Sitthinee Tavipatana, Governor Phakaphong's wife and President of the Red Cross of Phuket, confirmed that the fair runs from Dec 29 until Jan 9 and will include many of the usual fun and interesting attractions such as extensive shopping and eating options, market booths, handicraft stalls, lucky draws, classical dance events, beauty contests and charity projects.
The fair also strives to present updates to visitors on major projects being driven by public and private sector collaboration which will be developing in the near future. Such projects on show at the fair include advancements in digital and IT urban development and various infrastructure and logistics ‘mega projects’ such as the Phuket Light Rail and the Patong Tunnel projects, the development of the Phuket Deep Sea Port and the International Convention and Exhibition Centre proposed to be built at the northern end of the island.
The fair will showcase an exhibition of some of the work the Red Cross has done in Phuket during the past year, such as providing scholarships to underprivileged students, helping those in need such as sick and disadvantaged people or those who may suffer discrimination due to ethnicity, caste, language, religion and/or political ideology as well as helping rehabilitate victims of disasters.
These efforts are made possible by the charity work undertaken by volunteers who regularly donate good quality secondhand goods and organise lottery ticket sales which help the organisation’s objectives.
Phuket a 'beautiful province'
In his opening speech, Governor Phakaphong highlighted that Phuket is internationally renowned as a beautiful province and leading, world-class tourist attraction that attracts many visitors each year which, in turn, generates significant income for the island and the country.
Whereas he acknowledged Phuket is typically associated with a wide variety of tourist pursuits, pristine beaches, picturesque mountains and beautiful seas, he was keen to point to alternative, often overlooked factors that appeal; he gave the examples of the unique architecture and houses in the Old Town, beautiful and charming local costumes, the island’s unique vegetation, delicious fruits, foods and local produce that taste like no other.
He emphasised the need for all Phuket’s residents to work together in order to protect and maintain the natural beauty and image of the the island, not just at home but within public spaces.
Governor Phakaphong gave some additional, interesting background on the Red Cross to attendees, stating the organisation was previously known as the Red Unity Council and set up during the reign of King Rama V.
In 1960, Queen Sirikit became President of the organisation and helped develop it with the support of the Ministry of Interior, formally establishing the Provincial Red Cross throughout all provinces on Jan 27, 1961. For this reason, the Thai Red Cross has determined that Jan 27 is the birthday of the Provincial Red Cross throughout the country.
Under the patronage of Queen Sirikit, it has progressed significantly over the years with numerous shops and annual fundraising initiatives now established driven by volunteer support and kindness enabling it to serve a crucial role within society.