Hoteliers Finance New Maternity Ward

Caption: Mr Hopgood (left) withe the awards he received. Picture courtesy Outrigger Hotel. Photo: SUPPLIED.

By Charles Chambers

The Sigatoka Hospital has a new maternity ward ? thanks to the kindness and generosity of hotels and resorts situated along the Coral Coast.

The gesture was recognized during the 2015 HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence dinner at Sydney?s prestigious Town Hall.

The team of hoteliers, more commonly known as the Coral Coast Chapter of the Fiji Islands Hotel and Tourism Association contributed a total of more than F$600,000 towards the construction of a new Maternity Ward at Sigatoka District Hospital.

The award, for Service to the Community, was made at a 600-strong black tie dinner and was accepted on behalf of the association by its Chairman, Mr Peter Hopgood.

Mr Hopgood, General Manager of Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort, also received the HM 2015 South Pacific General Manager Award at the ceremony.

He said the new maternity facility, which was officially opened in January this year, had already been of enormous benefit to the women of the Sigatoka-Nadroga district.

“My Coral Coast resort colleagues and I have worked closely with the government to have this new facility, which cost FJD$2.2 million built,” he said.

Mr Hopgood said the Coral Coast Hotels Association had also raised over $1 million to support other projects at the hospital such as extensions to the outpatients ward, refurbishment of the operating theatre and the construction of an accident and emergency ward.

“We have held charity golf tournaments, raised money from major corporations such as Tappoo, Jacks of Fiji, Prouds, ANZ, Marsh, Vodafone and Fiji Water and solicited contributions from our guests to assist in the development of the hospital,” he said.

The next Charity golf tournament scheduled for November 2016 will raise money for a Medivac Helipad at the Sigatoka District Hospital.

At a resort level, Mr Hopgood was responsible for initiating a direct-action Community Tourism Project at the Conua School in the Sigatoka Valley which enables resort guests to volunteer a day of their time during their holiday.

Thanks to the generosity of guests, the construction of a large bure or meeting hall which will accommodate 100 people is scheduled for completion at the end of the year.

He also implemented a monthly departmental project schedule for his resort staff which entails each department undertaking one community project a month.

Projects have included cleaning up the highway and beach surrounding the resort, maintenance upgrades at local schools, developing a Junior Chefs challenge among regional schools, supporting a drowning prevention program and the Benevolent Mission International eye specialist consultations for local villagers.

As a brand, Outrigger Resorts has developed a strong values-led, community focus at each of the destinations in which it operates.