On Saturday January 28th Lizzy Ginsel, the ‘Grande Dame’ of Hua Hin, hosted her iconic Multi-Culti Club (MCC) monthly dinner. After 4 years of masterminding these events, it was sadly announced this was her finale.
What had begun as Swiss or German evenings back in 2009 evolved over the years into a celebration of an international community which is part of the character of Hua Hin. These events reject a tendency for national groups to isolate themselves from the broader community. Lizzy knows that isolated ex-pats are lonely ex-pats. The philosophy that Lizzy expands is that to successfully live here as an ex-pat means embracing diversity by mingling and socialising with all nationalities and very importantly Thai people. MCC events were always attended by a smorgasbord of nationalities with many influential Thai community members each month.
Lizzy is certainly multicultural. She was born and raised in Jayapura, the provincial capital of Papua Indonesia while it was an overseas territory of the Netherlands. Transition from colonial rule towards integration with Indonesia was a troubled time which meant that many fled to other countries with Lizzy travelling to the Netherlands and then to Zurich in Switzerland. Dutch, German and Swiss influences and languages are a big part of her background but also a desire to embrace other cultures, most recently during her past ten years in Thailand.
Apart from providing an occasion for all nationalities to gather together, raising money for charity was a big part of the MCC scene. Collaboration with Andrew Stocks, the founder of the Power of Love Church, lead to a focus on funding to build the Church Children’s Home, a mission accomplished. Andrew says that Lizzy was one of the kindest people that he has known and he knows many. “Lizzy, you did a wonderful job, we love you, and we will never forget you.
There will never be another Queen of people’s hearts like you in Hua Hin”. There has also been support for the RICD wheelchair project and responses to a wide range of other individual pleas for help. Lizzy is also known for her support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, as she says “In Hua Hin we have many lovely gays”, a sentiment which echoes her non-discriminatory attitudes. Anyone who is included in Lizzy’s email address book of some 7,000 names will be accustomed to regular invitations, event promotions and other local news. This is a thinly disguised but successful strategy to promote her charity agenda, with an expectation of charity support from those being promoted.
The era of MCC events with Lizzy at the helm may be over, but there are many who are calling for more. Lizzy is stepping out of the limelight after a personal health scare. She is no longer as steady on her feet; or multi-coloured toenails and won’t be quite as ‘bizzy’ or as ‘dizzy’ anymore! It’s unlikely that the flamboyant, exuberant and somewhat outrageous personality will really disappear or that her colorful persona won’t be seen around town. But there is also a sense that a personal mission has been accomplished. “I’ve reached my goal, I brought all farangs together with Thai people, oh how wonderful! We live together, why not hand in hand?”
Lizzy as a ‘Diva’ in an earlier life
It’s time for someone to step forward to honour Lizzy’s MCC legacy; the question is …… WHO?
Enjoying the Multi-Culti Club Scene
Seen recently mingling with somwe important people. To message Lizzy email firstname.lastname@example.org For her urgent SMS hotline, 081 382 0847 (a silent line so no voice calls).