribbon to open the clinic.

Joined by his partner, Wuttipong Arayatumsopon, Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon welcomed the group to come witness a demonstration on his friend, Ongkarn (Jojo) Chaiongkarn. With many laughs and a more than a few jokes from Jojo, Dr. Dirk demonstrated the simple and yet necessary task of taking care of one’s feet. In addition to the expansion, he has added medical equipment to an expanded surgery.

Everyone felt very fortunate that the rain managed to hold off despite a few threatening clouds during the afternoon and ended the party with many taking their photos with the Princess with all proceeds going to charity.

Tony Malhotra, center, presents a congratulatory gift to Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon with Managing Editor Shana Kongmun (right) while Wuttipong Arayatumsopon and staff look on.

Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon demonstrates his technique on the foot of his friend and MC, Jojo Ongkarn.


Consul-General Junko Yokota bids farewell to Chiang Mai

Consul-General of Japan is hailed by her peers

By Shana Kongmun
Photos by Supoj Thaimyoj

I first heard of Junko Yokota shortly after I arrived at the newspaper as her role as Consul-General for Japan has kept her very involved in the many charitable efforts the Japanese government is involved in Northern Thailand. From schoolhouses to playground equipment to dormitories, she has been there to offer Japanese government grants to needy schools across the region.

Consul –General of Japan for Chiang Mai, Junko Yokota thanks the crowd in both Japanese and Thai, expressing her sadness at leaving a city she has loved so dearly.

When I first met her, I was struck not only by her friendliness and graciousness but by her astoundingly fluent Thai. Which Governor Amornphan Nimanant joked about at his farewell speech “She speaks better Thai than I do!”

She was feted by the many Consuls and Honorary Consuls at the end of more than 3 years in Chiang Mai on July 30 at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel. Governor Amornphan hailed her as the dean of Consuls in Chiang Mai, leading the community noting that she never hesitated to help and support good causes, with a focus on rural school children and a goal to help them better their lives through education.

Chiang Mai Governor Amornphan Nimanant bids farewell to Junko Yokota.

He noted that she would be moving up to an Ambassadorship from Japan but said, “I am not allowed to say where!” The Governor of Lamphun Direk Kornkleep the head of the Chamber of Commerce also took the podium to praise her hard work in aid of the nation she loves so much.

Mrs. Yokota ended the evening by joining in playing traditional Thai instruments in a skilled and beautiful performance. The Chiang Mai Mail certainly joins the rest of the community in bidding her farewell with best wishes for the future and hopes that, as Governor Amornphan requested, that she someday returns to Chiang Mai to visit her many friends.

Direk Kornkleep, Governor of Lamphun, presents outgoing Japan Consul-General Junko Yokota with a parting gift at her farewell party on July 30 at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.

Phairoj Phatsornpinyosakul, President of the Thantraphan Supermarket Company Limited (“Rimping Supermarket”) and his wife bring Junko Yokota a present at her farewell party at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel.

Chiang Mai Mail Managing Director Tony Malhotra, left and Managing Editor Shana Kongmun, right present Mrs. Yokota with a basket of flowers to wish her well on her next post as she leaves Chiang Mai.

Mrs. Junko Yokota joins the Thai musicians
to play skillfully for the gathered crowd.

Zonta installs new President

Zonta Club President Jiamjit Boonsom expressed her gratitude and appreciation and expressed hope for the coming year to all the members of Zonta Chiang Mai.

Zonta held a dinner party to welcome its new officers and President at the Empress Hotel on July 30. Former President of the club Jiamjit Boonsom, was installed as the 7th president to replace Dr. Laura Godsfredsen, who lectured at Payap University together with new 21 executive committee members

Dr. Chao Duangduen na Chiengmai lit a candle to welcome the new Club President Jiamjit and to bring luck and prosperity for her coming year as President of Zonta.

Zonta , taken from the Lakota Sioux word ‘ray of light’ or ‘inspiration’ was founded in Buffalo, NY USA in 1919 and now has chapters in 66 countries. Supporting the cause of women worldwide through advocacy and service, Zonta is more than just a fund raising organization. Here in Chiang Mai they are involved in a program to help AIDS affected orphans go to school and buy books and school supplies. Additionally they help women attend college.

Princess Dr. Chao Duangduen na Chiengmai, the President of Chiang Mai Provincial Cultural Council graciously presided over the installation night and celebration.

New President of Zonta Chiang Mai, Jiamjit Boonsom, 2nd right, standing at the installation ceremony with committee members and Dr. Chao Duangduen na Chiengmai, seated center.