The Lord God Father Almighty Creator and King of Heaven and Earth Hospitality Inn

How many St. John’s boarding houses have been swallowed up and spit out gentrified in recent years?
   
I can’t exactly remember when The Lord God Father Almighty Creator and King of Heaven and Earth Hospitality Inn was renovated out of existence. But years ago, walking up Bonaventure across from Holy Heart, you might have noticed the carefully hand-painted sign struggling to contain its own name. Christmas lights and potted, plastic flowers hung on a porch that saw in and out some of this town’s more unusual souls. Part boarding house, part mission house, the Hospitality Inn aimed to care for “the young and old alike,” just like, presumably, the Lord God Father Almighty Creator and King of Heaven and Earth himself.
   
The Inn was owned by Pilar Riego-Hickey, known locally for a string of religious rooming houses (several of which were struck by fire) as well as for her forays into provincial politics. Originally from the Philippines, she came to Newfoundland to teach in Davis Inlet, Leading Tickles, and Ramea.  In 2003 she ran as an independent against conservative Loyola Sullivan winning a full 11 votes.  Sadly, Riego-Hickey passed away in June of 2004.
   
Like all-too many strange and interesting spots in this town, the LGFACKHEHI has since been gutted and red-clapboarded into something more palatable and upper-class.

– Lesley Thompson

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The Scope’s Women’s Film Fest Hot Tickets

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22 October 2013

  1. Leah Riego Kosatsky · October 22, 2013

    Lesley,

    As I was doing a Google search on my late grandmother Pilar Riego-Hickey, I came across your interesting take on her Lord God Father Almighty Creator and King of Heaven and Earth Hospitality Inn.

    I remember spending the summer at her Inn as I watched and was amazed by my grandmother’s entire committment to people with various social and health problems, helping them put a roof over their heads and warm food in their bellies. She did it out of the pure kindness of her heart and named the Inn after her inspriation and her ultimate faith.

    I was saddened to read, however, that her houses had been gutted for the more elite class and that her work and goodwill did not live on.

    I am certain that Pilar Riego-Hickey was able to touch many people’s lives during her time here on earth – watching her goodwill and inspiration, definitly touched mine.

    Leah Riego Kosatsky
    Montreal, Quebec

  2. Marissa Gillingham · October 22, 2013

    Hi Lesley,
    My niece forwarded to me your comments on Lord God… and I couldn’t help but shed a tear as I read. The house before it became gutted out like you said was where I helped my mother run her boarding house when I could. Her good will certainly did touch lives especially the ones that nobody not even their own families wanted …she cared for in more ways than one.

    One thing I must correct you on is her good will does live on in the people that she touched and most especially in her children and grandchildren. We her children are a more loving and giving people because of her example.

    If you would like to get together for coffee and talk more about anything with regards to my mom and the years she contributed to St. John’s, her beloved city, I would be more than delighted to share some of my memories with you. My mother, once she introduces herself to a person, that person never forgets her…even now people come up to me and say…”It’s hard to believe she is gone…she loved people so well.”

    Marissa

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