The new premises for Calpe House in London were formally unveiled yesterday at Norfolk Square, ready to provide accommodation for the over 800 local patients undergoing treatment in the UK.
The charity’s trustees, sponsors and patients toured the building, which was purchased for £8.5m and extensively refurbished at a cost of around £6m, both financed using government loans and contributions raised by the community.
The new premises are comprised of three conjoined buildings offering 64 beds within 27 double rooms and 10 single rooms.
Calpe House at Prince’s Square, commonly known as a home-away-from-home, was the brainchild of the late Charles Tilbury and Peter Caetano some 30 years ago.
The pair, alongside the Minister for Economic Development and Patron of the Calpe House, Sir Joe Bossano, have been recognised for their efforts, with the three wings of the newly-refurbished building named after Mr Tilbury, Sir Joe and Mr Caetano.
Sir Joe commended the work of Mr Tilbury and Mr Caetano, who guided the first Calpe House from concept to reality.
“Two very dear friends who are not here now are with us in spirit,” Sir Joe said.
“It is their day as much as it is our day here. I know without them it would not have happened. Peter Caetano was not someone you could say no to because he would not leave you alone until you said yes, and you couldn’t buy a pint in Ye Old Rock without having to make a donation to Calpe House.”
“A few friends came together with an idea and then a quarter of a century later it is part of our culture and our society.”
He added that all these years on “we can’t think of a Gibraltar without Calpe House”.
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Pic by Gabriella Peralta, who is reporting from London