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Tuesday September 02 , 2014
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Obituaries

Nitya Pibulsonggram

Former Thai diplomat Nitya (Nit) Pibulsonggram died in Bangkok on 24 May 2014 at the age of 72.

Nitya was born in 1941, the sixth child of Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsonggram and Thanpuying La-iad Bhandhukravi. He studied in the United States, receiving a BA in Government from Dartmouth College and an MA in Political Science from Brown University. He joined Thailand’s Foreign Service in 1968. His posts included Ambassador to the United States, Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After retiring from the Diplomatic Service in 2001 he was appointed adviser to the Foreign Minister and led Thailand’s negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. The talks were suspended in 2006 following the military coup in Thailand which overthrew the government of Thaksin Shinawatra, after which Nitya was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in the interim government headed by General Surayud Chulanond. Nitya resigned from this post in early 2008.

An accomplished diplomat, Nitya was always a courteous and intelligent interlocutor, well fitted to hold some of the most senior positions in the Thai Foreign Service. He felt less comfortable in the febrile political atmosphere following the 2006 coup.

He is survived by his American-born wife, Pacharin (Patricia), a practising healer and Reiki therapist.

 

Michael Gorman 1936-2013

Older members of the Society will be saddened to hear of the death of one of our long standing members, Michael Gorman.  He died on Sept 11th in the South of France after a short illness at the age of 76.

Michael was chief Editor of the Bangkok Post from 1971 to 1983 and did much to develop the newspaper into the flourishing journal it is today. He was also the Director of a number of press bodies in Thialand. He was prominent in many ways in Bangkok society and maintained a residence in Thailand long after he gave up his role with the Bangkok Post. On leaving his positions in Thailand he worked in China  to assist in the development of  the English language press.

Born in Croydon, in 1936,  he was  a graduate from Bristol University majoring in economics, Gorman came to Thailand in 1970 after having worked with the Thomson Organisation Limited since 1960.  Apart from being editor and publisher of the Bangkok Post, Gorman was also managing director of Allied Printers.

He was a trustee of the Press Foundation of Asia for 10 years and was an active member of the International Press Institute. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Economic Society and member of the Institute of Marketing.

Gorman successfully steered the Bangkok Post through a turbulent period in recent Thai history while securing its financial situation, eventually listing Post Publishing Co on the SET Index in 1980.

He oversaw the merger of the Bangkok Post and its rival morning daily the Bangkok World in 1972 with the World reverting to a tabloid evening paper.

At a time when Thailand was under heavy pressure from both democratic revolutions and military coups, Gorman successfully guided the Post. He was jailed briefly in the early 1980s after offending the military autocrat Gen Kriangsak Chomanan.

Under his stewardship the Post was selected to help the Chinese government set up its first English-language newspaper, the China Daily. Gorman also established Thailand’s first non-contributory pension scheme for staff.

He is survived by his wife Christine, and children Julius, Benedict and Chloe.

There is a Memorial Service for him on Oct 9th at  St Mary's  church in the Bolton at 1130.

   

Dacre Raikes, OBE

 

Dacre Raikes, OBE, who died on March 27th, 2013 aged 87 was a member and past British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) Chairman. He was a very well respected member of the Bangkok community.

Dacre fought in the Second World War between 1943 and 1946 with the Royal Navy.  He was the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand Chairman from 1967 to 1969 and played a major role in the chamber’s development from the 1950s through to the 1980s having joined the Borneo Company initially in Chiang Mai in 1951. With the increased activity of the Chamber and the resignation of the Borneo Company as Secretary in 1969 the Chamber opened its first office employing three staff. Until 2011 he was a regular attendee at the BCCT Annual Christmas Luncheon and numerous other events during the year.  He was kind and considerate with an infectious sense of humour. He enjoyed music both Western and Thai and had been President of the Bangkok Music Group. He was also an honorary member of the Siam Society and the British Club Bangkok.  He was widely respected in Thai and non-Thai business circles and will be greatly missed.

After serving in the Navy during the Second World War Dacre joined the Borneo Company initially in Chiang Mai in 1951. Of his early years in Chiang Mai Dacre remembered:-

“The train ran about three times a week in the early fifties and there were some flights but you had to move the cows and sheep off the runway before a plane could land.”

“You couldn’t stay late in your office in the mid to late fifties because of the lack of light, so we used to go and play tennis”.

Dacre was British Chamber of Commerce Chairman and Deputy President of the Board of Trade of Thailand from 1967 to 1969. He fondly remembered these times:-

“Board of Trade meetings were ridiculous – there was this farang presiding over multi-millionaire Chinese businessmen, so I just sat back and allowed my aura to spread around the room….with our business usually discussed in private after the meeting”

Dacre was an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and a Member of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand

 

   

Nigel Overy, CBE

Nigel Overy, who died in August 2012 aged 81, was well known in the business circle of Bangkok.  Born in Essex in 1931 he went to Thailand when just 21 to work for  Henry Waugh. In 1971 he joined the Anglo Thai company [later Inchcape] and rose to be Chairman and Chief Executive.

He was an active and well known member of the British community throughout his 60 years in the country.  From 1971 to 1986 he was a General Committee Member of the British Chamber of Commerce, serving as Chairman or Vice-Chairman at various times and from 1986 to 2006.  He also served on the General Committee of the Bangkok Nursing Home Association becoming Vice-Chairman in 1988 & Chairman from 1989 to 2004.  In addition he was a prominent member of the British Club Bangkok, serving on its committee in the 1950's and as Chairman in 1976 and 1977.

He was awarded Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1979 for 'Services to Business'and Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant, 4th Class in 1986.

In 1988 he retired and went to  Pattaya where he lived quietly until his death.

 

   

M R Sarisdiguna Kitiyakara

M. R.  Sarisdiguna Kitiyakara who died in Bangkok on Sept 21st 2011 was well known to many in the Society.

“Mom” as he was widely known by his friends, had been an anglophile from his early days when he was at Hailebury and from whence he went on to Magdalene College Cambridge to study Engineering.   From university he joined Shell with which company he had a long and distinguished career ending up as the Chairman of all the operations in Thailand. After retirement he was in demand to fill senior management roles with a number of Thailand’s major companies. He also became an Honorary member of the British Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok, a vice Patron of the Royal Overseas League in Bangkok and was an active supporter of the Oxford and Cambridge Society.   He also played his part in encouraging Thai -British business relations, both formally and informally often being consulted by visiting delegations.  His quiet personality often hid the fact that he had a first class mind and valuable opinions on a wide range of topics, not necessarily related to the business world. Furthermore he did not shrink from taking decisions however difficult they may be.


He was a loyal and generous friend to those who knew him and his friendship and wisdom will be missed. His admiration for English education led him to send two of his sons to Charterhouse and then remaining in England to study Medicine. Today they are both eminent Consultants in Bangkok, something which made Mom extremely proud.  He is survived by his widow, Khunying Duenden and their three sons to whom we send our sympathies.

 

   

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