October began like any other month. Work at the office in Chiang Mai was as usual. With preparations for our national foster care meeting in November well under way, and final reviews of our training material being made before printing, there was much to look forward to.
Care for Children’s South East Asia Manager Thomas Abbott travelled to Singapore to speak to future community leaders in Asia about alternative child care, and attended meetings in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, where he spoke with, among others, the British Ambassador to Thailand, and the Head of the British Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok.
All this, however, was overshadowed by the tragic passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, on 13 October, 2016—our condolences go to the Royal Family and all the people of Thailand.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej died peacefully at the age of 88 in the presence of his family, ending his reign of 70 years. The nation mourns its king, whose passing is a great loss. King Bhumibol, who took his place as ruler in 1946, was like a father to many—a true role model—providing orientation for his people and guiding them in a good way. His compassionate and loving heart, his generosity towards his people, together with his even temper and prudence won him a special place in the hearts of the nation.
His Majesty the King led by example with an air of dignity and grace crowned with humility, and his people revered him. Over seven decades he led his country in both peaceful and tumultuous times—his unfaltering resolve a stabiliser in times of unrest; his genuine compassion and generosity evident in action and service for his people at all times. King Bhumibol truly cared for his subjects and used his power to humbly serve his people with a unique kindness and love. His careful foresight and tireless determination saw Thailand develop and thrive during his reign, as the economy grew and the country emerged as a leader in Southeast Asia.
Thomas Abbott, Care for Children’s Group Project Manager who launched the Thai project in 2012, and who still works out of the Thai project office, comments:
One of the great legacies the late King leaves is his role as a father for the nation. I hope that his example will be a tangible source of encouragement and inspiration to the current and future foster fathers of this nation as they reflect on his service, leadership and compassion.
Jane Arnott, Care for Children’s Country Manager for Thailand, comments:
Care for Children Thailand has decided to observe the one-year mourning period out of respect for the late King. On a day-today basis, this involves wearing black clothing, or at least a black ribbon. Events such as training workshops and meetings, including the National Foster Care Meeting, which was to be held in November, have been rescheduled as a result of the unexpected circumstances.