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IT’S been a plat­form for Prime Min­is­ters’ vic­tory speeches and a long-time base for world lead­ers, but last night Sof­i­tel Sydney Went­worth put its own team on the stage as it cel­e­brated its 50th an­niver­sary.

Hav­ing opened in 1966 as Sydney’s first in­ter­na­tional ho­tel, the land­mark prop­erty has amassed a guest list that in­cludes Hol­ly­wood greats like Mar­lon Brando and Au­drey Hep­burn as well as world fig­ures like the Queen, Princess Diana, Ge­orge W. Bush and the Dalai Lama.

The ho­tel’s gm Craig Reaume re­counted tales from the ho­tel’s past and paid trib­ute to long-stand­ing staff in­clud­ing French­man Claude Stein who has been an in­sti­tu­tion in the Gar­den Court restau­rant for more than 40 years.

“We’re very proud of this ho­tel’s unique his­tory,” Reaume said.

“A sig­nif­i­cant part of our his­tory is our peo­ple, who make this more than bricks and mor­tar,” he said.

Last night’s ball­room soiree in­cluded cham­pagne from Veuve Clic­quot and a per­for­mance by My Fair Lady singer Mark Vincent.

The menu was a show­case of culi­nary high­lights from past decades, while a cen­tre­piece birth­day cake stood 1.3 me­tres tall be­neath a 1.4 me­tre gold-gilded chan­de­lier.

Pic­tured at the event are host Melissa Doyle with gm Craig Reaume, and, inset, the ho­tel’s di­rec­tor of MICE sales Julie van Kam­pen, Ac­corHo­tels di­rec­tor of sales for meet­ings and events Char­lotte Gutte and the ho­tel’s con­fer­ence and events man­ager Emma McLean.

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