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GPH a symbol for Fiji

Avinesh Gopal
Friday, June 13, 2014

THE Grand Pacific Hotel stands as a symbol for Fiji.

It symbolised Fiji's yearning for freedom as a nation in the 1960s, with Fiji hosting major events in its transition to independence.

After closing for business in 1992, the Grand Old Lady as it was commonly known then stood in ruins in the heart of Suva City.

"Today, its magnificence speaks to us again," said National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad.

"It tells us that our future builds on our past. It reminds us of the urgency of reconstructing our country. "It tells us the transformation cannot take a leisurely 30 odd years as it has taken to restore GPH," said Mr Prasad.

The NFP leader spoke about the hotel yesterday while reflecting on his party's vision for Fiji up to 2030.

Since closing for business in 1992, the Colonial era building in which the hotel started operations in 1914 was in ruins.

But the hotel has now been restored, with the old building still standing in the middle and new wings added to give the Grand Old Lady a new look.

The Fiji National Provident Fund owns 25 per cent of the hotel while the remaining 75 per cent is owned by two Papua New Guinea companies.

People who either worked at the hotel or went there for business purpose still have memories of what the place was like once.

The hotel also played host to Queen Elizabeth II, who stood on the balcony and addressed Fijians who had crowded Albert Park across the road and Victoria Pde.

Last month, the hotel celebrated its 100th birthday and a soft opening is planned for this month followed by the grand opening next month.

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