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Update June 30, 2016

Wichai Wittaya School hosts Thai - Turkish Friendship dinner

School Head Metin Askan addresses the audience, reminding them of the importance of acceptance and friendship at the Thai – Turkish Friendship Dinner on June 27, 2016 at the Empress Hotel Chiang Mai.

Metin Askan (standing) joins Governor Pawin Chamniprasart, Chief of Chiang Mai Provincial Police Pol. Maj. Gen. Montri Sambunyanon, former Lampang Governor Tanin Subhasaen, former Senator Adisorn Kamnerdsiri and other government officials for the Friendship Dinner.

Chao Duang Duen na Chiang Mai and her son Pakinai (2nd left and far left) join the Governor’s wife and President of the Chiang Mai Provincial Red Cross Mongsuda Chamniprasart and her friend at the dinner.

The international community was well-represented, here Irish Representative Annette Kunigagon joins the dinner with friends.

By Shana Kongmun
Wichai Wittaya School, a part of the Marmara Schools network, hosted a Ramadan Dinner celebrating friendship between Thailand and Turkey, the home base of the schools. Metin Askan, Head of the School here in Chiang Mai welcomed dignitaries and guests and reminded everyone that religion is not about killing but about love and peace, no matter which religion you follow. He ended on a poem that began with “Open your heart as big as the sky”. His inspirational speech was a reminder to all that the meal was about friendship.

Wichai Wittaya Bilingual School was established with a bilingual Thai and English curriculum in a bid to turn Chiang Mai kids into global citizens. The school offers education in all levels; Kindergarten, Primary, Lower Secondary and Upper Secondary and has more than 600 children attending the school. Wichai Wittaya School is an integral part of education in Chiang Mai, providing students with opportunities due to the bilingual education. Marmara Schools also has three schools in Bangkok with courses in English as the administrators understand the importance of another language.

Update June 21, 2016

Skål Chiang Mai visits Mae Mha School for donation of supplies

Students joined together with Skål Chiang Mai members and presented them with drawings done by the students. Supplies brought by the club are in the background.

By Shana Kongmun
Skål Chiang Mai paid their now semi-annual visit to Mae Mha School and Orphanage last week and while many students were out ill with malaria the happy smiling faces made the group feel welcome. The schoolmaster thanked Skål for their support and appreciated the well-coordinated efforts of the club in ensuring the students had their needs fulfilled. In addition, many students have been learning how to use the industrial sewing machines that were purchased and donated for their use along with the many meters of fabric donated by Frank and Vanita Sethi of Fashion King.

Students performed dances for the club and then asked the visitors to join in.

The students welcomed the group with a performance before turning to lunch provided for them by the club. Students presented members of the Club and guests with drawings made for the visit and the visitors toured the now finished new boys dormitory and were glad to see that much of the area was in good shape. The cooler weather was certainly pleasant for everyone and several first time visitors including Bernard and his wife took advantage of the day to learn more about the school and the area.

One little girl found the dancing a bit more difficult!

Although no rice was delivered on this trip it was determined that more rice would be needed to get the school through the next six months so a further purchase was made and delivered to the headmaster when he brought students down to the city to train on sewing machines with experienced seamstresses later in the week.

Overall the club used 184,880 baht for food and supplies this trip. The next trip won’t be until after the Christmas fundraiser in December when new funds are raised and it will be determined what needs the students have. Skål Chiang Mai is keen to help the students learn skills so that when they finish school they can get good paying jobs. The purchase of industrial sewing machines and barbering supplies was one push towards that and the club is always interested in other learning and training opportunities for these children, many of whom have no parents or have been left at the school by parents who are not in a position to take care of them.

Skål Chiang Mai President Tim McGuire and Vice President Annette Kunigagon inspect the sewing machines donated to the school for the students to learn how to sew.

Students listen to President Tim as they wait for lunch provided for by Skål Chiang Mai.

Mae Mha School headmaster and head teacher join Tim and Annette from Skål Chiang Mai for the tour of the school.

Update June 14, 2016

118th Independence Day of the Republic Of The Philippines

Filipino Community in Chiang Mai (FILCOM) also elect officers

The Filipino community gathered to celebrate the 118th anniversary of the country’s independence from Spain.

To celebrate the 118th Independence Day, Filipino Community in Chiang Mai (FILCOM, Chiangmai) organized the Fiesta sa Chiangmai and election of a new set of officers at Ruanpae 2 Restaurant (Chiangmai Floating Restaurant 2).

The Fiesta sa Chiangmai saw the local Filipino community join together for celebrations and elections.

The Philippine Declaration of Independence (Filipino: Pagpapahayag ng Kasarinlan ng Pilipinas) was proclaimed on June 12, 1898 in Cavite II el Viejo (present-day Kawit, Cavite), Philippines. With the public reading of the Act of the Declaration of independence (Spanish: Acta de la proclamación de independencia del pueblo Filipino; Filipino: Paggawa ng Proklamasyon ng Kasarinlan ng sambayanang Pilipino), Filipino revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the Philippine Islands from the colonial rule of Spain.

Ladies of the Filipino Community of Chiangmai or FILCOM bring some fun to the day.

The events which were observed by Philippine Honorary Consul Agkarajit Phanomvan na Ayudhya who urged Filipinos to quickly adapt to the economic growth of the province and participate in major community events. The FILCOM, Chiangmai will be under the leadership of Pastor Bengie Lastimado as President and Mr. Jeulogio V. Constantino as Vice President.

Games are played and songs are sung during the celebrations held at Ruanpae 2 Restaurant.

Filipino musicians are famed throughout the world, this group kept the crowd entertained.

Shangri-La Hotel hosts Signature Wedding Fair 2016

The Shangri-La Hotel Wedding Fair featured a fashion show of fabulous bridal gowns.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Wedding season is on the way as the Shangri-La Hotel Chiang Mai hosted their Signature Wedding Fair 2016 on June 4, 2016 at the Grand Lanna Ballroom at the hotel.

The luxuriously appointed ballroom was organized to appeal to couples and help give ideas as to wedding themes and options at the hotel. Booths from vendors and from the hotel were set up for visitors to check out the special foods and events.

The Grand Lanna Ballroom at the Shangri-La Hotel was elaborately decorated for the Wedding Fair on June 4, 2016.

Shangri-La Hotel was the first in the North to receive certifications for hotel standards and food safety including Good Manufacturing Practice and HACCP Codex Alimentarius.

The hotel gave lucky draw vouchers and Danurit Suphamol and Preeyaporn Jeeraweswattana received the grand prize of 200,000 towards a wedding fair. Other prizes included two nights stay, spa packages, air tickets and other prizes like photo sessions.

The fashion show featured beautiful gowns for brides and bridesmaids.

Danurit Suphamol and Preeyaporn Jeeraweswattana received the grand prize of 200,000 towards a wedding fair at the hotel’s Signature Wedding Fair.

Update June 11, 2016

Farewell party for U.S. Consul General; the “Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lanna”

(From left) Ambassador Glyn Davies, Jacqueline Davies, Governor Pawin Chamniprasart and his wife Molsuda, U.S. Consul General Michael Heath and his wife Michelle greet guests at the party.

By Shana Kongmun
The weather cleared long enough for Chiang Mai people to gather at the historic U.S. Consulate General to bid farewell to Michael Heath and his lovely wife Michelle. U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Glyn Davies and his wife Jacqueline were on hand to join Chiang Mai in thanking Mike for his service to the community.

From left: Canadian Honorary Consul Jakkarin Wangvivat and German Honorary Consul Hagen Dirksen, U.S. Consul General Michael Heath, Wanphen Sakdatorn and Michelle Heath at the opening of the event.

Members of the diplomatic corps, the American community, businesspeople and media all joined in the party which not only honored Mike Heath but also a warm up celebration for the U.S. Independence Day, with a theme focused on the upcoming elections in the United States.

The Myanmar Consul General Kaung San Lwin and his wife are welcomed to the party by the U.S. Ambassador and his wife and the U.S. Consul General and his wife.

Ambassador Davies took the podium to offer congratulations to His Majesty the King on his seven decades on the throne saying “We dedicate this evening to His Majesty the King and to his continued health and we send him the best wishes of the American people, both the tens of thousands of Americans who live in the Kingdom and all Americans in the United States and send him best wishes for a strong recovery.”

He said, “I have to be humble here in Chiang Mai, in the United States we are 240 years old, while here in Chiang Mai you are celebrating the 720th year. I am here to pick up some tips on how Chiang Mai has retained its greatness for over 700 years.”

U.S. Ambassador Davies greets the crowd and offers best wishes to H.M. The King on the 70th anniversary of his accession to the throne.

He noted the theme of the evening was the upcoming elections and discussed voting rights and the changes in the U.S. Constitution which gave voting rights to minorities, to women and that now the U.S. is at another stage where a woman has, for the first time, secured the nomination for a major political party for the office of President of the United States. He added, “We know that Thailand, as well, continues to seek progress politically and we are heartened by that. It is important and we very much hope that Thailand succeeds in that project. For us, a prosperous, stable and democratic Thailand is good for everyone; good for the U.S., good for South East Asia, good for the World.”

Governor Pawin Chamniprasart and his wife Molsuda salute Ambassador Davies and toast H.M. The King.

He concluded saying that he and his wife were thrilled to be back in Chiang Mai and meet so many people working at the Consulate and people in Chiang Mai. He added that it was very sad to see employees at the Consulate leaving and for Consul General Heath’s departure.

“We are going to miss Mike Heath and his wife Michelle, they have been the best representatives of the United States in Thailand, Ambassador to the Lanna Kingdom is the way I think of Mike Heath,” he said, “We will miss him.”

Members of the diplomatic corps including the Myanmar Consul General, Japanese Consul General and Indian Consul join the Ambassador, the Governor and the Consul General in one last photo together.

Consul General Heath then took the podium to offer his thanks to everyone and talk a bit about his time in Chiang Mai and the wonderful people he has worked with and met in the North. Governor Pawin Chamniprasart also took the podium to thank Consul General Heath for his service in Thailand and the great relationship the province has had with the U.S. Consulate General. A toast was then given for both the Thai Royal Anthem and the U.S. National Anthem.

The evening ended on a slight rainy note but that did not dampen the spirits of the crowd who wished Mike and Michelle the best of luck on their next posting.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Wichai Wittaya School hosts Thai - Turkish Friendship dinner

Skål Chiang Mai visits Mae Mha School for donation of supplies

118th Independence Day of the Republic Of The Philippines

Shangri-La Hotel hosts Signature Wedding Fair 2016

Farewell party for U.S. Consul General; the “Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lanna”