Warrnambool's royal farewell for much-loved Thai king

Service: Ronnie Knackstedt, owner of Authentic Siamese Thai restaurant, with Buddhist monks Venerable Surachai (left) and Venerable Boonsom, as they mourn the death of the King of Thailand. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Service: Ronnie Knackstedt, owner of Authentic Siamese Thai restaurant, with Buddhist monks Venerable Surachai (left) and Venerable Boonsom, as they mourn the death of the King of Thailand. Picture: Rob Gunstone

The passing of Thailand’s king was mourned during a service in Warrnambool on Monday.

Ronnie Knackstedt, who owns the Siamese Restaurant where the service was held, said she would wear black and white for 100 days – except when she was in her work uniform - to mourn her king. “I’m just so sad,” she said. King Bhumibol was the world’s longest-reigning monarch when he died on Thursday aged 88.

Ronnie said she had photos of the king – who she refers to as her father - in her house, her restaurant and in her wallet.

“We call him father because he’s like a father-figure,” Jan Vijarnpol, who also works at the restaurant, said.

“We all revere our king. To us he’s a father who put the country together and made everyone work together.”

Jan said that even though the king had been unwell for some time, his death still came as a big shock.

Seven monks travelled from Melbourne for the service which included prayers and songs that had been written for the king.

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