Geoff Walton - so long

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by DavidFL, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Ajarn Geoff Walton one of Chiang Mai's longer expat residents passed away aged 72, in Chiang Mai on 14th May 2014.

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    Geoff had been resident in Chiang Mai for close on 30 (& Thailand on 45) years I believe & was one of the original customers of my Library Service Bookshop - Cafe.

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    Some of you "old timers" like me, may remember Geoff. He was in the Library Service almost everyday for brekky & his daily dose of newspapers & BBC news.

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    If he was not in the Library Service, then he was in the Bier Stube.

    Geoff was probably the original writer in Chiang Mai & was an absolute mine of information about Thailand. Bertil Linter came to settle permanently in Chiang Mai not long after Geoff & after his (Bertil's) epic adventure Land Of Jade walk through Myanmar, chased by the Burmese for 18 months from 85-87.

    Geoff was a prolific reader of books too. An extremely easy going generous guy & always offered to help any newbies in town with tips & info - especially fellow writers, authors, newshounds.
    Any new writer in town always sought Geoff & more often than not in the Library Service. Geoff had tremendous "Nam Jai" helping people settle into Chiang Mai & very seldom asked for compensation.

    He became an absolute magnet for fellow writers. Many local writers are thankful for Geoff's presence in Chiang Mai, guiding them the easy way & helping them get networked here. Bertil, Oliver Hargreave, Ron Emmons, Colin Hinshelwood, the CPA guys David & Andrew, Akha Jim Goodman are a few that I can remember easily.

    He edited & proof read unlimited articles for travel & tourism here. Guidelines magazine where he ended up working would not be what it is without Geoff. My original Motorcycle Touring Pocket Guide Book to North Thailand, published in 1988, would not have happened without Geoff.

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    Indeed the tourism media scene here probably owes a lot to Geoff Walton, because for years he was the main English language writer helping "all" the magazines get started.

    Geoff will be sadly missed.

    On the full moon Friday 13th June there was a final tribute & drinks night for Geoff at the Writers Club on Ratchadamnoen.

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    There was a good turn out of local writers & journalists, who had great respect for Geoff. Everyone owed him something & loved him dearly.

    A couple of happy pics from Geoff's farewell send off.

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    if anyone has any photos of Geoff, you are welcome to post them here.
     
  2. Johpa

    Johpa Ol'Timer

    I was fortunate to share quite a few meals with Geoff at David's old book shop and at the Stube. He was one of the most knowledgeable ex-pats I have ever encountered in Chiang Mai, one of the few who deserved the title of "old hand", although I recognize a few other true "old hands" in the pic above taken at the memorial. Sorry I was not around to attend, but on my next visit to the Kingdom I will have to visit the Writer's Club and ring the bell in Geoff's honor.
     
  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    A final note, Geoff's ashes

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    were put in two places

    1. Wat Pa Lad in the waterfall, Doi Suthep

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    2. The Ping River, Chiang Mai.

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    Geoff was a free spirit & his spirit now flows through the country he loved so dearly.
    RIP Geoff.
     
  4. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    RIP in peace Geoff, and tranquil journeys through the country you love. Geoff struck me as very young in spirit.

    Edit, would like to include that my son remembers his many conversations fondly with Geoff about their different adventures. He was certainly someone that obviously made an impression with many - I also just ordered the Land of Jade off Amazon.

    Talked with Geoff many times and didn't realize his history with Chiang Mai, he was never pretentious or unwilling with being free and open with any information regarding SE Asia. This is something not always present to new comers to Chiang Mai from long the term local Expats, such as I was, and is most welcome...and actually downright heartwarming. David, you fit into this same appreciated and fantastic category.

    Sincerest regards,
    Kevin
     

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