Dancham – the Danish-Thai Chamber of Commerce – celebrated on Friday 19 October 2012 in grand style the 20 Year Anniversary of the Chamber with a Gala Dinner and Party at the prestigious Oriental Hotel in Bangkok.
A packed Ball Room with 199 guests were guided through the events and happenings of the evening in excellent style by former Dancham President Tom Sorensen.
After this pleasant surprise, President Peter Romhild welcomed the guest and talked about where the Chamber was today, 20 years from its foundation. No less than 60.000 people are employed by Danish or Danish related companies in Thailand, he said.
Danish Ambassador Mr. Mikael Hemniti Winther followed up with a few congratulatory remarks to the Chamber. In fact, the Chamber was so active that at times it felt like they were doing the job of the Embassy he said, adding that Dancham was, however, always seeking to share and join efforts with the Embassy, which was much appreciated.
Current Dancham President Peter Romhild presenting former President Tom Sorensen, the MC of the evening, with a special award, together with Founding President Poul Weber. Including Leo Alexandersen, a total of three Past Presidents had joined the celebrations.
After a scallop as first course, a speech was held by Founding Dancham President Poul Weber. Sharing some of the events that 20 years ago led to the formation of the Danish-Thai Chamber of Commerce, Poul Weber in particular mentioned that he missed to see two people present at the celebration. One was Ambassador Mogens Isaksen, who invited the Danish businesses people in Bangkok together at his residence for a frank discussion, if we really should establish a Chamber. The other was Peter Miller, Managing Director of Maersk Bangkok Branch at the time. Especially Peter Miller had been instrumental in establishing the Chamber and during the first year after it was established, the Chamber operated out of his office drawing largely on the staff and facilities of Maersk.
But Maersk was not the only company, that supported the Dancham through the first difficult years. Poul Weber mentioned that a few years after the formation, he had to go “hat in hand” to ask for financial support from also EAC, Carlsberg, SAS and Jebsen & Jessen. It had certainly not always been easy.
“But here we are today, with a fantastic well-functioning Chamber and I would like to congratulate the President and the Board for a job well done,” he said, adding that he hoped the rest of the evening would be as good as it had started.
Tom Sorensen was then joined by President Peter Romhild on the stage to present a small gift to four Danes present at the celebration who had been part of the original group of businessmen who had initiated the formation of the Chamber. They were Allan Jensen, Gregers Moller, Ole Madsen and Poul Weber who all received a commemorative Thank You award.
President Peter Romhild took this opportunity to also motivate an Award to Tom Sorensen. During Tom Sorensen’s five years as President he had worked tirelessly to lift up the Chamber to the level that Dancham is still operating on. After Tom Sorensen, Leo Alexandersen had taken over as President of Dancham and also he was present at the celebrations.
Throughout the dinner, the Navy Band had been entertaining the guests. Suddenly they were mixed in with a screeching sound which after a quick adjustment turned out to the Danish Ambassador Mikael Winther performing a personalized version of a Jimmy Hendrix tune to the praise of Dancham on his electric guitar.
Then followed the main course – either fish or beef at the guests prior choice – which was at this writer’s table cooked to perfection by the Oriental Hotel.
Perfectly timed after the dinner, the sound of guests talking and laughing was suddenly split by the roaring drums of four young Danes whose drumming energy reverberated in the Ball Room in a show of defiance against the stylish turn-of-the-century décor. Their performance culminated in a show in pitch darkness with their drumsticks on fire. Possible only few noticed that to the right, the firefighter in full gear was in fact Executive Director Savija Pannark Korslund backed up by a team from the Danish company Fireexpress.
After a refreshing desert, the main sponsors of the evening, Pandora, SAS, Asiatique and Nordea were honored for their contribution to make the evening possible. On top of that, a lucky draw was also performed on the ticket numbers for several bracelets from Pandora and an SAS ticket to Copenhagen.
Immediately before the dance-floor was given over to the eager guests, a last surprise was a delicious Danish style marzipan from Fyns Bakery that was served along with the coffee. Another example of how this party had been planned with a meticulous attention to details!
As always when the music is turned up by the end of a Danish party in Thailand, the guests seemed to have only been waiting for the permisssion to go wild on the dance floor. Legendary dancers like Ole Madsen and Jaana were among the first. Among the wildest were undoubtedly the dz “kids” Malene Schmidt and Frederik Hasselkjaer-Schmidt who had a great time with their partners.
Enjoy more photos from the evening here!