The Gala Dinner marking the 25 Year Anniversary of Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce took place on Saturday night 25 October 2014 at Landmark Hotel, Bangkok with 200 guests participating in the celebrations.
Executive Director of TSCC Mr. Peter Bjork presented Mr. Stuart Ward as the MC of the evening, mentioning that since he was British by birth, but Swedish by choice, Stuart Ward was in a way more Swedish than anyone else at the Dinner.
The MC then gave the word to President of the TSCC, Mr. Jan Eriksson who held the main speech of the evening. Outlining what was still ahead of them, Mr. Eriksson encouraged the guests to relax, the men to feel free to take off their jacket and for all to have a good time. Many guests followed his suggestion, although the speakers all remained in full attire.
The inauguration of the Chamber in 1989 had taken place in the presence of Their Majesties The King and Queen of Sweden. In February this year, His Majesty had wished to congratulate the Chamber and sent a Congratulation Telegram to the Chamber via the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok. The Chamber had obtained a copy of this from the Royal Court in Stockholm which Mr. Peter Bjork read to the guests followed by a long applause.
Mr. Eriksson went on to warmly thank all the sponsors of the Gala Dinner, whose logos were all prominently displayed on the backdrop. Going beyond this, he also thanked all the companies who had taken part in the three Swedish Days called “Beyond Innovation” which was held in CentralWorld coinciding with the Anniversary.
In the very best of Swedish party traditions, Mr. Bjork then led the guests in a “Helan gaar”-song before the aquavit that had been waiting in iced glasses went down.
The dinner started with marinated herring and salmon on dark bread, continued with snow fish and culminated in an amazingly tender, slow cooked meat dish, accompanied by an excellent mix of nostalgic music by Swedish DJ Joakim Persson.
During the dinner, Minister Counsellor and Deputy Head of the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok, Mr Christoffer Berg, greeted the members on behalf of his Ambassador Klas Molin, who could not be present. Mr. Berg pondered over whether the Chamber was old or young. For some of the founding members, the Chamber was likely not that old, while for him when he arrived here he thought of it as, well, rather “established”. Before leaving the stage, he called up Mr Jan Eriksson and presented him with a hammer and a portrait of Mr. Eriksson himself and encouraged told him to start a gallery of Presidents of the TSCC.
The dinner was accompanied by excellent white and red wines and mixing with the aquavit, more of the male guests had by the time the desert buffet was served indeed removed their jackets and were chatting loudly around the tables. This was also the case when Mr. Eriksson again took to the stage and called up many of the founding members who were present in the audience. One by one they were presented with a commemorative gift, handed to them by Mr. Jan Eriksson assisted by the long-serving Assistant to the Executive Director, Mrs. Vipaluck Chomchuenjit or Khun Mam as most members know her. Khun Worachai Bichanchitr and Anders Lundquist both said a few words and thanked for the commemorative gifts.
At this point the famous Swedish magician Mr. Seth Engstrom was given the seemingly impossible mission to re-focus the party at what was going on at the stage. Mr. Engstrom, however, quickly accomplished that with a remarkable display of energy and a set of stunning tricks. When the audience was recaptured and fully in his hand, he then threw in a series of card tricks with close up video. In the silence during his performance you could hear the audience gasping in awe when he twice said he would “reveal” how the trick was done – only to pull yet another stunt.
Mr. Engstrom’s performance was followed up by three songs performed on stage by the lead singer of Sweet Inspirations, the fabulous resident Filipino band that plays at The Huntsman Pub in the basement of The Landmark Hotel. The songs revealed the remarkable voice of the lead singer and served as strong encouragement for all the remaining guests to continue the party downstairs once they were done with the well assorted desert buffet.
Photos: Disraporn Yatprom