Sunday, May 6, 2012

In Memory of Liam Ayudhkij O'Keefe

Yesterday I celebrated the life of a wonderful friend of mine with his closest family and colleagues in Ireland.

Liam Ayudhkij O'Keefe was an Irish born man who at the age of 18 left Ireland for Thailand where he remained for the rest of his life.

In Thailand under Liam's directorship he grew a company from a team of 5 staff to its present size of more than 23,000 employees!

Liam also dedicated a very large part of his time and energies to a mind blowing range of charities and worthwhile causes, including setting up the Junior Dublin Literary Award, the Thailand Business Coalition on Aids, in which Liam was the Founding Chairman. The Siriwattana Cheshire Home for the Disabled of whom Liam was a Director, The Medical Scholarship Foundation under the patronage of HRH Princess Galyani and the PCS foundation which was founded by Liam in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami with the mission to deliver help and immediate directly to those who were in most need.

In addition, Liam was a founder and highly active member of the Irish Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok,
here he worked to straighten ties between Thailand and Ireland, and as such received multiple international business achievement awards. In fact, I know that our former president Mary McAleese honoured Liam by attending the launch of the Chamber in Thailand and that subsequently Liam was asked over to Ireland to talk to and advise our government officials at the recent Farmleigh meetings.

Liam was a famed art and antiques collector and he first came across my work in 2006. Over the years of collecting and investing in art he built one of Thailand's premier art collections of which I am honoured and humbled to be a part of.
Yesterday I was informed that after the famous Irish artist Patrick Scott, who is a contemporary of  the late Louis Le Brocquy, Liam had more of my paintings in his collection than any other Irish artist!
Liam was a most supportive, encouraging and loving patron of my art work. He showed me such enthusiasm in regard to what I was doing and encouraged my development continually.

I miss you Liam. Your wonderful friendship, the regular emails and get togethers we would have in Ireland and Thailand. Until we meet again.

Love Always,
Richard x

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