Trained and employed as a mechanic, George Barkman worked at Penner Dodge and then in his son’s garage. Busy in the auto industry, Providence Corporation member Lorne Everett, then a staff member, approached George to ask if he was ready to make the transition to become staff at Providence. George said no.
A few years passed and the industry was losing its appeal, “It gets to be quite a rat race after awhile. I was to a point that I just wanted something different. I always say, this is the best job I’ve ever had.” He took a job in the Maintenance department in 1997, the year of the flood. He spent many hours cleaning up the damage the water left once it receded.
Remembering the main sewer line that used to go to the lagoon through the former residence, he says, “the supports for the main line going through Bergen Hall had snapped and the whole line dropped. You can imagine what happened. It was not a pleasant place to work.” Working with others made for memorable experiences, “some of those negative jobs, they are much easier to handle if you have positive people working with you.”
Maintaining various buildings keeps his department busy, but he acknowledges the community that staff and faculty create. “One thing I appreciate the most is, as I’m walking around the halls, is meeting people and how positive everybody is. The President himself will always take time to greet you and even have a few words. That’s really encouraging.”
As of this past June, George has worked at Providence for twenty years! George’s commitment to Providence goes above and beyond his service as a staff member. George and Martha, his wife, have been financially supporting Providence monthly since 2002. Two of their children attended Providence and their grandson is a new student this year. He sees giving as an opportunity to display their commitment to Providence. It is one more way he participates in the mission of Providence and further impacts the experience of our students.
As we reflect with joy and gratitude on the greatest gift of Jesus Christ, we cannot help but also express thankfulness for the generosity of our supporters, including George and Martha!
Read a Christmas update letter from our President here.