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  1. Lucien Laurier Chrétien - Obituaries - Sudbury, ON - Your Life Moments
  2. Lucien Draay
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  4. The Lunacy of Lucien | Maclean's | November 1st,

The GFH is the most written about hotel, painted a hundred times. Our list of famous visitors, compiled for our book The Galle Face Treasury, comprises some names. It was exciting to be working with Andreas and Carola Augustin and I enjoy sitting together with them discussing the various aspects of our rich legacy.

That's it for this week — I will keep you posted about the travels of my nearest and dearest,. Karl Lagerfeld — 'Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants. One detour per year should be tolerable. This year I leave the beaten track of hotel history writing and turn to my second pet peeve.

We in Europe wouldn't tolerate it. Travelling means visiting other countries, peoples and zones of etiquette. I firmly believe that it is up to the traveller to adapt to the guest country, not do as we please. So let us appear at our bests! In dress, style and manners! I am a staunch defender of dress codes. Dress for the beach at the beach. Never wear it after six. You must understand that you are simply a nuisance when you underdress. Courage, dear hosts! Guests overriding dress codes are rude, disrespectful and reckless.

The equator is arriving again. We are within eight degrees of it. Ceylon present. Dear me, it is beautiful! And most sumptuously tropical, as to character of foliage and opulence of it. Colombo, the capital. An Oriental town, most manifestly; and fascinating. The M. Serendipity has anchored at Colombo. The city's development hints at Colombo becoming the most vibrant metropolis East of Suez. Legends and stories are swapped at the bar and on the terraces of the Galle Face Hotel, the harbour of social life of the city of Colombo.

Lucien Laurier Chrétien - Obituaries - Sudbury, ON - Your Life Moments

We enjoy meeting fascinating people, true characters and celebrated personalities. And there was this heart-breaking love story of that young girl, who graces the cover of our book the one to the very right! Yours, to enjoy, in the not so distant future. Oh this wonderful machinery called telegraph, the world's first short message service why not call it SMS?

Did you know that the first telegraphic message had been received on Ceylon in But I am drifting away, again. This leaves general manager Greg Liddell of the grand old lady of Bangkok with just 30 rooms instead of So we are fine for the festive season. The Elephant Bar will present a collection of portraits of its most famous patrons, from Omar Sharif to Angelina Jolie, Charlie Chaplin and Peter O'Toole , to name but a few visitors of this wonderful resort.

BTW: Minimum stay recommended 6 days! Excursions to the mountains in the North. Now this renovation has been postponed for a good reason: Hanoi is hosting the first Formula 1 Race in the history of Vietnam next spring: 'We were asked to be available, so we start with our renovation right after the race. Rumors that the Writers' Bar will be renamed Elephant Bar can not be confirmed. Meanwhile you can read some good old anecdotes including the one about the man who discovered the original architectural drawings of the hotel in in Robert Pregarz' book.

He is pleased to autograph it for you, please write to him personally. Will keep you posted on the progress of the new Great House.

We simply do not know! But, there was nothing but one old black and white photograph showing the hotel around the turn of the last century. Tuan Thi Le Diem, a local historian. Andrew Williamson tapped his sources. A global team of historians was at work. Of course we were looking for documents about the building history.

Lucien Draay

Imagine Hanoi dusty archives. Documents packed in brown wrapping paper. All numbered with reference numbers. But no catalogue, no index to check what is where. Where on earth did the libraries' index cards disappear to?


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How to find building records, annals and chronicles. I have unearthed the original building plans of Raffles in Singapore, which had been lost and missing for over years. It can not be so difficult! The numbers are in the reference catalogue. Here, I accidentally discovered the catalogue. The French had taken the index files with them in A huge drawers cabinet. May be in fear that it would be destroyed, maybe because they wanted to make it extremely difficult for future researchers to work.

I proudly handed him a list of numbers. Equally excited as I had been, he dashed down various alleys of his archive, more a warehouse filled with papers than a well organised library at that time. He returned with stacks of files. More and more to follow. We opened them cautiously. A request for a building permission of arched lamps in front of the And here a correspondence of the founder of the hotel, Andre Duchamp!

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What a feeling! Slowly the history of Hanoi and the story of the beautiful capital of Tonkin unfolded. One by one I virtually met the old colonialists. I concentrated on the s. But when did they open it? After meticulous archival research, I was able to prove that in and the Hanoi Hotel was the only notable hotel in the city.

Slowly I narrowed it down and continued to work myself through time. Parallel to my research, our UK-based historian Andrew Williamson started unearthing historic newspaper articles. We concentrated on and Suddenly the hotel appeared. It was mentioned in every guide book, in newspapers and travel articles. From now on the search went backwards.

To cut a long story short: we were able to pinpoint the opening date on the month. Ducamp became its first general manager. Now our search concentrated on related material like photographs, luggage stickers, postcards, the usual memorabilia. Read more about him here. Slowly I was able to paint a picture with figures and facts.

The Lunacy of Lucien | Maclean's | November 1st,

The book took on shape. The characters of the past started parading through the pages in the glimmering light of a new rising wealth, created by an unbelievable rubber boom. Both are managed by Sofitel, both hotels can today claim that they are 'historically listed' as the premiere venues for "moving pictures". The Scribe even housed the world premiere, while the Metropole was Indo-China's first venue to show movies.


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  8. Suddenly astonishing printed material appeared and we started getting an pictorial impression of the hotel in the past. After about two years we were able to establish the first fine press kit with an extensive history section; the hotel's first PR manageress Sarah Grant helped building it. Authors like Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene and many others had been spending time at the hotel. The father of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh had wonderful stories connected with the hotel.


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    Touching the s, 60s and 70s we entered a field of research were we could relate to people who had actuylly been working at the hotel during that time. They were still alive. Former staff turned out to visit me at the hotel for an interview. They brought their memoirs along with photographs and we had a great time reviving the good old past. Guest from the past appeared as helpful allies to complete the picture.