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The Gisborne Photo News



British Empire Hotel Closed

The British Empire Hotel, in Peel Street, which has catered for the thirst of countless Gisbornites over the last 85 years, closed its doors for the last time at six o'clock on a recent Saturday evening.

Owned by New Zealand Breweries Ltd, the hotel was first opened in 1879, and was then one of 50 establishments selling liquor on the Coast.

It is now the first hotel in the city to be closed to the public, but it is hoped to replace it with a modern hotel-motel to be built on a property in Childers Road in the Elgin area.

For its licensee, Mr Ivan Botica, the closure of the hotel meant the end of 20 years' service as a publican, the last 11 of which have been spent at the British Empire.


The staff of the British Empire pictured outside the hotel on its final day of business


Publican Ivan Botica toasts his patrons when calling "time" for the last time


The final ringing of the dinner gong