Feb 13, 2010 (AFP) – In 70 years of greeting guests to Sri Lanka’s venerable Galle Face Hotel, doorman K. Chattu Kuttan has hobnobbed with everyone from royal heads of state to Bond girls and Soviet cosmonauts. In recent years, Kuttan has embraced his role as a living Galle Face institution.
His distinctive neat white cropped hair, handlebar moustache, white brass buttoned coat, sarong and expanding collection of colourful souvenir badges from dozens of countries, all combine to make the perfect photo opportunity.
Few guests pass up the chance of picture, and his image and life story have graced the covers and inside pages of some of the world’s leading travel magazines.
“He is probably among the world’s oldest people still in employment, and also one of the most famous hotel employees in the world,” said one of the Galle Face directors, Lalith Rodrigo.
Even as he prepares for his 90th birthday bash, Kuttan, who walks one mile (1.6 kilometres) to work each morning and catches the bus at the end of his afternoon shift, has ruled out any imminent retirement.
“Walking to work and the busy life at the hotel