(The Photo Gallery you will find below the story)
On July 19, 1897, King Chulalongkorn of Siam (present-day Thailand) visited Sweden and Ragunda municipality. He had got an invitation from the Swedish/Norwegian King Oscar II to the International Art and Industry Fair in Stockholm and he accepted.
King Oscar II knew that king Chulalongkorn of Siam was interested to see the Swedish sawmill industry, he chose the middle part of northern Sweden. There was beautiful scenery with bright summer nights and impressive waterfalls. King Chulalongkorn was also interested in the modern Swedish traffic, both on water and on land.
In the middle of 1992, a Thai folk-dancing troupe visited Ragunda, and they heard about the road that had been named after their king. They visited the location and were quite fascinated. In 1993, an association was formed, Föreningen Chulalongkorns Minne (FCM) which took the first steps on the project. Ragunda municipality took the initiative and in 1994, a committee was formed to ensure the progress of the work. This committee consisted of representatives of Swedish and Thai interests. The construction work started in 1997.
The construction costs amounted to about 7,000,000 SEK. This does not include 3,000,000 SEK worth of decorations, such as the gilded sceptre. The project has been financed through fund-raising and sponsorship in Thailand and Sweden. The decorations have been made by the present Thai king's own craftsmen, while the rest of the building has been projected and constructed by companies in Jämtland.
The floor-surface is 75 square metres. The internal height is 7 metres (23 ft.) and the entire building, including the sceptre, rises no less than 26 metres (85 ft.) into the air. A stone wall made of Jämtlandic limestone frames the magnificent white building (each stone weighs 20 kgs or 44 lbs.). Inside the pavilion is a bronze life-size statue of King Chulalongkorn. This is the only pavilion of its kind outside Thailand.
King Chulalongkorn Day
The project laid a new foundation for the development of Thai/Swedish relationships among them political, cultural and commercial. Contacts were made on government level, in national and regional administration, defence, universities, trade and commerce. Among other things, this has led to the forming of a Thai-Swedish chamber of commerce. King Chulalongkorn Day is celebrated every year the 19th of July in Ragunda.
Unfortunately was the weather not so good. It was cloudy and the air was chilly for the season, about 12-13 degrees when the procession from the entrance building to the Thai Pavilion started. Many were dressed in beautiful costumes and many had nice flower arrangement to put down at Chulalongkorn statue inside the Thai Pavilion. After the ceremony there was a dance show inside the greenhouse.
We had Open house between 10:00 to 17:00 on SI9AM, during the celebration of King Chulalongkorn Day. SM3LIV/Ulla, SM3FJF/Jörgen, SM3EFS/Lennart and SM3BQC/Arne activated the Visiting Amateur Radiostation. Ulla took the opportunity work about 150 QSOs on 14 MHz during the day from SI9AM.
Preparing for SK0YTs Youth Camp
At 11.00 Lennart, Arne and Jörgen began to install two antennas to be used during SK0YTs youth camp in August 9 to 11. A Diamond, 6-band vertical antenna and a 3-band 2-element Fritzel Beam.
Visit by SA3ALO with YL
At 11:45 SA3ALO/Lars-Erik and YL Johanna visited us. They asked if we needed any help. We gratefully accepted their helping hands, so the answer was immediate YES! During two hours we work continued to tune antennas for the best SWR values.
Visit by SM0SHG
During the day SM0SHG/Adde made a short visit.
Test of the antennas
At about 14:30 we were ready with the antenna job and Jörgen could run some QSOs to make sure that everything worked. We also worked some PSK31 QSOs to check the SignaLink modem and computer equipment.
Visit by Magnus Gunnarsson
Magnus Gunnarsson responsible for the Thai Pavilion made a visit to get more information about our Visiting Amateur Radiostation. With him was Hans R. Bjorkman, who proved to be a DX listener. Both were very impressed by the connections we establish with amateur radio around the world. One of Hans interest was islands and he could the names of many of the islands, which for us is rare DX.