The sale of a Prague Hotel is supporting Indigenous Australian University Students.
Hotel Meteor Prague Czechoslovakia
George Soukup returned to Prague after 43 years in Australia when ownership of the Hotel Meteor was restituted to the family. The hotel had been confiscated after the communist
government seized control in Czechoslovakia following the Second World War; George’s family had been involved in the hospitality industry and hotel ownership in Prague for more than 100 years before Vaclav and Bed’a Soukup, with young son George, fled their homeland to make a fresh start in the hotel and hospitality industry in Australia. George met and married Jenny in Melbourne.
After the fall of communism the family’s Prague solicitor contact George to advise he had retained the documentation that proved Soukup family ownership the Hotel Meteor. With Vaclav and Bed’a Soukup deceased it was George and Jenny who went to Prague to claim and rescue the Hotel Meteor: “Marketing, managing for profit performance, ethics, computer skills, human resources skills … were nonexistent” was George’s observation. They renovated and restored the magnificent centuries old hotel to again become a profitable business. The transformed hotel was sold to its current owners the USA Best Westin Hotel Group in 1993. (Photo)
Soukup Memorial Scholarship
In 1996 the proceeds of the sale were used to establish the original Soukup Memorial Scholarship Fund providing an annual scholarship to a student of Czech or Slovak citizenship to undertake a one year Diploma of Business Management – Hospitality programme at Bond University in Australia. The scholarship was a bridge between the country of George’s birth and the country that provided his family with a home in their hour of need.
Over the next decade as education facilities in Europe became available to Czech and Slovak students to study hospitality the scholarships at Bond University were no longer needed.
Following a meeting in 2006 between George and Jenny Soukup and two club members, Bill Neill and Past President Geoff McIntyre, and with the support of the Club President Gerry Rihs, the Board of the Trustee of The Soukup Memorial Scholarship decided to redirect the capital to support The Sir David Martin Foundation and to uses $1 million to continue the memorial to Vaclav and Bed’ a Soukup by establishing the Rotary Club of Sydney’s Soukup Memorial Scholarship Fund.
The Rotary Club of Sydney’s Soukup Memorial Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to young, post-secondary students of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent whose means would not otherwise permit them to undertake tertiary study.
Since its establishment, this fund has supported students through many educational pathways including the University of Western Sydney, Australian Rotary Health Indigenous Health Scholarships and the Country Education Foundation.
Currently, Scholarships support students at The University of Sydney and The University of Technology
Currently the Scholarships support students at The University of Sydney and The University of Technology, Sydney supporting the club’s belief that education changes the lives of individuals, communities and the nation and that these scholarships will ultimately contribute to a fairer and a more prosperous Australia.
Scholarships have also been supported by financial contributions from other Club members.
See: See: https://sydneyrotary.com/indigenous- education-scholarships-rotary-soukup- scholarship-fund/
George and Jenny Soukup were made Honorary Members of the RCS in 2014; George is deceased however Jenny remains an Honorary Member. Scholarships have also been supported by financial contributions from other Club members.
Students supported at The University of Sydney and The University of Technology, Sydney from 2015 to 2020:
|Simone Armstrong||USYD Veterinary Biology & Doctor Veterinary Medicine|
|Samantha Graham||USYD Doctor of Medicine|
|Molly Wallace||UTS Bachelor of Science|
|Briar-Kait Thompson||UTS Bachelor of Laws & Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.|
|Raul Ferraz||UTS Jumbunna Unistart|
|Joshua Yasserie||UTS Graphic Design|
|Genevieve Stewart||UTS Graphic Design.|
|Simon Davies||USYD Oral Health|
|Joel Cama||UTS Bachelor of Sport & Exercise Management Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.|
|Kayla Nye||UTS Bachelor of Nursing|
|Molly Wallace||UTS Bachelor of Environmental Science|
|Tyrell Freeman-Mafi||UTS Bachelor of Sport & Exercise Management Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.|
|Maddison Gibbs||UTS Graphic Design.|
|Jodie Austin||UTS Graphic Design|
|Christopher O’Donnell .||USYD Bachelor of Arts.|