Sunday, January 06, 2008

Benefactor to man and beast

Benefactor to man and beast

Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana, Krom Luang Narathiwat Rajanagarindra, was patron to 63 organisations and foundations, covering a myriad of fields including childcare, health, education and the arts.

Published on January 3, 2008

Her many charities included campaigns to get rid of landmines and promote road safety. She even cared for elephants.

She worked tirelessly on rural healthcare, carrying the work of HRH the Princess Mother. The best known of these programmes was the Princess Mother's Volunteer Doctors Organisation.

Every year, the Princess travelled with medical doctors deep into the countryside, visiting villages in 51 provinces.

The Princess was also known for her work with the Kidney Foundation of Thailand and Prostheses Foundation, which made the Guinness Book of Records in 2006 when it provided 664 artificial legs for 646 people in 11 days to mark the 60th year of His Majesty the King's reign.

Her list of charities runs long, some of which she initiated herself.

These included the Foundation for Slum Children, which was set up after she read an article about their plight in a newspaper. She decided to visit the children to see how she could best help.

"You have to see for yourself to understand the hardship they endure", she said after visiting them the first time. She sits on its board and actively presided over other various organisations.

Unbeknown to many, she had been supporting Thai students competing in the International Science & Mathematical Olympiads since May 1989.

She also oversaw their training and funding needs.

Her diverse interests included the Elephant Hospital in Lampang, which has been under her patronage since 2002; the Foundation for the Hospital for Autistic Children; the Anti-Drowsy Driving Campaign; the Promotion of French Language Teaching; the Foundation for the Development of Women in the North; and Thailand Mine Action Centre, which had been under her patronage since 2000.

The Princess was responsible for channelling and raising millions of baht to fund these organisations and foundations.

The Nation

Suriya to make gold teak coffin

Suriya Heep Sop (Suriya Coffin) will build a coffin for Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana.

Published on January 3, 2008

Measuring 2.19 metres in length and 26 inches wide, the coffin will be made of 100-year-old golden teakwood painted in purple oak. It will be built in the Louis style with a movable throne and featuring golden walnut buttons.

Company owner Pornthep Suriya said the coffin would be specially decorated with rose carvings and the inside would be covered by silk in a golden cream colour. He said the coffin's design would be similar to that of the coffin built for the Princess Mother.

Pornthep said it was an honour to receive royal grace from HM the King to do the work. Suriya Coffin has previously built coffins for HRH Princess Sri Nagarindra, Mom Luang Bua Kitiyakara (mother of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit) and Khun Poom Jensen (grandson of His Majesty the King).

Culture Minister Khunying Kaisri Sri-aroon said the ministry would consult with the Bureau of the Royal Household before appointing the Fine Art Department to design a royal cremation building for the Princess.

Arvudh Ngernchuklin, the former director of the Fine Art Department, who designed the royal cremation building for HRH Princess Sri Nagarindra, said the department had prepared all information and would be ready to start work as soon as it was appointed.

The Nation

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