Musical bubbly for the toast of Sydney
THE last time Keeping Posted joined Australian Consul-General, Dr Jocelyn Chey, on the patio of her spacious home was to raise a hopeful glass of champagne for Sydney's 2000 Olympics bid.
Last night we were back at Dr Chey's abode with its sweeping views of Deep Water Bay to rejoice over a mission accomplished - with a little bit of help from Perth, or at least the Perth Children's Choir.
With a beaming smile that would probably take surgery to remove, Dr Chey told us the celebrations would go on for the next few months (which should greatly interest the neighbours!).
Then telling us that she's ''game for most things'' Dr Chey leaped up and joined the kids - all aged between seven and 13 - in rendering Advance Australia Fair and Waltzing Matilda - although being one of the non-Aussies present, Keeping Posted had to seek guidance as to which one was the official national anthem.
The Perth Children's Choir, under its Filipino musical director, David Yap, is in town to perform at the Cultural Centre on Sunday.
But while they enjoyed being at Dr Chey's, two of them, Laura Hutchinson and Rameen Evans told us they were really looking forward to visiting Ocean Park.
Her eyes lighting up with excitement, Laura said: ''We've been out on a boat and we've visited a market. Added Rameen, taking on a Rambo pose: ''I bought a two-barrel gun.'' But the twosome went quickly silent when one of their chaperones interjected that they'll also be doing three hours of choir practice every morning while in Hong Kong.
Incidentally, being the consummate diplomat, Dr Chey was willing to share around some of the kudos of Australia hosting the first Games of the millenium.
''We don't see it as just something awarded to Australia,'' she explained. ''We believe it is an honour to be shared with the whole Asia-Pacific region.'' By now the choir was singing excerpts from The Sound Of Music, and as the first notes of Climb Every Mountain sounded there was no holding Dr Chey - a member of the Hong Kong Oratorial Society - back.
''Do you know something,'' she told us between pauses for breath. ''When I was attached to our Beijing embassy during the Cultural Revolution we were a bit perplexed when a visiting choir from Australia were specifically asked to include music from the Sound of Music in their repertoire. We later found out that was because it was Madame Mao's favourite musical.''