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Gone, But Not Forgotten

Conrad Bali Resort & Spa Workers Join Forces to Remember 107 Who Died on Pan Am Flight No. 812 in Bali on April 22, 1974.

(2/6/2006) More than 30 years ago, on April 22, 1974, all 107 passengers on board Pan American flight PA-812 from Hong Kong to Sydney perished while the Boeing 707 was making a scheduled intermediate stop at Bali. The plane struck a mountain in Bali's northwest when the pilots misread a malfunctioning Automatic Direction Finder (ADF).

Shortly after the crash, a Balinese-style monument was erected in the South, on the beach at Padang Galak, inscribed with the names of the 107 Australian, German, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Swedish, Philippine, American and Chinese nationals who lost their lives in what remains the worst aviation accident in Bali's history.

Over the intervening four decades, the monument has suffered a gradual decline resulting from the encroachments of the now-defunct Taman Festival and a benign neglect born of the passing years and fading memories.

Prompted by the recollection that among those who perished on that fateful night in 1974 was Maurice Raymond, the Corporate Vice-President for Food & Beverage of Hilton International, a group of Raymond's modern day "Hilton colleagues" from the Conrad Bali Resort & Spa recently descended on the memorial to undertake a general clean-up and make Balinese offerings for the peaceful repose of the air tragedy victims.

With perhaps the exception of Conrad's Ruth Zuckerman, most of the 40 Conrad Bali Resort employees who participated in the clean-up and prayers were not yet born when the original tragedy occurred. Yet, on an island where life and family are all important and viewed in "cyclical" terms, those who participated in the rejuvenation of the once-neglected shrine have pledged to look after the memorial and ensure that prayers and offering are now regularly made at a hallowed corner of Padang Galak beach.

Photos from Conrad Bali Resort & Spa Workers (Click to Enlarge)