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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 01 October, 1999

The Gecko: 01 October, 1999

Finance and Communications is one of the keys to life. This truism was revealed

quite startlingly last Saturday night.

For the last four years the most valued person at the Australian Embassy has been

Julie Shiels, at least according to her friends.

Two black-tie busloads of them - about 40-something in all -f eted their pal in grand

form by putting on a tsunami-like pub hop.

Some of the revelers who poured into Le Deauville for a quick round may not remember

all the details of the evening - at the very least they couldn't recall which bar

they'd just come from and had no idea where the next stop was. But that didn't matter.

"She steadied the ship," said one of her colleagues. "She was here

during the coup ... oops ... I can't say that ... and during the elections. She even

stayed at her post on July 5 when Tony went home for a nap."

Toasted another friend: "She worked her butt off ... she's really multi-skilled."

Nonplussed by all the accolades, Julie demonstrated her talents behind the bar, doling

out healthy doubles double-time.

After pinching her nose while forcing down a slug of Pastisse, Julie put it all in

perspective.

"You remember me! I was shot at by people in '96. I wasn't wounded but the car

was."

Three cheers for Julie Shiels! Everyone did and will miss her.

** How does the 14-year-old daughter of General Meas Sophea celebrate her

birthday? She gets to drive to school in a brand spanking new, snappy, two-seater

Mercedes to impress her pals. The bodyguards had to tough it out in a pick-up truck

trailing behind.

** There was a big fundraiser last week in New York while the PM was there.

Organized by IIE, the Business Council for International Understanding and the Fund

for Reconciliation and Development, a "Reception and Dinner in Celebration of

Closer Economic and Educational Cooperation between the United States and Cambodia,

Laos and Vietnam" was held on the 23rd.

For $150 a plate, participants could meet and dine with the three "CLV"

Foreign Ministers. Proceeds are to "benefit educational exchange and ... to

create a college scholarship fund to assist children of diplomats from Indochina

serving in the US."

** Heartiest congratulations to Anthony and Kellie on the birth of their new

son, Jake, coming in at a fiesty 8.8 pounds.

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