Man About Town 03-09-2010

Man About Town 03-09-2010



Butterfly centre finally ready to fly again

ONE of Siem Reap’s newest tourism-ventures-cum-social enterprise, the Angkor Butterfly Centre, which opened on October 1 last year, has been caught up in a legal bun fight with some members of its associated NGO, the Angkor Participatory Development Organisation.

But it looks like the legal drama is now mostly over, bar the rustling of a thousand documents. The centre’s founder, Scottish biologist Ben Hayes, told 7Days that after what appears to have been the last court case last month, the centre will this month re-emerge as a commercial entity with a new name.

“The centre is in the process of being registered as a business and as of this month, upon completion of the business license, it will be business as usual – same site, same original objectives – just a new name due to the registering process,” Hayes said.

Hayes came to Cambodia from Zanzibar where he headed up a similar project.

The Siem Reap centre doubles as a farm and helps to replenish native butterfly stocks.

NGO founder in town
ONE of the distinguished visitors to be in town on Sunday is John Wood, the former Microsoft executive who founded the international NGO Room to Read.

Wood is in town as part of the NGO’s global 10th anniversary celebrations and he will be holding court at the Somadevy Angkor and Spa hotel on Sivutha Boulevard on Sunday evening, where he will be awarded an honourable medal and a certificate of admiration, along with noted international education philanthropists, David and Elsa Brule.

NGO lore says Wood was converted to philanthropy in the 1990s during a trip to Nepal where a school headmaster showed him how few books the school’s library had.

Wood wrote in the school book, “Leaving Microsoft to Change the World”, and subsequently founded Room to Read.

Raise your glass
RAFFLES Grand Hotel d’Angor’s Restaurant Le Grande has won a coveted Two Glasses Award in US magazine Wine Spectator’s 2010 listings for its wine menu.

It is the only Cambodian establishment to win the honour this year.

But Le Royal, the restaurant attached to the Grand’s “sister” hotel in Phnom Penh, Raffles Hotel Le Royal, won a One Glass Award. So too did Siem Reap’s ultra-exclusive hotel, Amansara.

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