Dan White RIP

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Rhodie, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    ©Dan White
    It is with great sadness to announce the passing earlier this morning [20th September] of Dan White
    celebrated writer, photographer and GT-Rider of complications arising from a cerebral haemorrhage on Tuesday.

    Prayers will be offered at Wat That Thong Ekkamai (Sala 16)
    at the following times
    1830hrs Friday.
    1900hrs Saturday & Sunday

    Cremation at 1400hrs Monday followed by a wake at FCCT.
    Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand
    Penthouse, Maneeya Center Building
    518/5 Ploenchit Road (connected to the BTS Skytrain Chitlom station)
    Patumwan, Bangkok 10330
    Donations via FCCT.

    Many GT Riders will have known Dan from his witty and sometimes acerbic posts here.
    But those who want to see a greater breadth of his work will be interested to look at his website here.

    There will be an obit in tomorrow's Bangkok Post & possibly The Nation.

    Dan, The Man

    Blue skies and fair winds.
    Rest in Peace mate.
    DavidFL likes this.
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  3. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Wow, Very Tragic. Such a Talent and So Very Young!!! I'm with Slash very sad News!
  4. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    My Condolences to Dans family and friends,
    strokes can take even young fit people
  5. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Wow. Dan gone, such an engaging loveable character & good friend he was.

    You will be missed mate, many a chat & drink we used to enjoy in the Kafe swapping notes & travel tips.

    Your strong support of motorcycle touring / travel as a part of tourism in Thailand was always appreciated.

    And I will never forget that fabulous week we had in Vientiane 2009 researching for the Frommers guide book update.


    You were a gem of a photographer & travel writer.

    My times with you will always be treasured. RIP.

    Some of Dan's reports



  7. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    Very sad news.

    A life cut short, but a life lived well.

    Rest in peace.

  8. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    From Luke Hunt in The Diplomat

    Dan White, 1965-2012
    By Luke Hunt
    September 25, 2012

    As a photographer and writer, Dan White could count Afghanistan, Cambodia and East Timor among the many conflicts he covered. The British journalist was always brave but often troubled by the brutalities he witnessed and at times endured first-hand. Nevertheless he stuck to his core values, denouncing all types of violence and emerging in recent years as one of the most affable men in Southeast Asian journalism. Dan, tragically, passed away on September 20, following a brain hemorrhage. He was 47.
    My initial encounters with Dan, well over a decade ago, were marked by humor and his ability to see the funny side of life even when confronted by deadly threats. His sense of the ridiculous often stood him in good stead.
    As a professional, he covered the serious -- Thailand’s long-running red and yellow shirt conflict-- and the off-beat. He made the stunning photography for the book Sacred Tattoos of Thailand and wrote the Frommer Travel Guide to Cambodia and Laos. Dan was happiest on his motorbike exploring the nooks and crannies of Thailand and never tired of taking photographs of its temples and pagodas. The knowledge he gained over the years was formidable and he shared it willingly.
    He was also deeply sensitive about his work and protective about those around him. Amid the devastation of the 2004 tsunami, Dan told an editor on a Rupert Murdoch newspaper in Australia to “shove it” after they tried to goad him into ignoring the requests of rescuers, enter the overcrowded hospital wards, and take photographs and interview the hapless and horribly injured victims.
    When working in the field he lacked that certain cynicism which many in this business seem to think is some kind of macho absolute for a being big tough journalist. This attitude kept his work fresh and his mind vibrant.
    Around 2003, soon after making Bangkok his home, Dan was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His symptoms were most noticeable when he was aggrieved or his sense of injustice had been piqued. A serious head injury, sustained in a fight outside a Thai pub, subsequently aggravated his condition.
    Dan could get angry, was sometimes antagonizing and always fierce in debate. But he loathed people who waved their finger to make a point; he saw that as something akin to violence.
    His pugnacity could work to the advantage of his colleagues. When a fellow journalist was in trouble, Dan would leap to his or her defense. He was like a rottweiler when his friend, the Belgian photographer Thierry Falise, was wrongfully jailed in Laos and made an enormous effort to get him freed.
    Unlike many of his colleagues who also suffered from PTSD, Dan acknowledged and addressed it, and eventually his gentler side won out. While on assignment with him in Thailand’s troubled south earlier this year, I could not help but think that Dan was becoming the man he was always meant to be.
    I assumed that Dan would go from strength to strength and that his contributions would continue to be an enormous plus for journalism in Thailand and Indochina. His grasp of Cambodian politics and the sensibilities of the Khmer people were matched by his understanding for the subtleties of Thai culture. These qualities are in short supply amongst practitioners of the business that he loved.
    Dan’s favorite quotation came from Winston Churchill: "Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.” He lived and worked by this philosophy, and as a result was highly respected and much loved. He is survived by brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, an army of loyal friends and a brilliant body of work.
    He was my friend and he will be missed.
    Image credit: Luke Hunt
  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    There will be a ride to Mae Hong Son on Saturday 20th October.

    In Mae Hong Son Dan's ashes will be interred under a small tree with a plaque at Wat Chong Klang, by the lake.

    Riders are welcome to join in.

    Depart from X-Centre approx 8.30AM. Ride to MHS via R1095 the Pai road. Return which ever way you please.

    If you want to go, use Piya ghouse for accommodation in Mae Hong Son. Tel: 053 611 260.
  10. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    Dan White's Final Ride

    ©Dan White

    On Wednesday evening a group of friends and colleagues took a boat from the Royal Thai Naval Academy down the Chayo Praya river

    ©Jimmy Wing
    and in a moving Loy Angkhan ceremony committed Dan’s ashes to the river.

    ©Jimmy Wing

    With Dan’s brothers’ permission we were charged with taking some of Dan’s ashes north to be laid to rest in Mae Hong Son.
    DavidFL was key in liaising with the authorities at Wat Chong Klang and getting their permission,
    as well as having the plaque made which was then mounted on a stake by Ian at the X-Centre.


    The following morning I left Bangkok before 5a.m. and was at the Chang brewery by 0830.
    Singha was Dan’s brew of choice, but a memorial GT-Rider brewery ride will have to keep for another occasion.


    Dan was riding pillion in a waterproof red bag.
    Anyone who remembers Nat Geo’s use of a red shirt to illustrate the punch of Kodachrome from the 50s & 60s,
    will appreciate the photographic significance.

    At Thoen, we headed north through the beautiful mountainous twisties and then on into Li with it broad sweeping roads to Hot.
    Sadly there was not a “Hot” sign, which would have made for a cool shot for Dan.


    Then North-West negotiating the dirt highway under construction we headed up to Doi Inthanon,
    so that Dan good have a final farewell from the top of the Land of Smiles he loved and was infuriated by with equal measure.


    On the way up the cloud had closed in and became quite chilly with a very fine ‘english’ drizzle.
    Stopping at the King’s Chedhi for a shot - other visitors congregated to watch as I placed Jasmine garlands around our late Kwacker Bros riding brother.


    Unfortunately due to the yahoos stickering-up the sign in English –which has now been removed entirely- the official one in Thai will have to suffice.

    Then a nice easy ride down to Chiang Mai a long day but a great ride with a great Buddy, some 800 kms in 12 hours.


    The following evening we took Dan out for a last drink at the Writers’ Club. Bob with delightful wife K. Tong were generous hosts
    even allowing Dan to come and ‘sit’ on the bar whilst Chiang Mai mates popped in to have a cold one with their mucker.

    Attending: James, Jessie, Rhodie, Long, Bob, Tong Em, Unk, Steve, & Piyavit Thongsa-Ard
    The picture of Dan was taken by Steve Sandford’s wife, Khun Em captured Dan’s personality and normal repose perfectly.
    It was decided that this picture should be taken on tour and was taken out and around Chiang Mai by David for the rest of the evening.
  11. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    It was a pleasure to meet Dan again at the Writers Club & partake of a few bevvies.
    But before I went home & endeavoured to sleep before the MHS ride, Dan & I had to have "one more for the road" - & at the Kafe.

    Dan was a popular customer at the Kafe, & K Air the Kafe owner was only too happy to have one more final drink with Dan.
  12. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    Saturday morning brought glorious sunshine as GT-Riders gathered for breakfast at the X-Centre before leaving at 10a.m.

    The gals snapping some pix .

    David's new Versys.

    A short coffee stop

    Ian, Long, Amanda & Jessie followed us in their car.

    A photo stop before Pai

    The obligatory Pai photo-stop with James Fuller one of Dan's photo-journo friend & colleague.

    Hoghead tucking into his Pai lunch.

    A Gt-Riders group shot at the viewpoint before Soppong

    Dan would have been happy going by rickshaw
  13. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Indeed taking Dan out for his final ride was quite emotional & moving for me.

    When I first set off from the X-Centre & headed north on R107 I could not concentrate or get my riding rhythm going; & some of you may have noticed my slower than normal pace.
    There's a lot of thoughts that go through your head, or at least there were for me.

    Dan & I had many good times together, but we'd never actually ridden together before, only rendezvoused & met up in different towns when we were both out on the road either writing or photographing for Dan or mapping for me.
    And now weird as it may sound, this was the first time we were riding together. Except Dan was no longer & I / we were carrying his "soul" to put to rest in MHS. I felt honored to be able to do this ride with & for Dan. He was one hell of a good guy & friend. And at least I wanted to make sure he saw it all one more time.

    Photo stop # 2 at the Pang Mapha Viewpoint...


    Dan enjoying the Pang Mapha viewpoint


    There was that man Dan seemingly in sky watching....

    The turn out for a departed rider, whom only a few of us had met in person, was impressive & I'd like to thank all those guys & gals who came - THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

    PLUS John G had done a brilliant job organizing Dan's attendance from Bangkok. You too John must have been moved numerous times on your ride up.

    So whilst Dan may not have been physically there, for me he certainly was there in soul all the way.
  14. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    It was a great GT-Rider send-off some fourteen or so at various stages of the ride and ceremony,
    though only four or five may have met Dan others knew him from his humorous and sometimes cantankerous posts.
    It was a very united and dignified send-off to a brother biker, and a grateful thanks to all who rode, attended and helped out.

    David took care of Dan's ashes and rode into MHS with his picture to the fore.


    to be met by a glorious rainbow over the lake.



    and meet up with the rest of the riders at the Sunflower for a few drinks or three.


    I understand that Dan's picture did the rounds of MHS that Saturday night,
    and was recognised by not just a few of the night owls!
  15. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Dan's last night in Mae Hong Son......started at the Crossroads Pub in the centre of town...



    Dan burning the midnight oil


    It was a good crowd


    before too long it was time to hit the Chalet pub 'n disco

    May & Maew were the singers

    With enough to drink Dan soon became the life of the party




    Culminating in a brief stage appearance with Miss Maew


    Then it was time to head home, but not before a 7-11 stop


    and a check on the late night emergency "body snatchers" vehicle.


    plus a final cameo with Miss Nok & friends ex Crossroads Pub.



    Bed time for Dan that night was 3AM.
    Not bad for MHS & there's no doubt that Dan was a star in MHS on his final night.

    Thanks Dan I enjoyed your company immensely.
  16. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    At 8a.m. a final walk around MHS Lake took place.
    Both looking a little worse for wear after a night out together on MHS's tiles.

    lying down came naturally to take a pic after a heavy night

    James was one of the few who joined us

    A quick stop & rest at the spirit house close to Wat Chong Klang.

    Then breakfast at the always good Salween restaurant
    Ben & Fern had ridden up from Mae Sariang
  17. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    Just before 10a.m. George from the Sunflower had herded those he could find into the Temple.
    George had arranged for the Abbot to bless Dan's ashes.

    as MHS's devout assembled we were ushered in for an informal but moving blessing 'service'.


    A donation to the Wat was made from GT-Riders


    Dan's ashes, that had now travelled by bike for a thousand or so kms -half way across the country- and were escorted the final half lap
    around the MHS loop by his GT-Rider biking brothers, were finally laid to rest in the grounds of Wat Chong Klang.

    The bush found by George was Cananga Oderata more usually called Ylang Ylang, that produces a beautiful yellow flower
    and is known for its perfume and aroma therapy oil. How very appropriate... for a GT-Rider!

    We all made an unbroken link as I poured the water blessed by the Abbot onto the Ylang Bush and Dan.

    Ian hammers Dan's plaque home.

    Dans lies securely between the plaques of our two late GT-Rider friends, Simon & TJ.

    With a quotation from Churchill Dan often used when discussing SEA conundrums
    as quoted by his mate, Luke Hunt, in the obit posted earlier:

    "Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge."

    I believe we will be changing Simon & TJ's plaques to give their dates and each with an appropriate epitaph soon.

    Those who made the morning ceremony were Ian, David FL, Rhodie, David Race, Mark & James.
    Others present, but not in photograph, were Richard, Long, Amanda, Jessie, Boo, Ben & Fern.
    Some never quite made the morning ceremony - Dan would have understood, approved & laughed.
  18. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Just a couple more pix to wrap up....

    Making sure Dan was planted, helped by James, fellow photographer & friend of Dan's.


    Another group shot, with Richard Rhodda present..


    With Khun Iya, the MHS TAT rep who attended. Fine recognition for Dan & the many briliant articles he wrote for the TAT promoting Thailand.

  19. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    A Great Report and Photos, Thanks Guys. It was a Remarkable Show of the GT-Rider Spirit that has Made Northern Thailand so Famous throughout the Biking Community of the World! So many Guys from up here rallied together regardless of whether they knew Dan or not to give Him a Decent send off and and to mark a place where He will forever be remembered along with Our good Friends Simon and TJ who We will again pay Our respects to this coming weekend! It is A Sad Fact of Life that eventually We will all Pass but while We are still Living it is Great to see those within the GT-Rider Community can still experience Respect, Loyalty and a Faithfulness to Friends! This still seems to be the Main Priority, some Traits that are Sadly missing in quite a Number of People nowadays! Well Done Guys and Respect Due!!!
  20. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Bungy et al, it was a pleasure & honour to have all you guys along for Dan's final ride. To be honest I was feeling quite emotional inside most of the weekend, but somehow managed to hold it together.

    Special thanks to George from Sunflower in MHS for helping organise events at the temple.

    Thank you to the TAT in MHS for sending a lovely rep Iya, who should be in attendance at this Saturday's MHS music night & assisting on stage.

    Thanks also to all the people who went - Rhodie & Jessie, Bungy & Long, David & Boo, Richard, Robert Hoghead, Mark Haywood, Ben & Fern, West. Your participation was much appreciated.
  21. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    After most had left by midday Sunday, I went up to the Burmese styled temple Wat Prathat Doi Kong Mu
    to give Dan's family a view of Mae Hong Son.

    The Gt-Rider wall within Wat Chong Klang can be seen from the mountain.
    To paraphrase Rupert Brooke, there is a corner of a foreign Wat that will be for ever Dan.

    After supper at the Salween I just managed to catch this image of candle lantern being released over the lake & Wat Chong Klang.
    It was a cathartic and poignant moment and I went to bed feeling we had done our duty to our mate.

    The next morning the light was crystal clear and the Wat and lake were stunning, as I left for the long ride back to Bangkok.

    Thank you again to the many people went in to making Dan's Final Ride so special.
    David for getting things organised in MHS along with George, and Ian who helped David with the plaque.
    Ian's post is very well made, as Dan had zero tolerance for those who enjoy causing discord and strife.
    But above all to those GT-Riders who rode and drove in the name of a brother biker who few actually knew well.
  22. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

  23. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Bump & reminder for the MHS LOOP Memorial ride on 9th November 2013.

    Looking at the photos of that final night in MHS, hell it was outrageous & a lot of fun.
  24. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    The 2015 - 7th - annual GTR MHS Loop Memorial ride in honour of Dan, Simon & TJ is here


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