Less than a month after the fire which burned down Government House in October 1931, Storrs had obtained permission from the Secretary of State for the Colonies in London to rebuild a monumental new Government House which would impress the visitor with the grandeur of the British Empire.
The architect was to be Austen Harrison, Chief Architect to the Government of Palestine. At 4:15 p.m. on the 3rd of June, 1932, the Foundation Stone for the new building was formally laid, followed by a garden party hosted by the Governor himself. In a hollow in the middle of the Stone was a glass jar containing the official Gazette of the day, a set of current coins and stamps, and a copy of Storrs' Chronology of Cyprus, signed by all those present. On one side of the stone were a Phoenix and the dates 1878 and 1932.
Storrs' original intention was to add the word RESURGAM ('I shall rise again'), a motto appropriate to Government House at more than one time in its history. On an adjacent side of the stone was the inscription:
This Foundation Stone was laid
by Sir Ronald Storrs, K.C.M.G., C.B.E.
Governor and Commander-in-Chief,
on the 65th birthday of
HIS MAJESTY KING GEORGE Vth
The ‘Did You Know’ series is made possible with the support of OPAP (Cyprus) and Active Citizens Fund.