- HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
A.X. Fassbind Memorial Fund becomes a reality
Pattaya shows true compassion
Bangkok Hospital Pattaya supports Rotary charity project
All go at Seaboard Sundowners
A.X. Fassbind Memorial Fund becomes a reality
Memorial dinner for Mr. Pattaya raises more than 200,000 baht
The A. X. Fassbind Memorial Fund Charity Dinner was held on
Sunday August 3, at Bruno’s, the fine dining restaurant founded by none
other than Louis Fassbind and Bruno Forrer, two legends in the
hospitality business in their own lifetimes.
The evening attracted over 120 guests who all came to remember a man who
was affectionately known as “Mr Pattaya”.
His full name was Alois Xavier Fassbind, but many people called him
‘Louis’ and to his friends he was simply ‘Luigi’. He was a man whose
name became synonymous with the hospitality and tourism industry in
Thailand, especially in Pattaya City.
In his memorable address Peter Malhotra said, “Louis passed away 10
years ago on August 3, 1998, but his legacy is still with us. In one way
or another, his mission and vision continues to influence the everyday
lives of all who live and work in the industry all over Thailand.
He was no ordinary character. He was a larger than life personality, a
man who spent more than half his life in Thailand, 28 years of which
were devoted to promoting Pattaya.
His success in this field laid down the foundations of our city, and it
is his efforts that we now enjoy.”
Phillips, PP Jon Tellefsen and Sutham Phanthusak look over the list of
items in the silent auction.
Originally from Switzerland, Louis was well versed in all aspects of
hotel management and in 1966 he came to Thailand to work in the
Oriental. By 1970 he had come to Pattaya to oversee the construction and
opening of the Pattaya Palace. Three years later he joined the Royal
Cliff Beach Resort as general manager, finishing as the executive vice
His work was recognized with numerous awards, including the Award of
Merit at the PATA Congress in Beijing and in 1998 he was named Hotelier
of the Year at the ITB conference in Berlin. Huge international
accolades for a man working in a small resort city that no one had
really heard of before 1970.
Schaub and Ferenc Fricsay are visibly moved as they speak fondly of
Louis Fassbind was also a charitable man. For 25 years a Rotarian, and a
founding member of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya, he was a driving
force behind many of the Rotary projects to help the people of Thailand.
In 1985 he founded and funded the Fassbind Medical Home in the
Banglamung Home for the Aged. It has since undergone extensions and
renovations. Alois Xavier Fassbind provided the funding for the entire
project from his personal funds until his sudden passing.
He was an avid environmentalist, even to the extent of “adopting” Koh
Pai (Bamboo Island). Guests would be taken there, feted and welcomed
ashore with ceremony and champagne to then be given sacks to assist in
cleaning up the beach. Louis Fassbind had style and flair, to a degree
rarely seen even in Amazing Thailand.
Malhotra spoke passionately of Louis’ life and his dedication to the
wellbeing of Pattaya.
With the untimely passing away of Bruno Forrer, Louis’s closest friend
and co-founder of Bruno’s restaurant, the Fassbind Foundation that was
to be set up as a charitable organization never materialized.
But close friends have now joined forces again to revive and rekindle
Louis’s spirit of charity and are in the process of setting up the
Fassbind Memorial Fund, which will come under the stewardship of the
Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya. Many of the Pattaya service clubs and
associations involved in the hospitality, travel and tourism related
businesses have already indicated their support for the project.
Peter went on to say, “Louis Fassbind was a flamboyant philanthropist
with the rare qualities of far sightedness and determination. Louis was
a large man with largesse to match his physical size, and in addition to
being a brilliant visionary and planner, he was an active adventurer
right to the end.
Stark, “Louis cared very much for the environment”.
Now, 10 years after Louis was taken from us, people still associate his
name with charity, and that is the aim of this memorial dinner.”
Fredi Schaub, who as a young brilliant chef was taken under the wing of
his mentors Louis and Bruno, and now the dedicated proprietor of Bruno’s
tended to the guests with his usual flair and charm and was assisted on
the night by a guest chef named Peter Marty who is taking up the helm in
Bruno’s kitchen until the end of August. Diners were treated to an
exquisite meal of salmon, veal and almond parfait at a cost of only
1,500 baht - 500 baht of which will go directly to the Fassbind Memorial
Fund. With the 122 guests in attendance this meant that 61,000 baht went
straight to the fund, and an anonymous donator very generously matched
that amount, adding a further 61,000.
Burbridge, “I wept at his funeral”.
Among the many guests at Bruno’s was Dennis Stark, past president of the
Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya who said that Louis was so passionate
about the environment that he set up an anchor point for the fishing and
recreation boats to use so that the coral that surrounds Pattaya could
Bill Burbridge was another guest who said that Louis was a man of
immense stature and that when he died Bill was among many who wept at
The general manager of the Chaophaya Park hotel in Bangkok, Andrew Wood
stated that he had originally met Louis on the international hotel
industry circuit and that he was proud to have known this very special
man whose memory will continue to live on with the setting up of
scholarships for hospitality students in our community.
Another good friend of Louis, Ferenc Fricsay also pointed out that
Bruno’s restaurant was the ideal venue for this, the first memorial
dinner because of the friendship that Louis had with Bruno Forrer, and
that hanging in the restaurant is an oil painting which, if you look
closely, you will see that the faces of Louis and Bruno.
Hoppe the organiser of this charity event is to be commended for a job
There was also a raffle and silent auction that together raised 85,700
A big thank you must be said to Judy Hoppe, Jim Phillips, Jan Chris von
Koss and Elfi Seitz for making this unforgettable event possible.
The evening was a delightful one that brought some old friends together
and some new faces who learnt about his great man and his legacy. Ten
years after his untimely death the Louis Fassbind Memorial Fund was off
to a great start with 207,700 baht, all of which was raised by kind
hearted people in the area donating gifts for the raffle and auction.
And as for Mr Pattaya, his name and memory and his good work for Pattaya
and its people will live on through this memorial fund. A fund that will
be part of the community, a fund that residents of this fine city can be
proud of. A fund that will make things happen, the way only Louis could
make them happen.
Lovely ladies show off the
wines to attract high bids in the silent auction.
Connoisseurs examine the
wines on auction.
Glasses are raised in
honour of a dear friend, departed but not forgotten.
Pattaya shows true compassion
Dr. Iain Corness
When a small child loses its father, the family breadwinner, the
future is generally very bleak. That was the likely scenario for Nong Dream,
the 11-year-old daughter of Elvis Ballard, Pattaya’s best known Elvis
Newton speaks fondly of Elvis Ballard, as the late singer’s wife Kuntalee
Elvis Ballard was the resident Elvis at the Jomtien Boathouse and Captain’s
Corner restaurants and attracted a very appreciative audience every week.
His act was recognized as the most professional by his peers, the other
Elvis impersonators. Phuket’s Elvis, Ritchie Newton, recounted the night
Elvis Ballard was having an audition for his Elvis Ritchie show. After only
one song, Ritchie’s partner said, “He’s better than you, Ritchie.” Ritchie
could only agree.
When Elvis Ballard was diagnosed with cancer early this year, everyone hoped
for a quick recovery, but it was not to be. Elvis Ballard died on July 19
2008, in the arms of his wife Kuntalee Djunsrikul. His only worry was the
future education of his daughter, but his long-time friends Ib and Kanikar
Ottesen assured him that this would be taken care of, and his passing was
peaceful. As Ib said, “He could go to Dixieland in peace.”
Ib and Kanikar also set up a fixed bank account in her name, with her
education needs to be paid out in installments over the next 10 years.
Newton performs a great Elvis show.
To assist in raising the necessary funds, a charity concert was held on July
6 at the Jomtien Boathouse, with all the proceeds going into the account.
Sponsors for this event included Casa Pascal Restaurant, Mata Hari
Restaurant, Mermaid’s Dive School, Poseidon Restaurant, Captain’s Corner
Bar-B-Q, Pinnacle Resort, Mulligans Pub, Jomtien Boathouse, Classic Tailor,
Residence Garden and Jomtien Beach Residence. Even people who could not
attend, such as Elvis Colin Young (De Jong), supported the event, sending a
cash donation to Elvis Ballard’s Kuntalee.
The concert attracted a huge audience who came to say their final farewells.
They were entertained by performers who donated their time, including a
great Elvis show from Ritchie Newton, Rick and Harpic plus Rick’s daughter
Carly Bryant and a guest spot by Mary from the Blues Factory and finally
Elvis Arthur, but a very large cheer went to Ib Ottesen himself, who opened
the show. There was also another enthusiastic ‘performer’ (Dr. Iain) who was
called on stage by Ritchie Newton to join him in a number. It is wonderful
how rejuvenating a glass of champagne can be.
very large cheer went to Ib Ottesen when he opened the show.
Lucky draws and raffles rounded out an evening which, although tinged with
sadness, reminded everyone of a wonderful entertainer and father, who had
been snatched from us. However, with the compassion shown by so many people
in Pattaya, his legacy to his daughter will not be forgotten, with the
evening raising around 250,000 baht.
If you wish to add to the education fund, go to www. elvisballard.com where
donations can be made on-line, or donations can be made personally at The
Residence Garden, Captain’s Corner or Jomtien Boathouse.
Ritchie Newton and Dr. Iain –
“It is wonderful how rejuvenating
a glass of champagne can be.” (Photo courtesy Alan Coates)
(L to R) Elvis Ballard’s wife
Kuntalee Djunsrikul, daughter Nong Dream and Kanikar Ottesen at the
fundraising evening at the Jomtien Boathouse.
Rick and Harpic plus Rick’s
daughter Carly Bryant perform at the concert.
Bangkok Hospital Pattaya supports
Rotary charity project
Dr. Iain Corness
Rotary International in Chonburi has an ongoing charity project, providing
free cataract operations for the needy old people in the district. Last year
this was done mainly through a hospital in Sriracha, but this year, the
Bangkok Hospital Pattaya indicated that it was prepared to come on board to
be the provider for the assessments and operations for those elderly people
who were eligible.
The Rotary event was opened by the hospital’s assistant director, Dr Moryoon
Sathabuttr, himself a Rotarian past-president. District Governor Peter
Malhotra then addressed the combined Rotary Clubs in the Pattaya area who
had assembled in the Bangkok Hospital Pattaya and thanked them for their
cooperation in the project, which has been dedicated in the name of His
Majesty the King’s 80th birthday.
He was responded to by the deputy director of the hospital, Dr Narin
Boonchongcharoen, who explained that the hospital has a number of community
projects it is supporting and this one is something that the hospital is
happy to be involved in, as it provides help for a very needy, and deserving
group in the local community.
Also in attendance were at least 40 elderly folk from the region who were
then given optical screening by the ophthalmology specialists, led on this
occasion by Dr. Pipat. He mentioned just how rewarding the procedure was,
when some of the old people could see again, and for many, they were seeing
their grandchildren clearly for the first time.
District Governor Peter Malhotra
addresses the combined Rotary Clubs in the Pattaya area,
thanking them for their cooperation in the project, which has
been dedicated in the name of His Majesty the King’s 80th
Director Dr Narin Boonchongcharoen explains that the hospital
has a number of community projects it is supporting.
Past President Stefan Ryser
(right) presents a cash donation to District Governor Pratheep Malhotra
(left) to be utilised in the Cataract Operation project.
President Viboon Ruckthongsuk
(left) of the Rotary Club of Sriracha makes a donation on behalf of
President Warin Thaiteerasatien of the Rotary Club of Ban Bung, accepted by
District Governor Peter Malhotra (right).
District Governor Peter
Malhotra (right) hands over the total collections to Dr Narin
Boonchongcharoen, deputy director of the Bangkok Hospital Pattaya.
Rotary International in
Chonburi has an ongoing charity project,
providing free cataract operations for the needy old people in the
Elderly folk from the region
are given optical screening
by ophthalmology specialists, led by Dr. Pipat.
All go at Seaboard Sundowners
Dr Iain Corness
The world is in a recession. The American sub-prime overextension of
credit has brought international banking to its knees and the petrol price
increase has forced everyone to ride bicycles. Somehow, these topics of
conversation were absent from the Australian Chamber of Commerce (AustCham)
Seaboard Sundowners meeting last week.
Perhaps the Aussies are of a more positive nature than most because if the
Aussie banks stopped making their previous gigantic profit margins, the
average Antipodean would just say, “Robbing b*st*rds deserve it,” and carry
to R) Patrick Otto Eger, assistant branch manager, Plus Property Company
Limited and Paolo Randone, guru dusitD2 baraquda pattaya.
An example of the confidence and optimism, but not so extreme, came from one
of the directors of Meinhardt, John Anderson, who proudly told everyone that
they had built the new Fisher and Paykel factory on the Eastern Seaboard in
12 months. This was no ‘hole in the wall’ either, but a fully operative
26,000 square meter factory which was already churning out washing machines.
In Australia, these are known as ‘white goods’. The rumor that these are to
be known as ‘brown goods’ in this country is unconfirmed. John’s company is
also heavily involved in the new Central center on Beach Road.
to R) Richard Beazley, project control manager at Foster Wheeler and Paul
Axford, consultant for Credenda Associates.
Another chap brim-full of confidence was Paolo Randone, the new GM of the
Dusit D2 Baraquda hotel. All this time I thought it was just quaint spelling
of barracuda, but D2 do everything a little differently, and even Paolo’s
title is “guru”. This will be a great addition to our central Pattaya
One chap who did have a reason to be down in the mouth (as well as just
being an American) was George Strampp. George had been the victim of a
clever robbery in Italy on his way to the airport, losing his luggage with
all his important documents like passport, mobile phones and all the rest of
the irreplaceable information we need these days. He did praise his embassy
in Rome which replaced his passport in four hours. However, everyone knows
to R) Andrew Mariani, Pamcd Trading; Jitra Wongjuan, account executive,
Watermark Capital Management Co., Ltd.; Patrick Otto Eger, assistant branch
manager, Plus Property Company Limited; and Capt. Andrew O Godwin, Atpl,
Cfil, Mei, Water House Ltd.
First time visitor to one of the Seaboard Sundowners was Blake Olafson from
Lehman Brothers in Singapore. Blake came from north of North America and
wanted to make sure everyone knew the differences.
The official welcome was expressed by the AustCham president Shane Torr,
suitably attired for the occasion, having learned well from the previous
sartorially splendid incumbent, Gary Woollacott (who was also present and
appropriately be-suited). It was also noted that many of the AustCham
directors were in the crowd, mingling and ensuring everyone did have an
enjoyable time. These included John Anderson (Meinhardt), Belinda Skinner
(Talent +), David Dombrovskis and the outgoing (in more ways than one)
executive director, Martin Kyle. Some of the other Chambers of Commerce
could learn from that. But they probably will not, which is why the AustCham
events are so popular, with so many Brits and Americans also present. As
examples, Jimmy (and Jenny) Howard, Kevin (the crane man) Fisher, Peter
Smith and Malcolm Scorer (AA Insurances), Bobby Brooks (American Navy
landlubber) and David Bell (Strayfield Induction, having strayed from his
home in some place called Theale in Berkshire).
to R) Tim Golding, Eastern Seaboard director for prtrexecutive.com;
Boonploen Sae-lee, personal assistant at Watermark Capital Management Ltd.
The venue sponsor for the evening was Shenanigans landlord Simon Dutton, who
is certainly not fading away to a shadow. The snacks were lovely, and the
wine was even better.
Of course, the real estate chaps were there, with Nigel Cornick nipping in
from The Lofts promo office next door, whilst Scott Malone (Home Hunters)
and Patrick Eger (Plus Property) were showering the evening with business
cards, as these events are supposed to facilitate.
Another excellent evening from AustCham, and we all look forward to the next
one. Details will be published in the Pattaya Mail.
(L to R) George T. Strampp,
Automotive Manufacturing Solutions and Blake Olafson,
senior vice president for Global Real Estate Group, Lehman Brothers.
(L to R) Belinda Skinner, team
leader, Talent and Nick Chomonter,
country manager of Four Winds International Movers Thailand.
(L to R) John Ginnane,
director, corporate advisory services
for Baker Tilly Thailand; John Gillies and Julian Jones.
(L to R) Eugene Cody, general
manager special projects for Toll
(Thailand) Ltd.; L. Peter Johansson, managing director
of Tellus Systems Limited; and Geoffrey R Storey, consultant.
(L to R) Robert K. Brooks,
warden - United States Embassy Chonburi Region; Paul Riccardini, special
operations command; Idris Thomas, special operations command, Pacific; Jitra
Wongjuan, account executive with Watermark Capital Management Co., Ltd.;
Charles Ezra Miles, chief of Air Force Security Force Protection Detachment
(FPD) U.S. Department of Defense; Rich Phiboonphanuvet, special agent
Pacific Antiterrorism Specialty Team, United States Air Force Office Special
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