US Naval Air StationPort Lyautey, Morocco

The following photographs of Kenitra were taken in March, 2009 by Greta Riemersma, who lives with her family in Kenitra. Greta is a correspondent for the Dutch newspaper, de Volkskrant, and is writing a book about Kenitra which will include the impact, both cultural and financial that the former Naval Air Station had on the economy of Kenitra.

This web-editor had asked Ms. Riemersma to take a few photographs of the watering holes favored by most of the Seabees and Airdales during the late 1950's, i.e., Mama's, Jack's bar and the Rex, if in fact they still existed. Ms. Riemersma was kind enough to respond to that request and a few more as well.

 

 

And like any city, Kenitra has its share of potholes. This photograph was taken while heading towards the Bar Oran. Diagonally across the street to the right is the hotel d'Europe and directly to the right is Mama's.

 

Intersection where the Rex Bar was located (to the left unseen)

Same intersection but further back. The Rex Bar can be seen to the left behind the large photograph of the King. I recall tossing down a few at the Rex

Closer view of the previous two photographs. In the middle was a French restaurant, a kind of a tent. Nowadays it is empty

This photograph is further down the same street, with the French restaurant that is in ruin now

Mama's, still there with the Hotel d'Europe in the background. Actually it is the building which formerly housed the Hotel d'Europe. The Hotel d' Europe moved down the street (Rue Mohamed Diouri) and is now located across the street from the Hotel Rotonde.

The road going from the center of town to the former Naval Air Station.

Jack's Bar. The gentleman to the left with orange/brown jacket is the owner. Jack's is closed, will be torn down and a new bar will be built on it. Of all the watering holes in Kenitra, this was a favorite of this web-editor and many Seabees

Another view, Jack's Bar

Another view, Jack's Bar. Jack's was a favorite watering hole. Remember a few nights when there were a few altercations with some "Airdales". The Naval Aviation branch who were always loud and boisterous never seemed to be able to exhibit the same quiet civility and decorum that was the hallmark of Navy Seabees.

Another view

Boulevard Mohammed V, in the heart of the town. At the right you have the former Hotel d'Europe, and at the left is the taxi station

Looks like still another paint job for the La Rotonde

Hotel Mamora, still working but the movie trailers are gone from the bar, they haven't been there for 5 or 6 years. They are now in the bar in the Hotel Jacaranda.

The former Hotel d'Europe with the MacDonald's sign on the roof

The church near the central market, which is now used as a police station