A number of local Grand Dames visited the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino just recently. The resort, originally built in 1959, received the nickname the Grand Dame of Palm Beach at the time, and our picture depicts the local Grand Dames, who used to frequent the hotel in the 1960s and 1970s, as they return for lunch at Gilligan’s Beach Bar & Grill to reminisce about the good old times.
They talked about the stylish Klompen Club, the Bali bar, the fabulous barbecue on weekends, the refreshing swims at the pool, and the many Aruba Aribas imbibed at the Divi Divi pool bar. Those were the days, they sighed, while collectively agreeing, the hotel still looks amazing, especially in view of its recent renovations under the Hilton flag.
Enjoying the congenial afternoon, Fanny Oduber, and Ruby de Veer, whose father in law served as the President of Aruven NV, the original holding company of the hotel, back in 1956-58.
During lunch, Nancy MacEachern entertained the girls with her stories; she is after all the granddaughter of Dr. Geo. Hopkins, who was a doctor in Aruba from 1910 to 1916, also credited for bringing the first car to Aruba in 1915.
Nancy herself worked in promotion, at the resort, when it was first built, through its soft opening period and as it took off to become a sensational Caribbean resort destination, with guests such as Harry Belafonte and Liz Taylor, enjoying first class hospitality.
Also on hand, Sheila Lampe, who while the most senior of the group, at 87, still swims almost daily in her beautiful Caribbean sea. Nancy explained that Sheila was a teacher for 30 years, and is the daughter of Wim Lampe, who was the local Notary. Sheila is also famously known as Louella’s mom. Louella, a hotelier, worked at the resort in the Radisson days and serves today as the general manager of the Ritz Carlton casino.
Accompanying the Grand Dames, a youngster, Vivian Lampe, daughter of our Father of Cutlura, Padu Lampe. Padu entertained many times at the Aruba Caribbean Hotel & Casino in particular at all Lago Oil Refinery reunions. Poppy Wever, Ruby’s sister joined the party, she recently returned from the Netherlands to live in Aruba again.
Gilligan’s Beach Bar & Grill treated the ladies as the VIPs that they are, and Marilu, the terrace hostess made sure their visit was memorable.
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