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Perenjori Hotel celebrating completed rebuild two years after Seroja

Headshot of Fraser Williams
Fraser WilliamsGeraldton Guardian
Hotel owners Kirk and Silvia Pohl with children Percy, 3, and Sofia, 1, in front of the rebuilt establishment.
Camera IconHotel owners Kirk and Silvia Pohl with children Percy, 3, and Sofia, 1, in front of the rebuilt establishment. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

After two long years, the Perenjori Hotel will soon be able to reopen their doors to visitors after being shut since cyclone Seroja ravaged the small Mid West town.

While the hotel portion of the establishment was destroyed, owner Kirk Pohl said the bar managed to keep its roof.

“Thirty per cent of the roof stayed on and luckily for us it was down the end where the bar was, so the bar kept its roof and kept its ceiling and didn’t get damaged by all the rain on that night,” he said.

“All the fridges and electrical stuff inside fortunately that little slice of the pub didn’t get damaged to the point that we couldn’t keep operating.”

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Supplied pics of the damage done to the Perenjori Hotel and the town’s main store by Cyclone Seroja
Camera IconSupplied pics of the damage done to the Perenjori Hotel and the town’s main store by Cyclone Seroja Credit: supplied/supplied

While it was devastating to lose 70 per cent of the roof and having all the hotel rooms destroyed, Mr Pohl said the bar remaining was a lifesaver for the business.

“We would be probably out of business if we didn’t have the bar going,” he said.

“We lost all our rooms but we kept enough of the part of the pub to keep paying the bills.”

The grand reopening will be celebrated this week, but it took much longer than expected because of the various building delays that labour shortages created.

“It was the same story as everyone else, the lack of tradespeople, it was hard to find tradespeople,” Mr Pohl said.

“There’s still other cyclone Seroja repairs going on in the area that haven’t been completed yet.”

The new and improved Perenjori Hotel two years after Seroja.
Camera IconThe new and improved Perenjori Hotel two years after Seroja. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

The cyclone was a tragedy for many people in the region, but there was a silver lining that came from it, according to Mr Pohl.

“Something good did come out of it. . . not just for us having quite a big upgrade with a new roof but a lot of other houses around town have been fixed up and fences have been rebuilt,” he said.

“The town in general has had a little bit of a makeover due to the insurance that was paid out to fixing all the damage that was done.”

The hotel is expected to officially reopen around May but the Perenjori community is celebrating being back in business on Friday, April 21.

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