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Hopgood Is The Kind Of Expatriate We All Want: A-G

Hopgood Is The Kind Of Expatriate We All Want: A-G
From left: Outgoing Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort General Manager Peter Hopgood, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, chief executive officer and President of Outrigger Enterprise Jeff Wagoner and former owner of Outrigger and Castaway Jeff Shaw at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort on the Coral Coast on June 29, 2018. Photo: Charles Chambers
June 30
16:53 2018

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum described outgoing Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort General Manager Peter Hopgood as an “expatriate we all want to have”.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum made the comments as chief guest during Mr Hopgood’s farewell at the resort on the Coral Coast last night.

The A-G referred to him as Fiji’s brand ambassador.

“Peter has been able to immerse himself into the Fijian way of life, culture and becoming an integral part of the community,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“This farewell is in recognition of Peter’s unique qualities.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said he had noticed the comradery among the staff and the willingness to give their 100 per cent.

“The passion that Peter has, has been passed onto to the staff,” he said.

“As Government we have always wanted to be an employer of choice and have wanted businesses to do that and Peter has done that.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the community work carried out by the resort under Mr Hopgood have not been “big ticket items where there is a lot of press”.

He said all these work at places like Conua Primary School, at kindergartens and bus shelters were fundamental building blocks of any community.

“That ability to harness the energy of the tourists that come to this resort and the local community to bring them together for one objective is key to the development of any society and community,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“I really appreciate that.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also encouraged Mr Hopgood to apply for Fijian citizenship as he has been in the country for more than five years.

“Sometimes when we get caught up in the day to day living of our lives, we sometimes get to forget or undervalue those people who are immediate to us and how close they are to us.

“We hope to see you back in Fiji one day as a Fijian citizen and one who could be part and parcel of Fijian society.

“We hope you can come back and contribute.”

President and chief executive officer of Outrigger Enterprise Jeff Wagoner said Mr Hpgood had done so much for the community, economy and the resort.

“He is an incredible hotelier and someone, who gives his heart and soul in whichever hotel he was in, both here and overseas,” Mr Wagoner said

“This is someone who has done a lot for the community, schools, and hospitals and to help people in general.

“This (Outrigger Fiji) is the most beautiful spot on the planet.”

Mr Wagoner is based in Honolulu and has only been in Fiji for two days.

He said that the former owner of Outrigger and Castaway Jeff Shaw knew Mr Hopgood was the right person to run the resort when he interviewed him for the job eight and a half years ago.

Mr Shaw said Mr Hopgood was an old fashioned hotelier who got around his staff, guests and the community.

Mr Hopgood spoke of his years at the hotel and the developments and his involvement with the community.

He said his community involvement was close to his heart and he was happy to have done that.

“You allowed me to build a culture and a team at the resort and I thank you for that,” Mr Hopgood told Mr Wagoner. Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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