The name Peter Barker will live on through a scholarship set up in his name by his brother Dr Nigel Barker.
Yesterday, two culinary arts students of the Barbados Community College’s Hospitality Institute (BCCHI) were each awarded the Peter Barker Memorial Scholarship, worth BDS $2,500 each, to continue their studies. Pedrina Haynes, who is pursuing an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts and Shayna Howard, who is doing a General Catering Certificate, were bestowed with the awards during a brief ceremony at the BCCHI, Marine Gardens, Hastings.
“Coming to school every day and trying to get an Associate Degree in anything is challenging. [This scholarship] is going to help me with transportation and other things I need to be successful in obtaining my degree,” said Ms Haynes, who aspires to be a pastry chef on completing her course of study.
Fellow awardee, Ms Howard, was also grateful for the scholarship. “It will do a lot and it will go to good so I am very happy. I dropped out [of the certificate course] last year due to financial circumstances but I was allowed to return to pursue my certificate. Hopefully, next year I will be into the [Associate degree] Culinary Arts programme,” shared Ms Howard, who also wants to be a pastry chef.
Director of the Hospitality Institute Jennifer Barrow said Dr Barker’s generosity through the establishment of the scholarship was a welcome addition to the College’s offering to its students. She explained that in order for students to qualify for the Peter Barker Memorial Scholarship, they first had to be enrolled in the BCCHI’s Culinary Arts programme. Additionally, they had to prove that they were deserving of the award by completing an application form which required them to do an autobiographical sketch. This sketch outlined their goals, the rationale for their chosen course of study and any sacrifices made by them or their families to reach this particular point in their studies.
“For many students transitioning into college, it requires financial assistance such as loans or grants of some type to ensure that they can focus on their studies without fear of having to be interrupted due to financial difficulties.
“The Hospitality Institute is privileged to have such supporters as Dr Nigel Barker. We express our gratitude for his generosity, which allows our students an avenue for easing any financial burden that they may encounter in undertaking their studies with us here. The scholarship allows students to pursue their dreams of gaining qualifications in their chosen field of endeavour,” Ms Barrow stated.
Both the Director of the Institute and Principal of the Barbados Community College, Dr Cheryl Weekes, lauded Dr Barker for his dedication to seeing the scholarship through to fruition in these difficult economic times. They called on corporate Barbados to follow suit since there “was a lot of talent within the culinary arts industry”.
In response, Dr Barker explained that he wanted to honour his brother’s memory and thought the best way to do so was through a scholarship offered to Culinary Arts students since his brother, who passed away tragically on June 5, 1995, loved that course of study.
“It struck me that I needed to add some value to his life. He was 28 years old [at the time] and had so much to offer. I needed to use his life to inspire others, so I thought ‘How can I let his legacy go on?’ And so, the idea of the scholarship came about.
“It is my promise and pledge to keep it going. It certainly will during my lifetime and hopefully my children will carry it on after I am gone,” Dr Barker said.