The Official Launch of the

Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij Foundation
and
Presentation of the Thai version of the book "Chao Phya Abhai Raja, General Advisor of H.M. King Chulalongkorn"
At
The Residence of the Belgian Ambassasor in Bangkok.

29 October 2008

Full Size pictures To the foundation section To the News section

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On October 29th, in collaboration with Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz, H.E. Mr Jan Matthysen, ambassador of Belgium to Thailand, hosted an elegant cocktail party at his residence in Bangkok. The event took place on the occasion of the launch of the Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij Foundation. It was also the opportunity for Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz to present the Thai version of his book : "Chao Phya Abhai Raja Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns, General Advisor of H.M. King Chulalongkorn".
   

From extraordinary coincidences, to the publishing of a book, to the creation of the Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij Foundation...

If it is a coincidence that brought Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz in Thailand 7 years ago, it was only the first of a long serie.
Indeed, it is while he was already spending lots of his time in Chiangrai that he found out that an ancestor of his grandmother's family, on his father's side, had been the general advisor of King Rama V. Another coincidence is that when King Rama V was in Belgium in 1897, his great-grand father, on his mother side this time, made portraits of the king during the royal visit to Belgium. This extraordinary coincidence of having two ancestors, from both his father's and his mother's families, connected at different levels with the King of Siam, gave him the idea of publishing a book. A book reuniting the two ancestors through a common descendant, uniting art with history, and sealing the long lasting friendly relationship between the kingdoms of Thailand and Belgium.

The beautiful coffee table book "Chao Phya Abhai Raja Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns, General Advisor of H.M. King Chulalongkorn" was edited in English in 2007 and has now been edited in Thai version. Thaanit Vajarodaya, of the Office of His Majesty's Principal Private secretary, Vice-Chairman of the foundation, and Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz, Chairman, holding the new Thai version of the Chao Phya Abhai Raja book Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns book.

But this new edition, as it was the case with the previous English edition, is not for sale. Indeed, it will only be offered in exchange of donations to the new Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij Foundation, which was officialy launched at the Residence of the Belgian Ambassador in Bangkok on 29 October 2008.

Since several years, Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz has devoted much of his time to help the society. After having made Chiangrai his base, he involved himself in creating innovative charity projects to the benefit of the most disadvantaged students of the Chiangrai province, mostly from the hill tribes.
Together with the Rotary Club of Maechan he innitiated artistic and muscial projects which have been very successful, such as the Hill Tribe Violin Band, the Sindoi Ceramic Project, the Hill Tribe Magician, etc... with the ultimate goal of creating revenues for the students and make them independent in life.
The Chao Phya Abhai Raja Siammanukulkij Foundation has been

created in order to keep going with the previous activities, better structure the help provided to the students, and open even more doors to the world for the most disadvantaged students. Thaanit Vajarodaya, Somjai Sasomsarp, Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz, Wilaiwan Phiriyakrit, Governor of Chiangrai Trisit Sinsomboonthong and Sansanee Sitapan-Moller, with 3 students of the foundation holding the books.

Besides its primary goals of helping the poorest students, the foundation aims at transmiting the values of Chao Phya Abhai Raja to the younger generations. Values of honesty, trust, hard work and respect. It is also hoped that the activities of the foundation will keep the memory of the work and achievements of Chao Phya Abhai Raja alive forevever.

The foundation is based at Insii Thai House in Maechan.
The board members of the foundation are:

Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz
Chairman.
Thaanit Vajarodaya
Vice-Chairman.

Adith Cheosakul
Secretary-General
Somrit Puntharat
Treasurer.
Somjai Sasomsarp
Public Relations.
Patrick Rolin
Rolin Family Representative.

A group picture including Patrick Rolin (first left), M.R. Thepkamol Devakula (second left), H.E. Mr Jan Matthysen, ambassador of Belgium (third left), and Sathit Limpongpan, Chairman of TMB Bank (middle) handing a donation of 1,5 million baht for the foundation to Count Gerald.

More about the foundation

Full size pictures for the press

 
M.R. Malinee Chakrabandhu, H.E. Jan Matthysen, Agnes Matthysen, Thaanit Vajarodaya, Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz, Seak Lacheku.   Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz receiving a check of 1,5 million for the foundation from Sathit Limpongpan, Chairman of TMB Bank.
ING and TMB Banks are among the supporters of the new foundation.
 
Privy Counselor M.R. Thepkamol Devakula receives a ceramic depicting Chao Phya Abhai Raja from young Lahu artist, Winai Chaso, who is taken care of by the foundation.   Board members of the foundation; Dr. Adith Cheosakul, Patrick Rolin, Somjai Sasomsarp, Thaanit Vajarodaya and Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz.
 
Governor of Chiangrai, Trisit Sinsomboonthong, who was of great help to the foundation, holding the new Thai version of the book, and Thaanit Vajarodaya, Director at the Office of His Majesty's Principal Private Secretary and Vice-Chairman of the foundation.   Sansanee Sitapan-Moller, of Morning Talk and NBT presenter, announcing the donation of TMB Bank to the foundation.
 
Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz with Vapee Bhirom Bhakdi, Vice Chairman of Boon Rawd Brewery.   Saek Lacheku, a student of the foundation, with NBT TV presenter Surachai, addressing the media during the press conference.
 
Minister-counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the Russian Federation, Mikhail V.Baranov, receives a present depicting the decoration of the White Elephant of Chao Phya Abhai Raja from young Lahu artist Winai Chaso.   Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz with Mr and Mrs Patrick Rolin, who especially came from Belgium to represent the Rolin family for the launch of the Chao Phya Abhai Raja Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns' book and foundation. Patrick Rolin is a member of the board.
 
Mrs and Mr David Lyman, Chairman and Chief Values Officer of Tilleke & Gibbins, with MR Malinee Chakrabandhu.  

Onticha Rattanawannathip,Office of Corporate Program and Brand Communication of TMB Bank, with 3 students of the foundation.

     

 

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