The Garden Party of January 14th 2007 will be another memorable date in the Chiangrai Province.
This aim of this elegant Garden Party was to launch the new book "Chao Phya Abhai Raja Gustave Rolin Jaequemyns", which has been published in a limited edition by Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz. The launch of the book, which commemorates the work and achievements of a great Belgian who was General Advisor of King Chulalongkorn during 10 years, was not only about history but also about charity. Each copy could be exchanged during the party for donations of educational scholarships for the poorest children, and at the end of the evening, over 1.000.000 baht was raised. Orders for more books quickly followed and made of this party a indisputable success which ended with wonderful fireworks.
Guest were coming from as far as Europe especially for the event. The Chao Phya Abhai Raja's Rolin family was represented by Patrick Rolin, the head of the Rolin Association, who came especially from Belgium for the event, accompanied by Patrick Laycock, expert in Asian Art for the Belgian Court and one of the most important collector of King RamaV vintage documents in Europe.
Among the 300 distingued guests were H.E. Jan Matthysen, Ambassador of Belgium, Than Phuying Putrie Viravaidya, several Belgian corporate chiefs, including those of Solvay, ING, Padaeng Industries and Gallothai, Belgian violinist Geertje Podevyn and Japanese pianist Naoko Kato, who both flew especially to perform in the event, Rotarians from around the country, artists, including 4 Belgian artists who made a large painting especially for the event.
The party, which took place on the same date as the Children's day, was the occasion for the students of the Maechan Hill Tribes School (SuksaSongKroh Maechan) to entertain the guests with cultural performances and hill tribes dances. Around 100 performers kept the guests' attention during the aftertoon and evening. The Chiangrai Youth Violin Orchestra was present with 70 young violinists, including 23 hill tribes violinist from Maechan during the whole afternoon, while Belgian violinist Geertje Podevyn played in the evening.
Other children of the Sindoi Ceramic Project made an exhibition of their products which have been developed with the help of French sculptor Paul Beckrich, who flew from Paris to attend the event. Cocktails were served together with fine food throughout the afternoon, but the guests could also sample food from the mountains which had been prepared by the hill tribes children and their school.
Khun Sansanee Sitapan and Khun Weerapong Boonklieng performed interviews of guests about the book, King RamaV era, and the Insii Thai House projects during the afternoon, which added even more interest to this memorable party and the happinness to everyone involved.