All my recollections of Siam are bound up with the late Chao Phya Yomaraj, whose acquaintance I made soon after I first came to this country as a young man some thirty-five years ago. He was then known as Phya Sukhum and occupied the position of High Commissioner of the Provincial Circle of Nagara Sridharmaraj. His exceptional talents were the cause of his Sovereign summoning him soon afterwards to Bangkok, where he held in succession, over a long period of twenty years, the ministerial portfolios of Public Works, Local Government and the Interior. His Excellency was most assuredly a man whom the King delighted to honour, for his brilliant achievements were rewarded by the bestowal upon him by his Royal Masters of distinctions too numerous to mention here. He had already been a most loyal and faithful servant of the State during three Reigns when, in the evening of his days and after he had already retired from the cares and the strenuous labour of official life. he responded once more to the call of duty and assumed the functions of a member of the Council of Regency in the Reign of His present Majesty. Such a record of service must be rare in any land and it justly earned for Chao Phya Yomaraj the affectionate and admiring title of the Grand Old Man of Siam. Among the foreign community of Bangkok he had many devoted friends, for he was essentially tolerant and broad-minded and his patriotism, though ardent, was never exclusive.
Now that His Excellency has gone from our midst, I feel that Siam without him can never be for myself quite what it was before. I had known him for so long, he was in my experience so intimately associated with the Government and he was always so courteous and so friendly in his relations with me, that his death has affected me as a great personal loss. We shall not easily see his like again. But let us realise that in a sense he is not dead, for his memory lives on after him as an example and an inspiration to the younger generation of Siamese who have come into the heritage which he helped to prepare for them, and whose mission it is to lead their country and his on to the high destiny which awaits her.