Scandinvaian Society Siam held a lively Annual General Meeting on 17. April 2012 at Admiral Pub & Restaurant, Mermaid Hotel, Bangkok with 30 members present.
The meeting elected Mr. Robert Kronberg, former Vice Chairman as new Chairman of the Board, replacing Ms. Anita Falk, who was re-elected to the Board along with Treasurer Mr. Claus Gundersen and – albeit as Substitute – Mr. Flemming Winther Nielsen.
Three new members were elected to the Board, Mr. Atle Roger Mydland from Norway and Ms Christina Hammarlund and Mr. Lars Andersson.
Another important decision of the AGM was to approve the allocation of the amount of 50.000 Baht, to be spent over the next three years on the renovation of the graves at the Protestant Cemetery on Charoen Krung in Bangkok. The issue sparked quite a lengthy, but positive discussion. All participants wanted to support the conservation of the Scandinavian Heritage in Thailand, but the question was more if the Society could afford this or should go out and ask for donations from members top finance it.
Eventually, Gregers Moller, who was elected to conduct the meeting, put the issue to a vote, where 21 participants voted in favor of allocating the 50,000 Baht from the funds of the SSS.
The proposal was put forward in writing well in advance of the meeting by Mr. Flemming Winther Nielsen, who is the leader of a new section within the Scandinavian Society Siam, named “Scandinavian Heritage Section”.
In her report of the activities of the Society over the past year, Chairman Ms. Anita Falk mentioned the new section and highlighted the first outing arranged by the section, an excursion to the Chulachomklao fort, where Danish officers helped Thailand defend itself in 1893 against the French.
Anita Falk further focused on the way the membership records and the finances had been clean up during her tenure and both were now kept in meticulous shape by Treasurer Claus Gundersen.
She also mentioned the two parties arranged by the Board, the Cray Fish Party at the Rembrandt Hotel, which she expected the incoming board to offer again this year, and the Garden Party, which was less successful as only 34 members participated.
The Society had also once again hosted the reception outside the Christ Church after the Scandinavian Christmas Service on 24 December in Bangkok.
Following the lack of interest in the Garden Party, the Board had decided to put it up for discussion at the AGM, if the Society should hold an Annual Ball as in the past, but the subject was not picked up by the members and now rests with the new board.
The Golf Section had also had a successful year. Anita Falk reported that the Board had decided to sponsored the section with a cash support of 25.000 Baht as had become usual for the past couple of years. The Society had also produced a new SSS Cup trophy, as the former trophy had been lost. The trophy was presented by Mr. Flemming Winther Nielsen to the winner of the Cup in 2011, former Chairman Mr. Leo Alexandersen.
The Chairman also mentioned that the Society had been offered to use a new meeting room which was under construction at the top floor of the Mermaid Hotel, Basngkok, where also the library of the SSS would be stored.
Gregers Moller commented – in his capacity as a member – that he believed a major reason for the unsuccessful Garden Party was that a request to hold the dinner in the Garden of the Danish Ambassador was rejected with the explanation that because of security concerns, the Ambassador was not allowed to host private parties with more than 20 members. The Embassy had, however, shortly after allowed first the Christmas lunch of the Danish Chamber and later also the Anniversary party of the Danish Women’s Network to take place there.
Reporting on the financial situation of the Chamber, Mr. Claus Gundersen explained that there the Society had now 141 paid memberships. Many of the memberships were family members, so the actual number were 209 members including spouses, excluding children.
He elaborated also on some of the amounts in the report, like expenses for board meetings which was quite high compared to the previous year, due to the many meetings. The Board had held 19 meetings during the year. On the other hand there had not been any expenses on Admin salary and Office rent as the Board had handled all matters by themselves.
After the formal part of the Annual General Meeting was over, the members were invited to enjoy the buffet dinner of the Admiral Pub and Restaurant.
During the dinner, Gregers Moller informed of a discussion that the past Board had had at several meetings, who would be qualified to be honored at the AGM as “Member of the Year 2012”. Many candidates had been mentioned but there was no doubt that only one single person had played a crucial role during the year as a staunch supporter of the SSS and a great leader of his section, Golf Captain Mr. Kristian Wenzell.
A big applause followed which showed that the members shared the Board’s selection of Kristian Wenzell for this honorable award. Mr. Kristian received a bottle of wine as a symbol of his award. The bottle was special, explained Mr. Bent Laasholdt, as this was the wine that Denmark’s Prince Consort Henrik had praised during the recent opening of the hotel.
It was then further announced, that Mr. Per Lauritsen of ABS Relocation would donate a total of 100.000 Baht from ABS Relocation to be used for the rehabilitation of the Scandinavian graves at the cemetery as discussed earlier in the meeting. The details of this sponsorship had yet to be discussed further. The generous donation was received with applause.
Finally, new Chairman Mr. Robert Kronberg thanked the participating members for their active participation in the meeting and proposed a toast for the 93rd year old Scandinavian Society Siam.