Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lists of former office holders

When I do my walking tours through Bangkok, I always try to catch a district museum or at least a district office on the way. For the tour through Phaya Thai district, I managed to visit both - the district museum as a small part of the larger Broadcasting Museum in the backyard of the Public Relations Department - I'll write about it in my travel blog later - as well as the district office of Phaya Thai in a soi near Ari Skytrain station.

The district office itself wouldn't be worth a posting here, only thing special at first sight was the billboards with the constituency candidates - I was there in the middle of the election campaign. The district office as government area was of course free of the election posters, but as it also serves as polling station the candidates are announced there in a neutral  way. But more interesting was a board right next to the staircase at the entrance.

The very decorative wooden board lists all the former district officers of Phaya Thai, starting with the district of Phra Nakhon province created in 1966, up until the current district office of the district within Bangkok special administrative area. One can see the administrative changes at district level by the title of the district officer - 1966 till 1973 it was Nai Amphoe (นายอำเภอ), then when the Amphoe were converted into Khet with the merge of Phra Nakhon and Thonburi to Bangkok the title changed to Hua Na Khet (หัวหน้าเขต). In 1985 the title was changed again, now Phu Amnuai Khet (ผู้อำนวยการเขต). This change happened on September 1 1985, and since it was in the middle of his term the 13th district officer is listed with two titles on the list. And finally, the very last entry is also interesting, as the 23rd and current district officer Sawang Bunsit (สว่าง บุญสิทธิ์) is listed as being in office from October 10 2007 till September 30 2011. Thus already in May it was known that the district officer will change this year, probably because he has reached his retirement age.

On a later tour, I have discovered a similar board in the district office of Pak Kret, and funnily also my reader Ian sent me two similar ones he discovered in Satun town. As most of the administrative units either have no website, or only a website with few historical information, these board help me a lot in adding lists of officers into my XML, only copying text from a website is much easier than typing a name from a photo. But any photos of lists like this are welcome, only should be high enough resolution to be able to recognize the Thai characters well, so if you stumble upon one don't hesitate to photograph and send me...

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