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A Long Way From Home

Sandakan Trust girls
Barker has welcomed three young ladies from Sabah in Malaysia, who are visiting the School for three weeks, to honour the lives of the four Barker old boys, who lost their lives in the appalling Sandakan Death Marches in Malaysia in 1945.

The Sandakan Memorial Scholarship Trust was established in gratitude to the Dusun people who assisted six Australians after their escape from captivity in the Sandakan region in 1945.

The Trust aims to provide an opportunity for some of the Dusun, Christian children to pursue an education beyond primary school. Girls, in particular, benefit from the Trust, which Barker has supported since its establishment.

The three Malaysian students come from a simple and traditional village setting and will find the experience of living away from their community to be a life changing one. Barker already supports several girls in the community to access education, which is making a powerful difference in the life choices they can make. Bringing three girls to Barker for a few weeks helps to form a more meaningful connection with one of the nation's saddest stories of WWII.

Each year, Barker's Cadets raise money for this Scholarship through their Annual Church Parade in May.

Four Barker Old boys, Charles Starky, Isaac Sefton, Alan Waters, and James Lillyman, were amongst the two-thousand-plus soldiers who perished in the Sandakan death marches in 1945, following the fall of Singapore to the Japanese.