We were thrilled to receive a grant of £3,200 from the Bart Caulker Foundation just before Christmas. This will enable us to buy mobility equipment for 15 children who cannot walk - often because of polio. We asked who Bart Caulker was and this is what we were told by the trustees of the Foundation:
Stephen George Bart Caulker was born in Mambo, a city in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone (approximately 146 miles from the capital Freetown) in 1928. He was initially home schooled by his father before later moving to Freetown to study. He graduated from the University of Sierra Leone then worked in Freetown for a while before getting a scholarship to study in the UK. He travelled by boat to the UK arriving in 1953. He spent a short time in London before making his home in the North East.
He studied dentistry in Newcastle and graduated in 1959. He set up practice in Gateshead where he raised his family of 7 sons. He was very involved with life in Gateshead being a past President of the East Gateshead Rotary Club and ex-chairman of the Racial Equality Council.
He was very proud of his origins. Most students arriving in the Nort East from Africa in the 70’s and 80’s would at some point have attended a social event at his house and he was always available to give guidance and advice.
He died peacefully in hospital on 5th June 2013. His main wish was that his estate be used to create a charitable foundation to help alleviate poverty in Sierra Leone (particularly Mambo) and Gateshead.