Of hotels, Greeks and a white man’s bronze statue


The only hotel in Mombasa during the period that was the 1890’s was the Grand hotel (which was said to be grand only in name but not in stature.) It was owned by a Greek man named Dallas. The story of one Mr. Dallas is however short and sadly unfortunate. One time Dallas was on his way from Voi to the German station in the Kilimanjaro district, when he lost his way and before he had any chance of finding it, died of thirst.

The grand hotel was a double storied building  that stood opposite the statue of Sir William Mackinnon (first president of the Imperial British East African company).

The bronze statue (which stood at treasury square) was met with great intrigue and surprise by the natives not because of its artistic splendour or any whimsical folly. They simply found it strange that Sir William’s colour seemed very similar to their own.

The statue was removed after Kenya gained it’s independence in 1963 and as for the Grand hotel, well let’s just say it has long long long long.. since been demolished.

Mackinnon’s statue


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