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