• This building was established by the Dutch during the Colonial era
• It served as a guest house or hideout for some Ghanaian leaders many years ago
• There are still discussions about how well to keep the building in shape without losing its essence
It is one of the oldest Dutch buildings outside Europe which is very much still alive. Established in 1897 by the Dutch, the 124-year-old building has served the purpose of housing some of the country’s prominent past leaders and by extension, some European ones as well.
Facility Manager at the Bunso Eco Park in the Eastern Region, where this building is located told GhanaWeb’s Wonder Ami Hagan that the building’s location made it a convenient ‘hide out’ for some of these persons when they wanted to relax and be away from the public’s eye for a while.
Found in the middle of a forest at Bunso, Mr. Asare Frimpong explained that the first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and late Former President Jerry John Rawlings were among Ghanaian leaders who spent some time away at the then well-furnished place many years back.
“This was built in 1897. The place was originally used by Sir Gordon Guggisberg though it was built by the Dutch.
“This place was where Kwame Nkrumah used to stay and Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings also used to use the place, like a seat of government. It was like a seat of government like Christiansburg, Peduase, Osu. It was like a hideout or security zone for them so when you are there, nobody sees you,
“President Rawlings was the last person to have stayed here. Aside staying, they sometimes used the place as a hideout,” he added.
Mr. Asare further explained that the information which is contained in archives at Kyebi indicates that some British Leaders including King George VI who ruled the United Kingdom from 1936 to 1952, stayed here at certain points and so did Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, during World War II.
Find out more in this edition of People & Places with Wonder Ami Hagan:
“During the 2nd World War, the Queen of England was here. She was in this building, usually, when they came, they came to such buildings.
“When you go to Kyebi archives where all this information is, we have the number of people who have been here. Even King George was once also here. He visited this place,” he narrated.
Many years on, the building still remains an active tourist attraction for many in its original state. Mr. Asare however indicated plans to renovate the four-bedroom building into a guest house, possibly in the near future.
“In 2001, I remember the Eastern Regional Minister was coming here to stay here and leaving. It later became like a presidential guest house, a place meant for the President, ministers and other prominent people. It has four bedrooms, a kitchen, and two other rooms outside and there’s also a security building with a garage.
“The reason it is in this state is that the committee working on this project, some of them say they should renovate it and some want it to remain in its old state so when we went back to the Kyebi archives, we saw the building plan so there’s a process it is going through so that we convert it back into a guest house,” he added.