Kindness of Strangers


At those moments, ever increasing it seems, when one comes to doubt basic goodness, it can, oftentimes, appear in the most unexpected of places. The luxurious Hotel Negresco in Nice, a holiday destination of choice for millionaires and royalty, recently adopted an under served sector of society to lavish its largess upon — the homeless and the unwanted.

Built in France in 1912 and registered as a National Historic Monument in 1974, the Hotel Negresco is one of the few remaining privately owned palaces still existing in the world. Which makes it all the more notable that Jeanne Augier, owner and chairman of the hotel, who is in her 80s, has just rewritten her will suggesting that the hotel’s profits be donated to a charity to help homeless people and rescue unwanted animals.

“I want to be sure, when I go, that my 260 colleagues are not sacrificed on the altar of profit,” Augier, a childless widow, said. “It is my house and the staff are my children. I want this hotel to keep its soul and remain French-owned. Everything here is authentic. Nothing is fake.”

Including the generosity of its owner. A salute to the praiseworthy Madame Augier!




~ by eaesthete on 07/28/09.

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