GRAND PLAN: Functions and events manager Abigail Jerwood is helping plan a 121st birthday event for Gladstone's Grand hotel.
GRAND PLAN: Functions and events manager Abigail Jerwood is helping plan a 121st birthday event for Gladstone's Grand hotel. Matt Taylor GLA160819HOTEL

GRAND PLAN: Hotel asks residents to help make history

GLADSTONE residents have a chance to become a part of the Grand Hotel's history to help celebrate its 121st birthday.

The hotel will rename its three function rooms using suggestions from the public. The names will be be unveiled at a black tie event on September 7.

The hotel, built in 1898 by Bundaberg architect Frederic Faircloth, was once an elite "it place” for guests, reflected in the current room names, MacArthur, Rockefeller and Vanderbilt.

HERITAGE REFLECTED: Grand Hotel general manager Michael Cahill and functions and events manager Abigail Jerwood reflect on the hotel's history.
HERITAGE REFLECTED: Grand Hotel general manager Michael Cahill and functions and events manager Abigail Jerwood reflect on the hotel's history. Matt Taylor GLA160819HOTEL

"It was the premier spot of about five different establishments,” venue manager Cassandra White said.

"A lot of people involved in the war would drink or meet up or have meetings in a lot of places but this was where all the premier people came.”

The hotel had 17 bedrooms in the area now used as function space and was bought for £2500 - about $5000.

Functions and events manager Abigail Jerwood shows an image from the 1993 fire which burned down the hotel.
Functions and events manager Abigail Jerwood shows an image from the 1993 fire which burned down the hotel. Matt Taylor GLA160819HOTEL

It has been on fire twice, in the early 1900s and in 1993, with the grand staircase the one piece of the hotel still standing from both fires.

The venue went into receivership in 2012 before Oaks, part of the Minor Hotel group, took over and built apartments adjoining the hotel on Roseberry st.

General manager Michael Cahill said: "We recognise the history of the hotel and its place in Gladstone.

"We just haven't built a pretty apartment block, we've done a fair bit of work to this building and included some of the heritage.”

Venue Manager Cassandra White and Functions and events manager Abigail Jerwood are helping plan a 121st birthday event for Gladstone's Grand hotel.
Venue Manager Cassandra White and Functions and events manager Abigail Jerwood are helping plan a 121st birthday event for Gladstone's Grand hotel. Matt Taylor GLA160819HOTEL

Functions and events manager Abigail Jerwood said the 121st celebration was a chance to reminisce.

"Everybody has a story about the Grand,” Ms Jerwood said.

"A woman came in here the other day and told me she used to manage the Grand in the '80s.

"It has a very local community feel to it - that's what we want to celebrate, that everybody knows this place.”

Ms White said the new function room names would have to be appropriate to the region and she hoped they would tie into one theme.

"We would still like the names to reflect the heritage,” she said.

Ms Jerwood said: "We'd like suggestions from people who know the hotel and are actually passionate about its history.”

To suggest a function room name email grandfunctions@theoaksgroup.com.au

Gladstone's Grand Hotel is turning 121 years old.
Gladstone's Grand Hotel is turning 121 years old. Matt Taylor GLA160819HOTEL

121st Birthday

When: Saturday, September 7, 6pm to late

Where: Grand Hotel, 79 Goondoon St

Tickets: $95pp - discount for tables of 10.

Bookings: grandfunctions@theoaksgroup.com.au or call 48390002



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