|FAREWELL TO A DEAR FRIEND|
The Late Luangphaw Chamroon Parnchand Ramon Magsaysay Awardee 1975
After an illness lasting several months the Abbot of the Thamkrabok Monastery passed away peacefully at the Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok on 4th May (2542) 1999. For one hundred days his body will lay In State in the Ramon Magsaysay Building within the Monastery.
Throughout those hundred days the Detoxification Clinic will, as a mark of respect, remain closed. Those who planned to come to Thamkrabok for treatment, and tourists are politely requested not to visit the Monastery during this time.
Over the last eleven years it has been my privilege to know Luangphaw. Probably better than any other person outside Thailand. In my life I have known many good people, he would rank as one of the finest men I have ever met.
My personal life has been enriched by the friendship that developed, and the wise guidance he offered me. It was he alone who gave me the encouragement to make my commitment not only to spread the word of Thamkrabok around the world, but also to offer the hand of friendship and assistance to everyone who came forward for help.
Sadly there are a few within the Thai community who, for their own questionable reasons, chose to misrepresent his wonderful works for the many thousands who came to Thamkrabok Monastery to be freed of their various addictions. This applies equally to his support for the Hmong Tribes who sought and received sanctuary and protection from him. I will always question the integrity and agenda of his critics.
Some years ago I asked Luangphaw about the conduct of a few of the Monks at Thamkrabok. I will always remember his reply to me. He said, "Brian, there are men in monks clothing, and there are monks in monks clothing. It is for you to decide which is which. But always remember the work they all do for those in need."
Back in 1991 Luangphaw Chamroon Parnchand, with a smile, gave me a piece of paper with the words written by himself in the Thai language. Khun Thawi Bhiungbhol, a former Monk, kindly translated the writings for me.
Farewell Luangphaw, I am sad that you have gone. But so happy that I was privileged to be your friend.
Brian E. Haffenden
Thamkrabok Foundation Incorporated in Australia
MAY ALL BEINGS BE HAPPY AND WELL