It has been very rainy and blustery in New Zealand the past few days as the remains of Cyclone Evan have been blowing over. Evan devastated Samoa and Fiji before making its way down to New Zealand, where it hasn’t caused much significant damage, other than some rain and bad weather.
We had just visited Samoa back in September and had a wonderful time staying at Aggie Grey’s Hotel in Apia. This iconic hotel was founded in 1933 and was featured in James Mitchner’s “Tales of the South Pacific.” Marlon Brando stayed at the hotel and there was a bungalow bearing his name there. Robert Louis Stevenson had immigrated to Samoa, but he died before the hotel was built, in 1894. There is a RLS museum in Samoa.
It is shocking to now read about the damage Samoa and Aggie Grey’s has suffered. According to the Samoa Observer, Aggie’s is the second largest employer in Samoa (around 1000 people) and there is some question whether the hotel will be rebuilt. The storm destroyed much of the area where we daily dined, although the room we stayed in on the second floor may not have been directly damaged by the six foot flood waters.
Since coming to New Zealand, this is the second natural disaster that has struck somewhere we visited in the past few months as we had been down to the South Island of New Zealand to Christchurch about a week and a half before the second earthquake in February. We had walked through the square and taken photos with the cathedral in the background, however after the quake, the cathedral was destroyed.
Here are some photos that show Aggie Grey’s from our visit there in September: