The gala dinner included a formal opening ceremony by a commissioner of Thailand's regulator, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), along with presentations and performances by representatives of each participating country and lucky draws with many valuable gifts being awarded. These included handheld and desktop transceivers from Yaesu Musen Co. Ltd., which was a major sponsor of this SEANET Convention and the top prize was a Yaesu FT 991 transceiver, while there were also two Yaesu FT 891 transceivers and six FT 291 transceivers among the prizes that were awarded.
Helping things move along by making announcements during the evening were Pomchanok (Ray) E23PKO, Tony, HS0ZDX with assistance from Dave, HS1LCI and Nimit, HS1IFU, while complimentary cans of beer were handed out to the delegates thanks to Singha Beer which was one of the sponsors of the event.
Formal proceedings begin with praise for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej's inspirational leadership
At around 7.30 p.m. everyone was invited to stand while the royal anthem was played and this was followed by a minute of silence in mourning for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, HS1A who had been RAST's patron.
Following this Jakkree made an opening address in which he recalled how His Majesty had inspired stratospheric ballooning and the JAISAT-1 satellite project under which Thailand's first amateur radio satellite is scheduled to be launched next year.
Jakkree then invited Gen Sukit Kamasunthorn, who is an NBTC Commissioner and Chairman of the Subcommittee for Amateur Radio, to speak when he also praised His Majesty the King's leadership in radio communications. He also congratulated RAST for hosting SEANET for
the 10th time this year before declaring the 44th annual SEANET Convention formally open.
Plaques are presented to representatives of all countries attending
The NBTC commissioner then presented plaques to representatives of each of 18 countries that were represented at SEANET this year.
The evening was a succession of presentations, with many country representatives presenting a congratulationary plaque or pennant to RAST.
These donors included delegates from India, Indonesia on behalf of ORARI, the Indonesian amateur radio association, China, Korea on behalf of KARL, the Korean Amateur Radio League, from Brunei on behalf of BDARA, the Brunei Darussalam Amateur Radio Association and from Malaysia on behalf of MARTS, the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitting Society.
Soon it was show time with representatives from each society or group going on stage to sing a song or to play a musical instrument, including an enchanting violin solo performance by Seiichi Miyamoto, JE3BEQ and a dynamic harmonica performance by Songqing Hu, BA4HU. Meanwhile, groups from Korea, Japan, India, Malaysia, Brunei and Thailand each took to the stage to sing together.
There were other presentations, including by Hans, DF5UG recalling past SEANET Conventions with some slides and by Raja, VU2KKZ who provided an illustrated account of how he and others spent 10 days in a car making the trip from India to Pattaya overland through Myanmar.
Thai classical dancing, Khon dancing and Thai sword fighting were featured during the evening
The presentations were interspersed with bouts of Thai classical dancing,
Khon dancing and Thai sword fighting, while plaques for the winners of the SEANET Contest for 2016 were presented by Gen Sukit as follows:
First place, single operator - phone: JA3AOP (received on the winner's behalf by Taizo, JA3AER)
First place, single operator - SEANET: YC0UTI (received by Jel, YC1GJS)
First place, Single operator - rest of the world: T32AZ (received in person by SEANET delegate Ken Taylor)
First place, single-operator - mixed: 9M2A (received by Lim Kean Chuan, 9M6LC)
First place, multi-operator - 9M6SDX (received by Godfrey, 9M6GY)
As the Gala dinner was drawing to a close at around 10.30 p.m. the SEANET Flag was formally handed over by the President of RAST, Jakkree, HS1FVL to Raja, VU2KKZ representing the organising team of the 45th SEANET 2017 Convention in Siem Reap.
This was followed by the final lucky draw for which the top prize of a Yaesu FT 991 transceiver would be awarded... and the lucky winner was V85DAD while Nopanant, HS0USB, the manager of G Simon Radio, the Yaesu dealer in Thailand, made the presentation to the prize winner and Yaesu will arrange shipment to his home QTH directly from Japan.
Thailand was the last country to take to the stage to sing a song and shortly after that, at the close of the gala dinner, committee members of RAST involved in the organising of the 44th SEANET Convention gathered on stage for a group photo.