Well-known Malta envoy John de Salis dies aged 67

national March 26, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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WELL-KNOWN former Order of Malta ambassador John de Salis left many Thai friends when he passed away on March 14.

The count was born in 1947 and educated at Downside and Cambridge University. 
He served in the British Army in Northern Ireland and Cyprus with the rank of major in the Prince of Wales Royal Lancers. 
He joined the International Red Cross in 1978 and served in difficult missions to Africa and Thailand, where he became head of the delegation. 
With deep affection for this country, and as a knight of the Order of Malta, he became the order’s first ambassador to Thailand from 1986-98, and to Cambodia in 1993. 
During his posting to Thailand, he was bestowed the Knight Grand Cross, an honorary rank in the Royal Thai Army, and was made an honorary member of the Thai Red Cross. 
He was a frequent visitor to the Cambodian border where the Order of Malta had established field hospitals for displaced persons. 
He was also active with programmes for slum communities in Bangkok through the Duang Prateep Foundation. 
An aristocrat with a rare sense of humour and a kind heart for the disadvantaged, he is greatly missed by his friends here. 
The count is survived by his wife, Countess Marie-Claude, his son Count John-Maximillian and two young daughters. 
A mass will be held for him at the Catholic church in his hometown of Grandson, Switzerland, on Saturday.

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