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2013 MARCH A publication of the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Corporate

03 / 2013

Partnership

Premier Sponsors

Executive Sponsors


Eric Kenso Ward, ISB Class of 1979

International School Bangkok Bringing out the superhero in each of us since 1951. www.isb.ac.th


Calendar

TCCC

Calendar of events: 2013/2014 TCCC Executives Patron:

His Excellence Ambassador of Canada

Officers: President – Peter van Haren Vice President – Derek van Pelt Vice President – John Stevens Treasurer – Michael Howard Secretary – Dean Outerson Executive Board: John Casella Surachit Chanovan Neil Chiu Kobsak Duangdee Nelson Hilton Michael Howard Ron Livingston Dean Outerson Jim Patterson John Stevens Peter van Haren Derek van Pelt

Embassy Representative: Ping Kitnikone

Advisors:

Sean Brady Scott Coates Sam Cohen Ali Fancy Don Lavoie Dusanee Promtan Picharn Sukparangsee

Executive Director: Randy Shockley

WHEN: WHAT: WHERE: PRICE:

Thursday, April 11, 2013; 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm “Joint Chambers” Songkran Networking Event Q Bar’s Le Derriere French Bar – Sukhumvit/Soi 11 100 baht – Members & Non Members

WHEN: WHAT:

Friday, April 12 to Tuesday, April 16, 2013 Songkran (Thai New Year & National Holiday)

WHEN: WHAT:

Thursday, April 25, 2013; 11:30 pm – 1:30 pm Speaker Luncheon – Features Joshua Monthei on “The Future of Transportation Planning in Bangkok” Eastin Grand Hotel, 33/1 South Sathorn Rd., Sala Daeng Room [Use sky-bridge from Surasak BTS Station] 800 baht – Members; 950 baht – Non Members

WHERE: PRICE: WHEN: WHAT:

PRICE:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013; 11:30 pm – 1:30 pm Speaker Luncheon – Features Christopher G. Moore, Canadian Writer & Author Eastin Grand Hotel, 33/1 South Sathorn Rd. [Use sky-bridge from Surasak BTS Station] 800 baht – Members; 950 baht – Non Members

WHEN: WHAT: WHERE: PRICE:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013; 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Canuck Connections Networking Night Venue to be advised by e-flyer 200 baht – Members & Non Members

WHEN: WHAT: WHERE: PRICE:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013; 6:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. 17th Annual Business Excellence Awards (BEA) Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Ballroom Individual Price: Early Bird - 1,500 baht; Std.-1,750 baht Corp. Package Price: Early Bird -13,500 baht; Std.-15,000 baht

WHEN: WHAT: WHERE: PRICE:

Saturday, June 22, 2013; 3:00 pm –10:00 pm 146th Canada Day Celebration British Club, Silom /Soi 18 Adults (13 & up) 950 baht in advance/ 1250 baht at the door Children (4-12) 450 baht in advance/ 600 baht at the door Children (3 & under) 100 baht in advance/ at the door Reserved Tables: Tables of 10 can be reserved with an advance payment. Contact TCCC before Friday, June 7th

WHERE:

Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce 139 Pan Road, Sethiwan Tower 9th floor, Bangkok 10500 Tel: +66(0) 2266-6085-6 Fax: +66(0) 2266-6087 Email: info@tccc.or.th Website: www.tccc.or.th

The Voyageur is the monthly magazine of the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, covering all Thai-Canadian business, legal and social news of interest to the members and others who are active in expanding Thai-Canadian bilateral trade. Editor: Randy Shockley, Executive Director, Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce Publisher: Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. 211 Soi Prasert-Manukitch 29, Prasert-Manukitch Rd., Chorakeabua, Ladprao Bangkok 10230 Tel: +66(0) 2943-7166-8 Fax: +66(0) 2943-7169 Design: Disraporn Yatprom Email: disraporn@scandmedia.com Advertising Contact: Mr. Finn Balslev, Marketing Director Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. Tel: +66(0) 2943-7166 ext.116 or 08-1866-2577 Email: finn@scandmedia.com

Note:

Upcoming events in the region:

CCBA

Japan: http://www.cccj.or.jp/ When: April 12, 2013 (Register by April 9, 2013) What: Conversation with an Icon of Japanese intellectual History. Prof John F Howes Where: TMI Associates, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower Price: Seminar: 2,000 yen; Seminar & Rent Party: 10,000 yen Hong Kong: http://www.cancham.org/ When: April 17, 2013 What: How to Leverage Cloud ERP in Manufacturing & Distribution Where: The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong Price: HK$150 for members / HK$250 for non-members

A weekend with

Angels

R – Rated (For Mature Audiences Only) How many times have you participated in an event that touched your heart and allowed you to feel as if you had just helped to significantly change someone’s life? As you reflect on this thought, you’ll probably agree such events are very few and far between. However, such an event recently occurred when a small number of TCCC members traveled to Chiang Rai for a very special encounter with life. Do angels really exist? After this trip, we can absolutely confirm their existence, but with a few new twists to our traditional imagery. Would you believe that they are delicate little creatures robed in green who possess the unique ability to open a new window to your soul? And, no, they are not creatures from Mars or outer space, but they do travel extensively to perform their acts of kindness. (See the complete story on pages 10 to 13). Any follow questions on our “angels’ can be directed to Mr. Michael Howard (Michael.Howard@mazars.co.th) or the TCCC office (info@tccc.or.th).


When contemplating an opening line for this year’s Great Canadian BBQ article, two people come to mind, Bruce Willis and Frank Sinatra. After a more detailed assessment, I decided on the safer Sinatra option: I'm an old cowhand from some place grande But my legs ain't bowed And my cheeks ain't tanned I'm a cowboy who never saw a cow Never roped a steer 'cause I don't know how And I sure ain't fixin' to start in now Yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay Yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay

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his slightly modified opening stanza probably most accurately portrays Bangkok’s local cowboys and cowgirls who dusted off their Stetsons, pulled up their Wranglers and yeehaw’d right up to the wine bar after a long tuk-tuk ride. While capturing the “Stampede” spirit in Bangkok is at times as elusive as capturing the late night blooming of a cereus cactus, many of our guests gave it a solid effort as noted in the event’s photo gallery. True to its history, the 2013 Great Canadian BBQ continued to offer a great family atmosphere, an excellent selection of picnic food and BBQ from the British Club, plenty of cold beer and Canadian wine, as well as a healthy supply of Bloody Caesars. The event’s country and western music was supplied by our good friends, the Outlaw Brothers. We also thank Ambassador Calvert and Chantal for sharing in the fun of this annual Canadian community event. On this night, one gentleman is worthy of special recognition for going all out to capture the spirit of the Stampede and the west. He wore a beautiful Native American Plains Indian costume with the pride and dignity that it deserved. For many of our Thai friends who’ve had limited exposure to the history of west, I’m sure they were fascinated by the beauty and exceptional craftsmanship of his attire. He was certainly a very popular character when any someone wanted to a capture a defining photo of this evening. I’m truly thankful for his thoughtful dress which served as a valuable reminder of North America’s diverse and complex history. He was also a very brave person to have suffered through a night of Bangkok’s heat in buckskin. In helping to ensure a successful event, the TCCC thanks member companies KIS International School and True Clarity Co., Ltd. for serving as corporate sponsors. Mr. James McCracken and his True Clarity team also assumed the support role for this year’s children’s games. I am sure the 15 kids in attendance, greatly appreciated the entertainment and special recognition offered by True Clarity. When it was time to select the BBQ’s “Best Stampede Outfits”, Ambassador Calvert and TCCC President, Mr. Peter van Haren, had a mighty fine pool of characters. However, it was difficult to ignore the evening’s special bond between Sheriff David McDonald and the Chief. There were moments when some of us felt like Ben Stiller observing a scene out of “Night at the Museum”. It was nice to see these two great individuals so joyful share the “Best Stampede Outfit” award. The evening’s combined lucky draw and raffle included 30 prizes, ranging from green fee privileges for two at Bangkok Golf Club, framed artwork from the College of Fine Arts, IMAX theater tickets, Moosehead beer, a Smiling Albion one-night tour of Bangkok’s street scene, dinner for two at the Crowne Plaza Bangkok, Lumpini and more. To celebrate the recent final minting of Canada's penny, Mr. Harold Finkelman also contributed six 100 year old ‘1913’ pennies as prizes. If you missed this year’s Great Canadian BBQ, we hope you’ll take time to join us in 2014.

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BBQ Sponsors:

March 2013

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TCCC News

TCCC President

Peter van Haren This is the second time around for Peter van Haren as President of the TCCC, having served as head of the chamber from 19982001. Peter is fluent in Thai, so much so that he even has his own radio program, in Thai. He has empathy for Thai people and a great understanding of Thai culture. His many achievements include being head of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce of Thailand and Vice-Chairman of Thailand Board of Trade. Voyageur recently caught up with him and excerpts of that interview follow here.

Q

Please tell us what brought you to Thailand and why you stayed.

A

“I came to Thailand in 1991 to work on a fiber optic cable project, which was 3,000km long, and worth US$200 million, for what was initially to be a one-to-two year stint. In the beginning, I was part of the project management team and looked after international procurement and product evaluation, while tracking contractors and coordinating teams in the field. When the initial construction work was completed, I became the company’s country manager setting up operations and maintenance with the few remaining Canadian expats and the skilled Thai employees. When the financial crisis hit Asia in 1997, the Canadian company who sent us over to Thailand decided to pull out, and I had to make a choice to either stay, or return to Canada. Through discussions between the Thai company who hired our team, it was decided that I would quit the Canadian company, start my own and take on the responsibilities myself.”

Q

How did you first get involved in the TCCC?

A

“First getting started was perhaps a bit by chance. One day, I received a telephone call from someone at the Embassy asking if I would be willing to stand for election on the

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Q

You have a gift for speaking Thai – how did you so good at it?

A

TCCC President Peter van Haren TCCC Board of Directors. I told him that I wasn’t sure about my capabilities in that role as I had only had limited involvement in the Chamber before, and certainly not on the Board. I also didn’t know if I could dedicate sufficient time to be of value. My worries were waylaid when he told me that I only had to attend a monthly meeting for a couple hours, and if I couldn’t make it to some meetings, that would be totally acceptable. Little did I know at that time how much work would really be involved! After some deliberation, given that I had often been frustrated by Canada’s sporadic focus on Thailand (and perhaps Asia), where there always seemed to be an excuse (usually focusing across the 49th parallel) for not doing business here, I thought that perhaps an active role in the TCCC might help to bridge that liquid trade barrier called the Pacific Ocean.”

“I can’t specifically answer this. I did take private lessons near the beginning of my stay in Thailand. Although the Canadian superior on my project told me that I would be wasting my time and learning the language wasn’t necessary or important, my usual stubborn self told me otherwise. I took weekly lessons for approximately six months, starting with a painful first set of lessons only focusing on what seemed like noises (tones, vowels & consonants) and how to hold my mouth and tongue. Not fun, but for anyone to learn to speak Thai, I highly recommend suffering the initial pain and get the tones right. I had a great teacher who’s name was khru Phet (teacher diamond), and of course initially I didn’t know what her name meant, but was told one day at work (with much laughter) that her name was “diamond” and not “duck” (bpet) as I had been pronouncing it. The point is, to learn a language you have to use it, but better yet have fun with it.”

Q

You have a radio program in Thai; please tell us a little about it.

A “I have been doing Thai radio on MCOT FM 96.5 for quite a few years now. I started

when a friend of mine asked me if I’d take on the challenge of doing a weekly evening program called ‘The Stage for Thought’ where I’d be a call-in guest to discuss a foreigner’s view of Thailand and the world. I did that for a couple years until an opening came up for the popular program CEO Vision, every Thursday morning. I jumped at the opportunity as CEO Vision has historically been one of the top radio talk shows in Thailand, and certainly more of a challenge (substance-wise). “The challenge has been a lot of fun, although sometimes a bit stressful. It seems that no matter how diplomatic or contributory we try to be, there’s always someone that doesn’t see things that way. Discussing political figures will always get me in trouble. Complimenting a person in the Democrat party will draw ire from the opposite side, no matter how deserving the person was, but contrarily any positive comment about our existing Prime Minister will draw flack from the other side. I’ve also learned that even though the program is supposed to focus on the vision of management, the listeners always give more feedback on issues that


TCCC News touch them personally, regardless of the topic, or intention. “I’ve often been asked what the feedback is like. Simply put, I’ve received the full spectrum from ‘you are a foreigner and don’t have the right to say such things’ to ‘keep saying it straight, we need more of these type of comments’. Although, it might not in my nature I’ve learned that, perhaps unfortunately, as a guest to Thailand working on the radio, I should stay relatively neutral in my delivery. “Wouldn’t it be fun to be able so say what is really on your mind?”

take a more active role in what we do. “Finally, I would like to see more participation from and activities for women and Thais. We need to have more activities of interest for them, while encouraging them to be involved in the Chamber management as well.”

Q

What is it about Thailand that most intrigues you and keeps you here?

Q This is your second time around as TCCC A president, what’s different this time? A “Yes, this is my second time. I think the biggest difference this time is that I’ve gained a wealth of experience over the past 15

or so years since my first involvement with the Chamber. These include having been the Chairman of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand for nine years, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trade of Thailand for seven years, Advisor to the International Chamber of Commerce, Advisor to the Ministry of Industry, Advisor to the Thai Trade Representative and Director of the Thai-Finnish Chamber of Commerce. All these official positions taught me a lot about working on issues relevant to the TCCC. Throughout that time, I’ve also learned and been told about the things I didn’t do so well during my first stint as TCCC President; mistakes are great teachers if we accept that we are fallible.”

Q What are you most proud of about the TCCC?

“I still see Thailand as the land of opportunity. It’s a matter of knowing how to get things done. “Also, just like our members, I’ve had numerous chances to meet interesting and influential people while living here. This wouldn’t have happened living in my hometown of Sylvan Lake, Alberta. “I’ve often said that Thailand can be challenging, frustrating, or sometimes even discouraging, however I’ve never been bored here. Boredom is the bane to my mental well-being and so far, contrary to the opinion of some, I’m still ok on that front.”

Photo by Dusty Smith Team

A “The TCCC has been very active and visible lately and that is a Q What do you miss most about Canada? very good thing! We are relatively small by member count, but are perhaps the most active Chamber in Thailand. In 2012, we had nearly A “Perhaps, the beauty of Alberta is living by a lake and all the activities that go with that.” 36 events over a twelve-month period, that’s three per month! That makes me very proud of the hard work of our Executive Director, staff and of course the Board of Directors. “But lots of activity isn’t entirely what we are about. The TCCC is actively involved in giving to Thailand socially. In 2012, we concurrently worked on two philanthropic programs, one to help improve human lives in the tiny village of Ban Nong Phai and the other to restore eyesight to needy rural people in remote areas of Thailand. The Chamber is very proud that we can give and contribute in these ways though the generosity of our membership. “Reflecting on the organization name “Chamber of Commerce”, I’m proud to see that we can make a difference in the commercial lives of our members and business partners for the better. Whether it is active trade promotion through business-related activities such as trade fairs, a successful mission to Myanmar, or dedicated advocacy on regulatory issues, we should be proud that we, as Canadians, working closely with the Embassy, can improve trade relations for those around us.”

Q How and where do you think the TCCC needs to improve? A “In my opinion, we need to modernize and perhaps shed some of our more stodgy ways, while maintaining some of our more valuable

traditions. Since my first day in the position during this term, I have stated that we need to have a fresh and young approach to what we do. We need to generate more opportunities for the younger members of the Board and membership to be able to express themselves. My observation is that there can be stagnation within chambers, perhaps ours included, and there is a need for our chamber to differentiate from the other 30+ chambers established in Thailand. “We also need to capitalize on being Canadians. Our image is admirable and respected, yet we are subdued in exposing and promoting ourselves. As Canadians, we have a lot to be proud of and the TCCC can be the perfect vehicle to highlight this. “I would also like to see more member involvement. If possible, we need to reach out to our general membership, inviting them to March 2013

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TCCC News

A weekend with

Angels By Sailom

How many times have you participated in an event that touched your heart and allowed you to feel as if you had just helped to significantly change someone’s life? As you reflect on this thought, you’ll probably agree such events are very few and far between. However, such an event recently occurred when a small number of TCCC members traveled to Mae Lao Hospital on February 15 to17 to share in the act of restoring sight to 172 cataract patients with the People Eye Care Foundation (PECF). If you want to walk in the shoes of these patients, try covering your eyes with various semi-opaque or translucent materials and you’ll quickly gain an appreciation for the varying levels of this affliction.

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ow, take a minute to answer this question, “Do angels really exist?” The concept of angels has been around ever since mankind developed the ability to reason and wonder. Whether or not angels do, in fact, exist, you may be interested to learn that a sample polling of 1,100 plus North American adults revealed that 77% responded "yes" to the question and another 73% felt angels were still with us. I had to chuckle when I first came across this fact. For me, it was interesting to see that foreigners, like Thais, believe that there are unseen forces that share our world. While it’s certainly not my intent to engage in a debate on belief systems or the mythology of angels, I am convinced there is amongst us a very special group of benevolent individuals who act as a guiding influence and touch our lives, so that we may find a higher meaning. But more importantly, you may be very surprised to know that I can help you find a few such angels as we were fortunate to spend a weekend with them. In total, four descended from the heavens aboard commercial airlines while another 24 traveled for 12 hours via bus from the City of Angels. This gathering of angels included four doctors, plus the 24 surgical nurses who accompanied all of the necessary operating room equipment to support a mission of mercy. In kicking off this amazing weekend, we arrived late on Friday night to a small, rural 30 bed hospital some 10 kilometers outside of

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Chiang Rai, where we were quickly assigned to “mud” guest houses. After a short, selfinitiated orientation walk around the darkened compound and the even darker side soi, we concluded that this upcountry community was on a firm sunrise to sundown life cycle and well supplied with a very protective species of soi dog not often found in Bangkok. Consequently, we quickly and wisely opted for the right decision…SLEEP. The next day began early with breakfast and a quick trip to the event’s patient check-in and screening area where some 160 patients and their family members would be gathering throughout the morning. This was every patient’s first stop where referral paperwork from their community or provincial government hospital was thoroughly reviewed and recorded. Next was the standard eye chart exam where Khun Sumon ably assisted the local nursing staff. As I sat quietly on the side lines watching each patient, I quickly noted some of the difficulties associated with administering this exam to upcountry cataract patients. First, some lacked the necessary education to identify and call out the numbers. When this would occur, they would then be moved to a chart allowing for the use of hand signals to indicate the direction of the capital letter E. Secondly, there was a significant variance in each patient’s ability to see. In some cases, patients were unable to effectively visualize any symbols or they were required to stand within one meter of the eye chart.

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1. Saturday morning check – in and screening 2. Khun Sumon offers a helping hand 3. Nurse conducting eye chart exam 4. Taking digital photos of the inner eye 5. Dr. Somsran studying high resolution digital photos of each patient’s interior eye 6. Dr. Sumeth administering Argon Laser Photocoagulation to Diabetic Retinopathy patients. 7. Parking and family camping 8. 4 ml of Avastin = 20,000 baht 9. Diabetic patient receiving Avastin injection 10. Waiting for eye drops & anaesthetic to take effect in pre-op 11. Applying antiseptic and rinsing with saline solution 12. Dr. Somsran fully focused on the work at hand 13. Concentration & steady hands are needed to carefully remove the cataract and insert a new intraocular lens 14. Dr. Patchanee concentrates on her patient. 15. Dr. Tic takes a moment to relax after re-gowning between operations. 16. Prepared for a full-house in the patient recovery area 17. Patients waiting their turn in pre-op

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18 Following this examination, the next step required each patient to have their eyes dilated so high resolution digital photos could be taken of the interior eye. This was an important assessment step since some of the cataract patients also suffered from the effects of diabetes which contribute to blindness. Diabetes causes an overabundance of blood vessels to form in the interior of the eye which then consume the nutrients a normal eye needs to remain healthy. Later in the day, the diabetic patients would receive supplemental treatments, either by the direct injection of Avastin into the eye or Argon Laser Photocoagulation. As a side note, one 4ml injection of Avastin carries a price tag of 20,000 baht. I wonder how many poor upcountry families could shoulder this burden. Following lunch, we transitioned to surgery where we had an opportunity to observe first-hand the delivery of the Avastin treatments. Upon seeing the first patient’s eye held wide open with a carefully placed surgical spring, my initial reaction was to recall similar visions from Hollywood horror and espionage films. However, I soon found myself viewing the scene in a more thoughtful state for I stood in the presence of angel whose calm hands painlessly delivered the injections. After carefully observing the treatment of several other patients, I felt I had gained the required insights and could now depart with adequate face. As I pushed through the operating room’s swinging doors and walked through pre-op, I knew this weekend was going to be an education and a spiritual awakening. On Sunday, our day again kicked-off early with the team making its way to breakfast at a small open air cafeteria located amongst the mud bungalows. However, there was clearly a different energy and feeling in the air on this morning as four doctors and 24 nurses from Bangkok had joined us. Now fully rested and ready for action, we quickly learned this was a very seasoned and committed group of medical professionals from a across a wide range of Bangkok’s most well-known hospitals. Since the PECF began conducting their monthly missions of mercy, they have treated over 30,000 needy cataract patients at no charge.

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While we were certainly up early, the patients and their family members had been gathering since sunrise in anticipation of this long awaited day and for this unique opportunity to have their sight restored. In fact, many patients and their relatives had camped-out at the hospital overnight to ensure they were on time and to reduce the family’s financial burden of hotel accommodations and multiple trips to the facility. There was no question about it; this was going to be a very special day in the lives of the patients, as well as their families. The pre-op area of the hospital was already a bee hive of activity upon our arrival and was completely filled with patients who were being prepped for surgery, while the outer hallway was lined with others joyfully waiting for their turn. Additionally, the hospital’s #1 and #2 operating rooms had under-

gone a transformation and were now fully equipped to support two surgical teams in each room. I was also impressed to see that extra surgery platforms had been installed in each room to support a quick transition to the next available prepped patient. On this day, only two of the TCCC team, Michael Howard and Derek van Pelt, elected to observe the actual cataract surgery from a front row seat and it was just as well given the limited space in the operating rooms. I personally opted for a clear view from an observation window that put me within 2 meters of the two surgical teams located in room #2. After the previous day’s close encounters, I was fully content knowing that Derek would be doing an outstanding job of capturing all of the details with his camera. As background, the actually surgical process takes approximately 25-30 minutes per eye, while patient prepping is considerably longer due to the time required for the demobilizing eye drops and a numbing anesthetic to take effect. Once in surgery, the patient is properly covered and the eye area is bathed twice in an antiseptic and rinsed with a saline solution. When this final step is complete, the patient is then fully prepped and ready. The cataract surgery is performed with the aid of a microscope and requires a high level of concentration and steady hands to remove the cataract and properly position a new intraocular lens into the lens sack. Prior to departing the operating room, additional eye drops, a protective cream and patch are applied to the eye with the patient then being immediately wheeled to the recovery area. It was interesting to note that after 30,000 such procedures, the whole process is so well defined that very little verbal communication occurs or is even required. When I finally decided to vacate my observation post, I was required to walk down a hallway where numerous patients were lined-up on wooden benches waiting their turn under the knife. Many of them I had closely interacted with on the prior day when I was requested to assist with dilating patient eyes. In adhering to the medical team’s request to apply drops at every 5 minute interval, it offered me a very unique opportunity to form a bond with the patients


21 and to closely gauge the severity of their conditions. Consequently, when I walked pass this group of elderly patients I received numerous wai, so I immediately lowered my head and responded in kind. I suppose I should have been honored by their recognition, but instead felt an overwhelming sense of shame. While they were clearly signaling their most sincere appreciation for our support, I could only feel that we had done so little when the need was so great. When the gift of sight only costs 5,000 baht, why were so many reluctant to help? The TCCC, with the assistance of the Oilmen’s Association, raised 600,000 baht to help fund this mission of mercy. With the PECF doctors, nurses and other medical support personnel contributing their time and skills, our combined efforts allowed for patients to be treated at an approximate cost of 5,000 baht per eye. For comparative purposes, this same surgery would typically cost in the range of 40,000 to 50,000 baht based on the hospital selected. In closing, I find myself once again asking the question, “Do angels really exist?” Based on my first hand observations of Dr. Somsran Watanachote, Dr.Suntaree Tandhanand, Dr.Tipapan Sang-on, Dr.Manthanee Pairachavet and other surgical team members,

as well as the group’s ongoing commitment to giving the gift of sight to the needy, I can confidently say angels still exist and Bangkok may yet be a “City of Angels”. I also need to recognize one additional participant and that is Dr. Sumeth Vanichvaranont, who contributed his Saturday to administering the Argon Laser Photocoagulation treatment to the Diabetic Retinopathy patients. Without his support, many of the special needs patients may not have received the required care that they so desperately required. So, let’s make that, five angels that descended from the heavens. When you’re at an event like this, it can be difficult to keep up with your total angel count. If you’re trying to work-out the numbers on this event, the doctors performed surgery until around 9:00 pm on Sunday and then completed the remaining patients on Monday, finishing-up at 7:00 pm. Anyway you cut-it, four of these angels each spent roughly 22 hours over two days laboring through microscopes to open a new window to the souls of these needy patients. Following the final operation, an additional two hours was required to clean and pack the surgical equipment for the return trip to Bangkok. With additional work yet to be done, the doctors allocated Tuesday to patient follow-up examinations.

The TCCC members departed for Bangkok on Sunday evening or two days prior to the mission’s final wrap-up. Art, Derek, Michael, Sam and Sumon, it was a great honor to have shared this weekend with you. And to the TCCC members, we look forward to your continuing support of the Chamber’s new “I for an Eye” charity initiative. If you have any follow questions, please feel free to contact Michael Howard (Michael.Howard@mazars.co.th) who is chairing this wonderful initiative or the TCCC office ( info@tccc.or.th ). 18. Michael & Derek dressed in Sunday’s finest attire 19. Dr. Somsran & Dr. Soontree happy in their work. 20. Not all cataract patients are elderly … this patient is only 38. 21. Amazing…172 cataract operations in 2 days ! 22. PECF Doctors & Surgical Team with TCCC Reps.

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Air China Expands Beijing-Vancouver Schedule

Canada Appoints Ambassador to Myanmar

Air China announced that starting May 17, it will extend its Beijing-Vancouver schedule by adding another flight which will operate on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday with A330200 aircraft. The new addition will bring Air China’s number of weekly Beijing-Vancouver flights to 11, meeting increasing market demand. Air China is China’s national flag carrier and a Star Alliance member.

Mark McDowell has been named as Canada’s Ambassador to Myanmar, marking Canada’s first-ever appointment of an ambassador who will be resident in Yangon. Canada is in the process of establishing its first embassy in the country, the official opening of which will be announced in the coming months. Ambassador McDowell was most recently counsellor for public diplomacy at Canada’s Embassy to China and has previously served in New York City, Taipei and Bangkok.

Information summarized from: Air China Press Release by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, 220 - 890 W Pender Street, Vancouver, BC, V6C 1J9.

Information summarized from: Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Press Release by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, 220 - 890 W Pender Street, Vancouver, BC, V6C 1J9.

Canada sees spike in women-run businesses CanadExport recently spoke to two business women about the opportunities and challenges of working in international business.

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ohanne Boivin, the designer and founder of Joanel, and Jodee Prouse, CEO of Baubles, Bags and Bows, are just two among many successful women finding a place for themselves in international business. In fact, Canadian women are starting businesses at a brisk pace. About 950,000 Canadian women were self-employed in 2011, according to Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey. Between 2001 and 2011, the number of self-employed women climbed by 23 per cent, while the number of men grew by 14 per cent. Fortyseven per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises were entirely or partially owned by women in 2012, according to TD Economics. The report also found that women tended to stay in business longer than men are more likely to plan to expand their companies. For Quebec-based Joanel, like for many businesses with international aspirations, success came with years of hard work building a business from the ground up. Joanel designs and sells more than 250,000 handbags a year in Canada and abroad. The company was founded in 1991 and has been increasing its export business to the United States in recent years. "I think we have to stop saying it's only tough for women in business,” says Boivin. “I think it's not easy for men in business either. But being a woman does provide its own unique set of challenges,” she says. The company sells handbags and accessories under the labels Joanel, Ugo Santini, Mouflon and Edgar & Sooky. For both Boivin and Prouse, balancing work and family life and developing international contacts are two of the biggest challenges. “It can be hard to seize the moment,” says Boivin, referring to work and family

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commitments. “But it's a reality we can't ignore. We're also still a minority in the world as women entrepreneurs,” she says, “so we still have to prove our business credentials.” Prouse’s company, based in Alberta, was launched in 2012. The company’s jewelry and cosmetic bags have gained prominence by being distributed to celebrities at events such as the Oscars.

Since Baubles, Bags and Bows has an entirely female staff, Prouse says she encourages women the flexibility to work when they want and as much as they want by “scheduling around their children.” “Everything is done by women here,” says Prouse. “Every single thing from driving the forklift to creating the labels and the manufacturing.” Although being an entrepreneur is “fast-paced and demanding,” Prouse says she still manages to make time for her family and encourages her employees to do the same. “You have to make life choices,” she says. “If you're going to develop international markets though, you're going to have to travel and be away from your business and away from your family.” Louise Léger, Consul General of Canada in Miami, understands the pressure women in business face in balancing their careers with family demands. “Work-life balance has long

been a barrier for women,” says Léger. “Not only is there a limit to how many hours women tend to be able to work, but if they choose to have children and take lots of time off to do so, there is often a price to pay. In this case reintergration can sometimes be difficult." The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service can help female entrepreneurs not only by assisting with international market challenges, but also to develop a solid network of local contacts, according to both Prouse and Boivin. “The hardest thing is getting access,” Prouse says, advising that women turn to the TCS for help. Boivin also credits the TCS for helping her company to develop relationships with key buyers in the U.S. Both Prouse and Boivin say that being a female entrepreneur can be very difficult but advise other women not to give up. “I think women need to have lots of tenacity because it can be quite discouraging at times,” says Boivin. “Sometimes you're spending more money than you're making so it takes willpower.” But one thing is certain for both Prouse and Boivin: international markets hold many opportunities for female entrepreneurs, and they are proving that every day. For more information on how the TCS and its Business Women in International Trade program can help you grow your business, visit the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Business Women in International Trade and International Women's Day 2013. Subscribe to: E-magazine and RSS Feed Follow us on Twitter. @TCS_SDC. Use #CanadExport Subscribe to: E-magazine and RSS Feed


Nurturing young learners to fulfil their individual potential Developing Knowledge and Understanding

Inspiring Creativity

A

t Bangkok Patana we provide the essential rigour of a British curriculum incorporating best practice from other programmes to reflect our international setting. Our aim is to nurture and develop a lifelong love of learning in our young students.

Encouraging Curiosity

A

t key points within the Primary School we benchmark ourselves against UK schools using National Curriculum Tests. In 2012 over 96% of our Year 2 students achieved their age-related expectation, or above, compared to 87% in the UK.

Building Confidence

W

e also understand the importance of learning outside the classroom. Extensive opportunities for children to flourish and develop their personal interests are provided through our varied extra-curricular activities programme.

To find out how our child-centred approach to learning and outstanding teaching staff can help your child fulfil their potential from 2 1/2 to 18 years of age, please contact us at admissions@patana.ac.th

www.patana.ac.th |+66 (0) 2398 0200 | 643 LaSalle Road (Sukhumvit 105), Bangna, Bangkok

Bangkok Patana is an IB World School accredited by CIS and NEASC


Voyageur Magazine - March 2013  

A weekend with Angels

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