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Phuket’s Tin man with a heart of gold

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket’s Tin man with a heart of gold | The Thaiger

PHUKET: THE Hongyok family have one of Phuket’s most prominent and prestigious names. They have made their mark as a successful business family and established a strong presence in local politics. The Hongsyoks are indeed a big part of Phuket’s inspirational history.

Luang Anuphasphuketkarn is the member of the Hongyok family whose life story resonates the most. The local nobleman of Chinese descent was the son of Tan Chek Ut, a Hokkien Chinese immigrant who settled in Phang Nga province during the 19th century.

Luang Anuphas was born in November 1888 and given the Chinese name Tan Chin Guan. He was schooled at Wat Monkolnimitr, an important Buddhist temple in Phuket Town, during his early years and taught by the revered monk Wisutti Wongsajarnyarnmanee.

At 14 years old, Chin Guan was sent to China to study the Chinese language. When he returned, he took an active role in the family’s tin mining business, which at that time was managed by his brother Chin Hong.

In 1913, during the early reign of King Rama VI, the ‘Surname Act’ was passed, which mandated all Chinese immigrants in Siam to adopt Thai surnames. That same year, the king also passed a law that allowed Chinese immigrants to receive Thai citizenship.

Tan Chin Hong, who was the eldest in the family, chose to use the Thai surname ‘Hongyok’, which translates to ‘Phoenix’. Chin Guan, his younger brother, also used the new surname from then on.

After working with the family for some time, Chin Guan left to set up his own tin mining operation. In a joint venture with his friends, he purchased a high yielding opencast mine. However, he soon realized that the business would not provide the vast returns he had expected.

Chin Guan spent a lot of time researching different mining methods in order to improve efficiency. When he learned that a new mining method, known as gravel pumping, was becoming widely used in British Malaya, he traveled there to study the technique. Chin Guan then introduced the process of gravel pumping to his Phuket mine in 1927.

Still, this new technique did not yield the results he wanted. Undeterred by previous failures, Chin Guan began to tweak the gravel pumping system he had in operation. He replaced the reciprocating diesel engine that powered the pump with a generator that was commonly used on ships. The modification paid off, and in time it proved to be a cost saver.

Chin Guan decided to use the generators to build a new power station for his mine. He formally opened the refurbished mine in January 1930. The opening ceremony was presided over by Prince Paripatra Sukhumbhand, Prince of Nakhon Sawan. To commemorate the occasion, the prince named the mine ‘Muang Chaofa’, which in Thai means ‘prince’s mine’.

In 1931, in recognition of his charitable work, Prince Paripatra granted Tan Chin Guan the noble title of Luang Anuphas Phuketkarn.

Despite the successes of his mining businesses, Luang Anuphas was still determined to adopt better mining techniques and improve efficiency. He made frequent trips to Penang, which was one of the most advanced tin mining centers in the region during that period.

In 1938, as his Chaofa mine became more successful, he bought a dredger in order to mine tin offshore in Phang Nga Bay.

Luang Anuphas also tried his hand at a number of other related businesses. He established a smelting plant, a sawmill, a lumber mill, a rice mill and an ice plant to support his mining operations. He also established a brewery and several rubber and coconut plantations.

Up until the Second World War, nearly all of his businesses were proving highly successful and he had amassed a fortune for himself. In Malaya, many Chinese business people even called Luang Anuphas the ‘Lord of Tin’.

In 1939, he founded Anuphas & Sons and distributed the company’s shares to his wife and children. Today Anuphas & Sons has grown into a group of companies, operating petrol stations, real estate projects, several car dealerships and a golf course in Phuket. The company’s strong presence on the island is a tribute to its remarkable founder.

The recently opened road linking Phuket Town to Kathu district was named Muang Chaofa Road, to commemorate Luang Anuphas’ Chaofa tin mine.

A renowned philanthropist, he performed extensive charitable work for Phuket’s poor and under privileged. He donated land for the construction of the Baan Suan Mapraw School in the Mai Khao sub-district in Phuket’s north. The school has since been renamed Hongyokbumrung School to honor its patron family.

Luang Anuphas also donated land in Kathu for the construction of a Buddhist temple, Wat Anuphas Krisdaram, and donated another plot of land in Phuket Town for the construction of the Mission Hospital.

Luang Anuphas had nine children, many of whom were notable figures in Phuket’s political scene. His eldest son, Wirat Hongyok was elected as president of the Phuket Provincial Council and later served as Mayor of Phuket Town. Wirat-Hongyok road in Phuket honors his name.

Lt Phummisak Hongyok, one of Luang Anuphas’ grandchildren, is also a well known businessman and politician. He served as the Mayor of Phuket Town and presided over its transition from ‘town’ to ‘city’ status.

In October 1962, Luang Anuphas Phuketkarn fell ill and passed away at the age of 74, leaving behind a large business empire and a legacy as one of Phuket’s most prominent historical figures.

— Anand Singh

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Bangkok

Tax on salt content being considered

Greeley Pulitzer

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Tax on salt content being considered | The Thaiger

The Excise Department is considering imposing a tax on the salt content of food to encourage food producers to reduce the sodium content of snacks, instant noodles and seasoning cubes.

The director of the Office of Tax Planning said that the department is discussing a limit on the amount of sodium food can contain, in line with the standard set by the World Health Organization (WHO), which is 2,000 milligrams of salt per day.

In reality, Thai people consume an average of 1,000 milligrams per meal, making their daily intake well above WHO guidelines, according to the director.

He said any tax imposed would be at a level which would encourage food producers to reduce the sodium in their processed food without being punitive, adding that the proposal isn’t intended to generate more tax revenue, but to help protect the health of consumers. Excessive sodium in the diet can lead to high blood pressure and kidney disease.

Fish sauce, soy sauce and salt would not be taxed.

SOURCE: thaipbsworld.com

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News

Water shortage warnings in 22 provinces

Greeley Pulitzer

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Water shortage warnings in 22 provinces | The Thaiger

People living in 22 Thai provinces are being warned to prepare for shortages of drinking water during the upcoming dry season, due to start on November 1st.

The warning was issued by the National Water Resources Office, citing low levels in reservoirs, which are the main sources for tap water production waterworks in 22 provinces.

Areas at risk identified by the office are in northern, north-eastern, eastern and southern provinces.

Measures have been adopted by agencies charged with dealing with water shortages. including dredging water channels to allow greater volumes of water to flow into reservoirs, drilling underground wells, enlarging storage ponds and the purchase of water to supply to those in urgent need.

The Royal Irrigation Department has announced that people should use water sparingly.

There are currently about 6 billion cubic metres of usable water in reservoirs in the affected provinces, with 5 billion cubic metres reserved for consumption and ecological preservation, leaving only 1 billion cubic metres for use in agriculture.

This means farmers in the Chao Phraya river basin may not be able to grow a second crop of rice this year.

SOURCE: thaipbsworld.com

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Bangkok

Green Day heading back to BKK in 2020

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Green Day heading back to BKK in 2020 | The Thaiger

Green Day, five-time Grammy Award winners, are embarking on a global tour in 2020, including a stop-over in Bangkok during March. The rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Fame inductees will perform a series of concerts throughout Europe, UK, North America and Asia.

“Green Day Live in Bangkok” takes place on March 11, 2020 at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani. But it’s not their first time. Green Day sold out concerts in their last Thai live gigs in 1996 and 2010.

Formed in 1986 in Berkeley, California, Green Day is one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time, with more than 70 million records sold worldwide and 10 billion cumulative online streams of their music and performances. Their 1994 breakout album “Dookie” is widely credited with popularising and reviving mainstream interest in punk rock, catapulting a career-long run of No 1 hit singles.

In 2004, Green Day released the rock opera “American Idiot”, selling more than 7 million copies in the US alone and taking home the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. In 2010, a stage adaptation of “American Idiot” debuted on Broadway to critical and commercial acclaim. Entertainment Weekly called Green Day, “The most influential band of their generation,” while Rolling Stone said, “Green Day have inspired more young bands to start than any act this side of KISS, and that doesn’t seem to be changing.”

Green Day Live in Bangkok 2020 is on March 11, 2020 at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani.

Ticket prices start at 2,000 baht and tickets go on sale on November 2 at all ThaiTicketMajor outlets via www.livenation.co.th or www.thaiticketmajor.com or call: 02 262 3838 for more information.

SOURCE: The Nation

Green Day heading back to BKK in 2020 | News by The Thaiger

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