#01 Stardust Hotel, Arugam Bay

Per Goodman, victim of the Tsunami

The date December 26, 2004 brings back to me sad memories of the tsunami which killed Per Goodman, a Danish national who with his wife Merete, a Danish Architect,A? built the Star Dust Beach Hotel in Arugam Bay.

It was a tragic day for more reasons than one. The love and care he gave his wife and his employees vanished. He gave top priority to the wellbeing of the downtrodden in the locality. His kindness and large heartedness brought him fruitful results in the management of his hotel. He was very close to the Muslims and Tamils of Arugam Bay and Pottuvil who loved him very much and still mourn his death.

As a very close friend of his, I was fascinated by his strong work ethic. I would watch him serve his guests, while always finding time to talk to his foreign guests and explain to them the necessity to work when his workmen were absent due to ill health. He taught his staff the dignity of labour. The magnitude of his magnanimity can be assessed when you hear many people in Arugam Bay and Pottuvil talk of his contribution to their development.

Coming from a Danish background, he adopted well to the contrasting life style of his workers and neighbours who took to his kind and gentle ways. He would always discuss with his staff how best to satisfy his guests. He would listen to what they had to say and work on the best solution to any challenge. He always wore a smile, never complained, went out of his way to help others, never indulged in self pity and above all he loved to see others doing well. His wife with Goda??s help survived the tsunami.

May God bless him with eternal happiness?

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