Mejnert laid to rest off Koh Larn

On Saturday 10 January, the funeral of one of the long time Danish residents of Thailand, Mejnert Lynge Badstue Lund took place at Wat Chaimongkol in Pattaya where a large number of friends had gathered to pay their respects. Sunday afternoon the following day, some twenty of his closest friends took his ashes out to be strewn in the sea off Koh Larn where many of his friends have earlier been laid to rest.
     It was a touching scene when his step daughter Gaye poured his ashes from the white linen into the clear sea in the silence after the engines had been cut and the only sound heard was the song of the Danish singer Kim Larsen “..og om lidt er vi borte..” played on a portable tape recorder.
     Close friends like Bjarne from Restaurant Kronborg and John from John’s Badehotel strew flower petals in the water. John also opened a bottle of Mekong and soda and poured Mejnert his last drink into the sea.
     Mejnert Lynge Badstue Lund was only 53 years. He was found dead in his bedroom in his apartment in Pattaya in mid December, presumably murdered. News of his untimely death was received with disbelief and sadness among the Danes in Pattaya where he lived for the past many years.
     Mejnert stood out among the Danes in Thailand because of his many years of residence, because of his big heart and helpfulness towards his friends and during the past ten years also because of his extraordinary looks. He never shaved or had a haircut except on the day of the death anniversary of his wife, whom he had loved dearly.
     Before moving permanently to Thailand, Mejnert sailed as a motorman on Maersk ships and EAC ships. But he enjoyed cooking and he was just as often to be seen in the gally as in the engine room. When not at sea, he lived in the Klong Toey harbour area of Bangkok, where so many other Danish seamen had at that time settled down.
     Mejnert finally in 1985 decided to stay on land with his wife who was some years older than him. At that time, he had already for six years assumed responsibility as the step father for his wife’s grandchild, Gaye, whom her daughter had handed over to her as a baby to take care of.
     “I called him Papa and she was my Mama,” Gaye recalls.
     “He took care of me with the love of a real father. Every morning he would comb my hair before I went to school, and before he left me at the school gate he would give me three baht and teach me to save one. He was the Dad of my life.”
     In Bangkok, Mejnert worked as Manager of Odin’s Rest, a Danish restaurant on the corner of Sukhumvit Soi 29. The restaurant was owned by one of the largest Danish contractors on Greenland who needed a local manager to take care of his restaurant.
     Later the Odin restaurant was relocated to Sukhumvit Soi 22 but Mejnert remained as the Manager. And when the owner, Harald, eventually sold his contractor business on Greenland and moved to Thailand permanently, he agreed with Mejnert that they should move Odin to Pattaya where they had found a building near the former bus station.
     When Harald died 6 years ago his widow was unable manage as the owner of the restaurant, and Meinert opened his own “Meinert’s Place” – on Beach Road Soi 3. But when the building was sold and the new owner increased the rent, Meinert decided to quit.
     Instead, he used the money he had saved up to lend out as a private loan to other people.
     “But he was really too soft for that business. Too often he would waive the interest or allow lenders to drag out the payment for months and months,” says Bjarne Nielsen who helped him by occasionally by hiring him as an extra hand in the kitchen in Restaurant Kronborg.
     Mejnert’s daily routine would typically start around noon when he would get up and enjoy a cup of coffee, drink one litre of water and a Kloster Beer. Then he would go over to Welcome Inn where he would sit the rest of the day taking care of his business and drinking half a bottle of Mekong whisky. While the motivation and details of his murder is still unresolved, most people believe the reason has to be related to this business.
     “He didn’t make much, but he always managed to send money to me if I needed his help,” says Gaye who for the past couple of years has lived with her American husband and only six month ago moved to the United States.
     When the news about his death reached her, she came back and with the help of Consul Ulrik Holt Sorensen at the Danish Embassy the body was released to her with the consent of his family back in Denmark.

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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