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Man About Town: 6 Nov 2009

Man About Town: 6 Nov 2009

Bad news for the Cambodian Open golf tournament in the lead up to this year’s tee-off on November 19-22.

Johnnie Walker has just dropped out as title sponsor for future tournaments, which also casts a shadow over the viability of the Cambodian leg of the Asia-wide tournament series.

The big question now is: Will there be a Cambodian Open in 2010?

If Siem Reap loses the tournament, it will also lose the largesse that comes with it. This could cost the city, but appease fervent climate changers who are opposed to golf courses.

Meanwhile, news of possible incoming largesse was revealed at the Ministry of Tourism’s launch of this year’s Cambodia Open.

The Minister of Tourism Thong Khon revealed that after a recent tourism study trip in Australia, four Cambodian provinces would be targeted for tourism training and development projects.

Siem Reap is one of the chosen provinces and apparently a hospitality training school will be built.

The minister said, “We will ask for land from the Apsara Authority to build a school in Siem Reap,” adding that this project will require “much money”.

Technical assistance from Australia is now needed to draw up a master plan before work can commence.

Siem Reap’s popular Dr Eugene Tragus, 75, a Texan pioneer of open heart surgery who volunteers at the Angkor Hospital for Children, no longer has to adhere to the maxim, “physician heal thyself.”

Now his wife Sokunthea Len, 30, can do the job for him because she’s become a qualified doctor, passing her medical exams in Phnom Penh on October 19.

Dr Len worked as a nurse during the week and commuted between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap on weekends for a large part of her six years of studies.

She graduated from the Battambang Nursing School in 2001, and moved to Siem Reap to work at Angkor Hospital for Children until 2003, when she enrolled for medical school and worked in a private hospital in Phnom Penh.

In 2005 she married Dr Tragus, and returned to Siem Reap.

Proud husband Dr Gene says now that his wife’s workload has lessened considerably since her graduation it’s like a new marriage. “We’re getting to know each other in a different way. It’s exciting,” he claimed.


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