U.S. Consulate celebrates Independence Day
See you later! Says Consul General Ken Foster
General Kenneth Foster, Governor Thanin Subhasaen and U.S. Ambassador
Kristie Kenney sing the U.S. National Anthem at the party held at the U.S.
Consulate on June 27, 2013.
By Shana Kongmun
The dismay was audible at the Independence Day party at the U.S.
Consulate General on Thursday June 27, 2013 as Consul General Ken Foster
announced that he would be leaving for the United States in August.
“This is not a farewell”, he said in response, “But a ‘see you later’. I
will be coming back.” The very popular Consul General is widely respected in
the Thai community as well, with one Thai person pointing out “This is a man
who really understands Thailand.”
Ambassador Kristie Kenney joined the celebrations to toast the 180 years of
friendship between Thailand and the United States. She was followed by the
Stanford Chorale, over from the U.S. to perform in Thailand, singing the
Thai National Anthem. Then Governor Tanin Subhasaen took the stage to
express his thanks to the Consul General Kenneth Foster for his work in
Chiang Mai and went on to discuss the close friendship and partnerships
forged between the two nations for the past 180 years.
The Stanford Chorale then sang the Star Spangled Banner with Ambassador
Kenney and Consul General Foster, hands to hearts, joining in. They then
toasted with Governor Tanin and the party began in earnest.
The close ties between the U.S. are not only in trade but in education and
many other fields, Ambassador Kenney pointed out in an interview. There are
many Thai students going to school in the United States and Americans on
exchange programs with schools in Thailand. Trade between the two countries
is huge and Ambassador Kenney said she believes that Thai authorities value
the close relationship and the many American firms that have invested in
Thailand such as Seagate and Ford. She believes that the Thai government
will continue the Amity Treaty and its provisions over the years to come.
Consul General Ken Foster will be returning to the United States in August
but said he intends to settle down and retire in Thailand and yes, return to
Chiang Mai some day in the not too distant future.
Consul Lin Liang and staff from the Consulate-General for the People’s
Republic of China present a bouquet of flowers to Ambassador Kenney.
Commanders for Wing 41 are greeted by Ambassador Kenney and Consul General
Foster. (Photo courtesy of Wing 41)
from Payap University including Interim President Assoc. Prof. Dr. Penpilai
Rithakananone (3rd left)
Canada to have a new Honorary Consul
Nit Wangwiwat retires
Honorary Consul Nit Wangwiwat and Ambassador Calvert pose together for one
By Shana Kongmun
18 year veteran of the Chiang Mai diplomatic corps Nit Wangwiwat is
hanging up his statesman cap to retire. Although how retired this very
active businessman and leading member of the Chiang Mai community will be
remains to be seen. But Canadians do not despair as the Consulate remains
open and in the same location with the same very able and capable K. Joy who
remains to assist the new Honorary Consul Jakarin Wangwiwat, Nit’s right
hand man and son.
Wangwiwat (2nd left) joins the Ambassador and his father with Chiang Mai
businessmen at the retirement party.
Canada’s Ambassador to Thailand H.E.
Philip Calvert came to Chiang Mai to bid farewell to K. Nit and to welcome
K. Jakarin whose appointment is expected to be formalized in the next few
months. He also came to join the two men and Chiang Mai in celebrating the
146th Canada Day held on July 1, noting that Canadians feel the distance
quite strongly on their National Day. A joint Canada Day and retirement
party was held at Le Meridien Hotel on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 and was
widely attended by not only Canadians but the Chiang Mai diplomatic corps,
police, Air Force, Army, Provincial officials and businesspeople, all of
whom have worked with K. Nit in one capacity or another in the past 18
the Chiang Mai diplomatic corps come to honor the outgoing Honorary Consul
Ambassador Calvert and K. Nit noted
that Thailand and Canada have had strong relations since bilateral relations
were established 52 years ago, noting strong business ties with PTT
investing heavily in Canada. Although Ambassador Calvert did add that there
was a misperception that Canada was always cold and so the educational
exchanges were not as numerous as they could wish although many Universities
in Thailand, including CMU, have ties with Canadian schools.
Finally Ambassador Calvert said that having someone like K. Nit, and now K.
Jakarin in place in Chiang Mai was important to the Embassy as they are well
known and knowledgeable with strong ties to the community and can help
Canadians in need.
M.L. Preeyapun Sridhavat offers her well wishes to K. Nit at the party held
at Le Meridien Hotel Chiang Mai.
Japanese residents welcome new Consul-General
Consul-General and Mrs. Akhiko Fujii welcome guests to the party. (Photo
courtesy of Wing 41)
By Shana Kongmun
The life of a Consul-General is one of change, with positions
usually lasting no more than 3 or 4 years. Chiang Mai’s affable Japanese
Consul-General Kazuo Shibata moved on to Bali but now Chiang Mai welcomes
new Japanese Consul-General Akihiko Fujii and his charming wife.
Consul-General Fujii, while a newcomer to Chiang Mai, is not new to
Thailand, with Mr. Fujii having served in Bangkok before. However, he
pointed out that he had also served in Detroit, Michigan in the United
States adding that there was actually quite a few Japanese factories in the
“Motor City” of the U.S.
Tanin Subhasaen and Deputy Mayor Wilai Buranupakorn watch the video on the
culture and nature of Japan with the Consul-General and his wife. (Photo
courtesy of Wing 41)
The Japanese Consulate General held a
welcome party for Mr. Fujii and his wife at the Imperial Mae Ping on Friday,
June 28, 2013 that saw many members of the extensive Japanese community as
well as local residents, businesspeople, officials and the diplomatic corps
attend. There is a rather large population of Japanese living in Chiang Mai
and around the North, many of them retired as well as a number of Japanese
companies and businesses invested in the North.
Manager of the Imperial Mae Ping Peter Schnyder welcomes the Japanese Consul
General and his wife to the hotel, with him are staff and TAT head Wisoot
Buachoom (center). (Photo courtesy of the Imperial Mae Ping)
He welcomed the gathered audience to
the party and thanked them for their support and friendship with the
Japanese people, a short video was also shown extolling the beauties of
Japan and with the new visa rules, many of the Thai guests said they planned
on visiting Japan soon.
of the Provincial Administration Organization Boonlert Buranupakorn is
joined by local businesspeople and Deputy Mayor Wilai (far right) at the
party held on Friday, June 28.
Rotary Clubs in Chiang Mai & Lamphun
hold installation ceremony
2013-2014 Presidents of Rotary Clubs in Chiang Mai and Lamphun carried the
Rotary Clubs flags to the stage for the installation ceremony.
By Nopniwat Krailerg
Surapon Sattayarak, the Permanent Secretary of Chiang Mai presided
over the 2013-1014 District 3360 RI 17th Installation Ceremony of the
Presidents & Boards of Directors for 14 Rotary Clubs in Chiang Mai & Lamphun
at Chiang Mai Grandview Convention Center on June 29, 2013. Rotary Club of
Chiang Mai Thin Thai Ngam hosted the event that saw PDG Anurak Napawan join
District Governor Suparie Chatkunyarat and PDG Dr. Supavat Poovakul toast
the gathered crowd and sing the Rotary songs.
of Rotary Thin Thai Ngam Jeerana Juntanakut hosted the installation ceremony
at Chiang Mai Grandview Hotel.
The Presidents of all 14 Rotary Clubs
in Chiang Mai and Lamphun as well as the Board of Directors were installed
for the 2013-2014 year with the Convention Hall at Chiang Mai Grandview
Hotel filled by the turnout of Rotarians. The term began July 1, 2013.
President of Rotary Thin Thai Ngam, which hosted the event, Jeerana
Juntanakut, also the youngest Rotary President for the club, told the Chiang
Mai Mail that this year’s motto was “Engage Rotary, Change Lives” and that
her club was working hard to fulfill that directive with scholarships for
needy students, set up playgrounds and libraries in remote schools, focus on
the drive by Rotary International to eradicate polio worldwide, and join in
the RI program to assist in natural disasters.
Visitors to the Installation ceremony included those from clubs in India and
Supavat Poovakul drinks to Rotary and sings a Rotary song.
Poovakul and PDG Anurak Napawan join their club, the Rotary Club of Chiang
Mai before the start of the ceremony.
Poonthip Andersen join Supranee Noi-Um, President of Chiang Mai
Toastmaster’s Club and Visit Nakranard, President of the Rotary Club of
Chanruang of the Rotary Club of Chiang North joins members of the Rotary
Club of Chiang Mai West for dinner before the ceremony began.
Fourth of July celebrated in Chiang Mai
River Market hosts the big party
made an appearance, seen here with Bob, a member of the local branch of the
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post.
By Shana Kongmun
U.S. citizens in Chiang Mai celebrated their nation’s 237th birthday
on July 4th, 2013 at the River Market but a broad spectrum of residents both
foreign and Thai showed up for the big day. The team at the River Market put
on a great spread of classic favorites such as hot dogs, burgers, and
Budweiser (snapped up by more than just the Americans) but also Thai food
and other delicious eats.
The day started early, as it usually does in the United States, at around 3
pm when the first hungry visitors showed up and quickly swelled in a large
party of people eating, drinking, playing games and listening to some great
music. The evening ended on a high note with the glorious vision of
fireworks over the Iron Bridge, another classic Fourth of July tradition.
Dave of the
Dukes and River Market takes a hearty bite into one of the all-American hot
dogs in the huge buffet spread laid out at the River Market.
went all out for his Independence Day meal making sure he enjoyed his first
Budweiser beer in a few years!
Nancy Lindley looked forward to the fireworks show later in the evening.