British Legion holds seminar
British Legion members met for a caseworkers seminar in Chiang Mai.
By Bert Elson
When the Royal British Legion first formed in 2007 we had no idea of the
amount of welfare work we would become involved in, we were aware of course
that our primary aim was the care and welfare of those who have served/are
serving and their dependents however we had no idea of the amount of
ex-service people who have either retired here or visit on holiday.
Our initial welfare team consisted of two, myself (Bert Elson) covering
Central and South Thailand and Glenn Croston who covered North Thailand.
Both were soon in action as untrained caseworkers and it soon became obvious
that A/ we needed training and B/ we needed more welfare caseworkers, it was
not uncommon for us to travel 12 to 15 hours ONE WAY to visit a case and
then return home to either Pattaya or Chiang Mai.
Glenn was the first to complete a caseworkers course in the UK and I
completed mine along with a trainers course in 2011, this not only gave
Glenn and myself the confidence to carry out our welfare work but also
enabled me to train the caseworkers we desperately needed to cover Thailand.
Our first Basic Caseworkers course was soon held giving our branch seven
more caseworkers and allowing us to cover Bangkok, Central Thailand and some
of the popular holiday islands (Phuket and Koh Samui).
Royal British Legion members at the start of the seminar.
Our work has revolved mainly around
either elderly veterans who have retired here or some of the many younger
ones (some still serving) who visit the many holiday destinations here in
Thailand, we also have a number of widows under our wing who we ensure
receive any entitlements they are due. Some of our cases unfortunately fall
outside of our guidelines, for instance Private Medical Care so please
whilst Thailand is a wonderful place to visit or retire please remember that
healthcare is your responsibility.
It was obvious on our very first welfare case that we may have a language
problem, if dealing with someone in one of the many private hospitals we
normally had an international representative to deal with. When dealing with
Government hospitals where many of our clients are we had no such luxury, my
wife soon became my and other caseworkers constant companion. Our need for
Thai involvement became even more apparent with the case of Sing Ram Tang
who, as a Karen lived in the hills bordering Thailand and Burma, Sing was
also a member of the North Kachin Levies (Late 3rd Burma Rifles) who fought
alongside the British in WWII and was awarded the Burma Gallantry Medal.
Thanks to the many volunteer groups who work amongst the Karen Tribes our
Northern caseworker Glenn was informed that Sing was unwell, Glenn was soon
on the job and although poor Sing passed away with the help of Susan and her
head office team we soon Almonised and provided help for Sing’s dependents.
MacDonald, Bert Elson and Derek Brook flew up from Pattaya for the seminar
and drinks afterwards.
Our latest caseworkers course was held a few days ago in Chiang Mai and I am
glad to report that on the course was our first Thai candidate Jaa, Jaa is a
trained nurse and has been a member of the Legion for some time. She and the
other candidates passed with flying colours giving Thailand a total of 14
trained caseworkers. We also had a guest on the Chiang Mai course a Mrs.
Nancy Lindley from Lanna Care, a local charity who assists ex Pats of many
nations who find themselves in distress.
My visit to Chiang Mai was also to attend their Branch Meeting and for this
I was also accompanied by Branch President Graham Macdonald and Branch
Chairman Derek Brook, we received a fantastic reception before, during and
after the meeting and have made a pledge to go more often. The Chiang Mai
Branch are at present looking for a new home to meet in so please watch this
space for future announcements.
We hope to hold two more basic caseworker courses soon, one in Pattaya (with
my wife as first candidate!) our busiest area and one in Phuket that would
also cover the South of Thailand, anyone wishing to join the Legion or who
have served in the UK Armed Forces and need assistance please contact:
Pattaya-Bert Elson, [email protected] or call in to Tropical Bert’s on
the junction of Soi 6/1 and 2nd Road. In Chiang Mai – Tony Archer,
British Legion members are actively involved in aiding servicemen and women
Birthday celebrations for HM the Queen
Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul pays his respects to HM Queen Sirikit by
placing offerings of flowers at her portrait at the ceremony at CMU
Convention Center on August 12, 2012.
By Shana Kongmun
Chiang Mai saw celebrations in honor of HM the Queen’s 80th birthday
from early morning through the evening, with the day beginning early for
many with alms giving ceremonies in honor of HM the Queen starting at 6 a.m.
The Provincial government then held ceremonies attended by government
officials, elected officials, Royal Thai Army and Air Force officers,
Consuls and Honorary Consuls, business leaders, academic leaders, members of
the Lanna Royal families, disabled citizens who have been aided by Royal
projects, students, and many others at the Chiang Mai University Convention
Center where a merit making ceremony was held and led by the Abbots of the
leading temples in Chiang Mai.
The day was filled with Mother’s Day celebrations around town including at
Tha Pae Gate, Central Airport Plaza and Kad Suan Kaew and ended up with a
candle lighting ceremony at Tha Pae Gate led by Chiang Mai Member of
Parliament Tassanee Buranupakorn. Everyone dressed in HM Queen Sirkit’s
color of light blue for the evening and joined together in song praising HM
the Queen and her works. The square was filled with weavers and other
craftsman demonstrating the many skills that HM the Queen has helped to
promote through the SUPPORT Foundation.
Mai’s Member of Parliament Tassanee Buranupakorn and Mayor of Chiang Mai
Tussanai Buranupakorn take part in the merit making ceremony offering
flowers to the portrait of HM the Queen on Sunday, August 12. The rain
didn’t slow down the evening.
band from Jara Witthalayu School entertained the crowd at Tha Pae Gate at
the evening celebrations.
from Helping Hand English language program at Radio Thailand NBT Chiang Mai
joins Chiang Mai Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul at the ceremonies at CMU
Summer Splash raises funds for the
Royal British Legion
is joined by her friend Pam at the door checking tickets for the event.
By Shana Kongmun
The Royal British Legion held their annual Summer Splash at the Pool at the
Centre of the Universe and raised just under 15,000 Baht for the Royal
British Legion. The Royal British Legion has been helping veterans since
1921, providing aid and care with recover centers for injured personnel;
support for bereaved families, financial help and retraining for veterans as
well as providing support for their families.
The RBL will also be holding a Charity Golf Fundraiser in conjunction with
the Golfaholics Club to raise funds to aid Thai veterans as well.
Additionally, they hold Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Foreign Cemetery
every year on November 11 at 11 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.
supervised the bar while Lamorna Cheesman and John Morgan enjoyed a glass of
and her lovely daughter join Rhys Bonney and Amy of Assist Thai Visa at the
Prouse and Rex Baggaley are joined by friends at the Summer splash catered
by The Dukes Restaurant at the Centre of the Universe.
Zonta Diamond Gala installs new President
Duangduen na Chiengmai, the President of Chiang Mai Provincial Cultural
Council graciously presided over the installation night and celebration.
Women’s international organization
Zonta installed their new President, Raya Luelai on August 9, 2012 at the
Shangri La Hotel at their annual fundraising ball that saw the ladies of
Chiang Mai dressed to the nines wearing a multitude of hats!
Raya replaced outgoing President Jiamjit Boonsom to take the helm of Zonta.
Zonta International was founded in the USA in 1919 and now has chapters in
66 countries. The name comes from the Native American tribe the Lakota Sioux
word for “ray of light”. Zonta works to support the cause of women worldwide
through advocacy and service. In Chiang Mai Zonta has been active in many
women’s causes from helping disadvantaged women attend college, aiding the
Wildflower Home for abused women, as well as helping AIDS affected orphans
go to school by purchasing uniforms and books.
Consul Dhirendra Singh Garbyal and his wife are joined by Vanita Sethi of
Fashion King as honored guests to the evening.
one of the leading sponsors of the event, providing mixed drinks for the
Ladies joined for a group photo at the start of the evening.
Lanna Swiss Society gathers at Le Meridien for National Day
his patriotism in a Swiss flag shirt,
he is joined here by Chetiya, Max and Malee.
By Shana Kongmun
The Swiss population of Chiang Mai and the North came together to
celebrate Switzerland’s National Day on August 1, 2012. More than 160 Swiss
citizens and their families met at the Le Meridien for drinks and dinner, to
celebrate their national heritage and, as Eveline Willi, Events Manager of
the Swiss Lanna Society said, “to speak our native language.”
had this vest specially made for the dinner.
“For many people,” she pointed out, “it is their only chance to speak the
languages of Switzerland, and we speak English everywhere so it’s very nice
to get together for a change.”
The crowd ranged from young families to older retired couples and everything
in between, many dressed in t-shirts and hats with the famous white cross on
a red background that is the Swiss national flag.
Eveline said the Swiss Lanna Society has around 140 members and signed up
quite a few more at the evening. The first annual national day celebrations,
the Society will also put on a Christmas party in December (the date to be
determined in the future) as well as the Annual General Meeting which takes
place in April. Additionally they offer ‘Treff’; irregular meetings with
talks and seminars as well as the weekly ‘Schtum’ held every Wednesday at
6:30 p.m. at the Why Not Restaurant on Nimmanhaemin Soi 13.
Additionally members are encouraged to share their expertise and interests
in various activities such as a cheese making course. They also meet
regularly for tennis, golf and biking. Interested Swiss citizens can contact
the Swiss Lanna Society:
Sunisa made sure their sons Narita and Bivio were dressed for the occasion.
Penelope and Hanna were ready to join the festivities.
Vanita Sethi of Fashion King were one of the sponsors for the dinner, here
they join Eveline Willi, Events Manager for the Swiss Lanna Society.
non-members gathered together to chat before the dinner that was held at Le
Meridien on August 1, 2012.
Wine Direct holds Arab nights at Sahara Restaurant
including Tracy Williams,
Mohamad Jesr and Manfred Ilg enjoyed the evening.
By Shana Kongmun
Sahara Restaurant on Nimmanhaemin is more well known for their tasty Middle
Eastern fare than for parties but they threw a fancy dress party in
conjunction with Wine Direct on August 9, 2012 that saw many guests drop in
for a glass of wine, some delicious food, a belly dancing show from some
pretty convincing ladyboys, as well as a fashion show.
Although many guests did not take part in dressing up for the party, enough
did that awards were handed out for best male and female costume. There was
also a fortune teller as well as free flow wine and food. The evening was a
great success for both Wine Direct and Sahara which, while struggling to
keep up with larger than expected demand, still managed to refill the dishes
of chicken, hummus and more.
posed with the handsome young men dressed in costume.
dancing show featured some pretty convincing ladyboys.
show closed out the night at Sahara.