New Year’s Day at the Gymkhana Club, 1938

My friend Oliver Backhouse gave this picture to me. It was taken at the Gymkhana Club in Chiang Mai. British ex-pats founded this club in 1898.

At that time we only knew the names of about fifteen people. We didn’t know when exactly the picture was made. We just assumed it was Christmas 1937. The only photographer we knew was the Japanese Morinosuke Tanaka.

In 2017 I showed the picture to Renu Melvin, the adopted daughter of David Macfie, who is on the picture. She identified about ten people. Over the years we found out the identity of more people, just by bumping into pictures of that time and realising that we had identified another person. We now still have five persons of who we don’t know the identity. We have an idea but we are not sure.

Group of people posing for a picture

Chiengmai Gymkhana club 1938 New Years Day

Table of Contents

Front row:

Mrs Kammao Macfie, wife of Mr David Macfie

Miss Helen McClure (Principal Dara Wittaya Academy)

Mrs DR Collier MD (Hospital Nurses Training School)

Mrs Hilda Goodenberger (American Presbyterian Mission)

Roberta Wells – daughter of Kenneth and Margaretta Wells

Mrs Margaretta Wells ( (American Presbyterian Mission)

Kenneth Wells Jr., son of Rev Kenneth and Mrs Margaretta Wells

Mrs CC Allen, wife of Mr CC Allen

Miss Connie Monro, daughter of Mr Charlie Monro

Mrs Mollie McKean, nee Macfie, wife of Mr Hugh McKean

Alton Goodenberger (sitting) son of Mrs Hilda and Rev EC Goodenberger

Miss Winnie Burr (Dara Wittaya Academy)

Dorothy Goodenberger (sitting) daughter of Mrs Hilda and Mr EC Goodenberger

Miss Lucy Niblock (Dara Wittaya Academy)

Miss Helen Newman (McCormick Hospital)

Unknown person #1

Mrs Boon Wood, wife of Mr WAR Wood

Mrs W Harris, wife of Rev. William Harris

Mrs Kathleen van Millingen, wife of Mr Evelyn van Millingen and mother of Adrian van Millingen

Adrian van Millingen, son of Mrs Kathleen and Mr Evelyn van Millingen

Mrs Bird, wife of Mr Hugh Bird

Middle row

Rev Kenneth E Wells (American Presbyterian Mission)

Ms Violet Macfie, daughter of Mr David Macfie

Mr CC Allen (BBTC=Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation)

Mrs Penny MacEwan, wife of Mr Ian MacEwan

Mr Evelyn van Millingen (BBTC), husband of Mrs Kathleen van Millingen and father of Adrian van Millingen

Dr Douglas Collier (Leper Asylum, Chiengmai)

Miss Bunchee Queripel, daughter of Mr Arthur Queripel

Rev EC Goodenberger (American Presbyterian Mission), husband of Mrs Hilda Goodenberger and father of Dorothy and Alton

Mr EW Hutchinson (hat & glasses) – Agent Siam Commercial Bank (former BBTC)

Mr Hugh McKean (Leper Asylum, Chiengmai) husband of Mrs Mollie McKean and son of Mr James McKean (not on picture)

Mr Arthur Queripel (BBTC retired) father of Miss Bunchee Queripel

Mr Charlie Monro (BCL=Borneo Company Limited) – husband of Mrs Connie Monro

Mr David Macfie (BCL retired) husband of Mrs Kammao Macfie, father of Mollie and Violet

Mr Charles Feely (ASC=Anglo Siam Corporation)

Mr Frank Frere (Leonowens Company)

Mr WAR Wood (British consul retired)

Mr Hugh Bird (British consul Chiengmai)

Mr Kenneth Lawson – Ministry of Justice Bangkok

Unknown person #2

Unknown person #3

Row up

Rev William Harris (American Presbyterian Mission)

Mr Ian MacEwan (BCL)

Mr Richard Bryce-Smith (BCL)

Mr ELR Gilson (ASC)

Unknown person #4

Dr Edwin Cort (McCormick Hospital)

Top row

Mr Chaokhun Withayasai

Mr. JG Evans (BBTC)

Mr Raymond Folks Gill (Leonowens Company)

Unknown person #4

Unknown person #5

Mr Horace W Joynson (Leonowens Company)


BBTC = Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation
BCL = Borneo Company Limited
ASC = Anglo Siam Corporation

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