Rene I.J. Steidam.
Born in Paris, France, on 12th July 1922.
Completed secondary education in June 1939.
Volunteered for the Ambulance Corps of the French Red Cross the 5th September 1939, while too young by law for any Armed Service. Member of the French Resistance (Group Lorraine) from September 1941 to May 1943, when arrested by the Militia and deported to Germany as "Partisan" until May 1945.
Languages: Completely bilingual French - English.
Spanish, Italian, German: practice without fluency.
Born son of an Hotelier, Hotel Cecil, La Baule, built 1923 and registered 4 star "A", 70 rooms only but all with private bath and best amenities at the time. Was trained and educated in the industry by his Father.
The hotel was hit by an incendiary bomb in 1942 during the raid on the St. Nazaire dry dock and burned to the ground.
The land and walls were sold in 1946 by Steidam Senior to a Mr. Giffard, who rebuilt and reopened the hotel in 1948.
Further experience was gained under the wing of his Godfather Georges Rabu, Restaurant "Le Cabaret", Paris 8*, rated one of the First Ten Restaurants of France.
Was trained for Management in High Class Leisure by François André, (Deauville, La Baule, Cannes) Hotels and Casinos Complex, from 1948 to 1956, then came to England after his marriage, as Catering Manager, Wesbury Hotel, Bond Street, London, until 1961, when establishing as Hotel & Leisure Consultant.
Opened seventeen new ventures for various Clients from 1961 to 1972 in the U.K. then:
Haludovo Palace Hotel & Casino, 1972, for the Yugoslav Governt.
Three Hotels & Casinos in: Libreville, Gabon, 1973. Kinshasa, Zaire, 1974-75. Lagos, Nigeria, 1976-77.
Acted as Consultant to the Spanish Ministry of the Interior and new Gaming Board to prepare and supervise all Applications to open Casinos in Spain in 1977 & 1978.
On the invitation of Government Ministers sent by President Junius Jayawardene, made his first visit to Sri Lanka in January 1979. In 1980, bought one estate on the sea-front outside Colombo for developing a Holiday Complex, and one estate in the Central Mountains (Tea Country) after discovering a source of mineral water.
The target being a Bottling Plant and a Spa Resort.
Started working on the two Projects in 1980 until 1985 when civil unrest put an abrupt stop to any development.
From 1986 to 1991, prepared a vast Project for a Far-East Governt. which was shelved in 1992 for political reasons.
Has worked on the actual Project since, from his office in Hove.