Jorgen Lundbaek’s big 70 year birthday party

With smoke belching around them, Jorgen and Khun Tip cheered in champagne.

With smoke belching around them, Jorgen and Khun Tip cheered in champagne.

Danish old-timer, Jorgen Lundbaek looks back at almost 50 years of good time in Bangkok.

Photos Disraporn Yatprom

Jorgen Lundbaek celebrated his 70 year birthday on Sunday 12 October 2014 with a big party in Captains Pub & Restaurant on the ground floor of Mermaid Hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 29 in Bangkok.

The 70 year old Dane is one of the resident Danes who has been living the longest time in Bangkok.

“I first came to Bangkok by ship in October 1960 but then went on to Vietnam. When I came back in November 1966 it was with the intention to stay one month. I had a good job in Vietnam, but I never went back. Instead I started working for another American company in Bangkok for two years and then I started with Captain Bent and Sven Marquardsen our own company. They have passed away but the result of that company is what you can see here.”

Looking back, Jorgen Lundbaek defines the turning point for his business success as the time when he joined Thoresen & Co.

“I started in the Marine Surveying business and doing that I realized that nobody was selling marine safety equipment services. Then I started that business with Viking from Denmark and that was the start of the success.”

“We started up as a small company and build it up slowly but then after a few years we joined the Norwegian company Thoresen & Co. and from that moment, things changed. They were on the stock exchange and had money to invest and it was from that point that it went big time. I would say that became the backbone of the success. We set up Mermaid Safety Services and then it changed to Mermaid Maritime and Mermaid Offshore and it was all a 100 pct success.”

Currently, Jorgen is busy in Vietnam with safety equipment so you could say the circle is complete.

ScandAsia’s birthday gift to Jorgen Lundbaek was wrapped in a copy of Bulletin – the member magazine of Scandinavian Society Siam. The wrapping was fitting since the SSS is the oldest association of Scandinavians living in Thailand. But Jorgen is not the oldest joining member of the Society – that honour goes to Poul Weber (1960), Ulla Dohlon (1961) and Ole Madsen (1966).

“I didn’t join the Scandinavian Society during the first year that I came back from Vietnam, so it must be in 1967 that I became a member,” he recalls. This was the same year that the SSS was joined by a bunch of other old timers: Anders Normann, Ib Ottesen and Henrik Hansen.

Later, when the Danish Thai Chamber of Commerce was formed, he also joined that and has remained a member since the beginning.

Describing Bangkok during his early years here, Jorgen focuses on the fun, he had.

“We only had four places to go for entertainment, it was either Suriwong, Silom, Sathorn and New Road. I was a young guy at the time so I went to Patpong every night and I had a great time!”

“You can say that was the foundation of my success,” he laughs.

For a 70 year old guy, Jorgen is both mentally and physically in an exceptionally good shape. He credits this to “all the fitness I am running around doing,” but surely his solid “foundation” from partying in the 60’s must also have something to do with it!

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Ib Ottesen and Jorgen Lundbaek both joined Scandinavian Society Siam in 1967.

Jorgen with his captain's cap and Khun Tip cutting the birthday cake – an old pirate ship build in cake and chocolate.

Jorgen with his captain’s cap and Khun Tip cutting the birthday cake – an old pirate ship build in cake and chocolate.

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  5 comments for “Jorgen Lundbaek’s big 70 year birthday party

  1. Ja, det er meget spændende, og SSS må have været ret anderledes dengang. Mennesker af en anden tid, og i et land af en helt anden tid, men hvor nogen blev her. Jeg synes, at det kunne være interessant at få belyst SSSs rolle i kolonien dengang, hvor der vel ikke var mange andre alternativer end fx den engelsk klub og den engelske kirke.

  2. Best of Birthdays greetings old “Chap”. You’ve come a long way since Mermaids rest in Soi 8 back in the late 70’s, where we experimented with the first “Vodka Dam” and grilled large pig’s in the garden. Remolade, Rugbrød, Rullepølse & ristede løg, was it’s weight worth in gold, remember??? So glad I bumped in to you again last year and will make sure to visit you soon again. Thanks for all the Happy times.

  3. Dear Torben Poulsen,

    It was interesting to read your contribution to this article. When you arrived here in 1958, were you an EAC staff or what kind of work did you do here? It would also be interesting to know how long you stayed, and which destination, you moved to. Do you recall other names from your early years here?

    Best regards
    Gregers Moller

  4. I wish Joergen the best of luck in the coming years. We dont know each other, but I arrived in Bangkok in April 1958 and I believe
    I became a member of SSS the same year or the year after.
    I guess therefore that I joined SSS before Poul Weber.
    All the best wishes to old friends in Thailand.
    Torben Poulsen
    .

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