Memorial dinner to celebrate life of Thanet sailor and raise funds for seafarers’ charity

The event will celebrate Peter's life and raise funds for the seafarers' charity

A memorial charity dinner will raise funds for The Mission to Seafarers in memory of Thanet sailor and marine engineer Peter Binskin-Barnes.

Organised by wife Claire, the event will remember Peter but also raise funds for the mission which supports  men and women working at sea.

Peter, who moved with his parents and seven siblings to Newington in Ramsgate when he was five, was a passionate sailor, first taking to the waves when he was 11.

He joined the Merchant Navy in 1974 and worked extensively aboard ships and on land as a marine engineer, he was well regarded as a technical expert in his field.

He was a lifelong member of Broadstairs sailing club and an active member. He also raced both nationally and internationally.

Claire, who is a hospitals manager, said: “Peter wanted to be a marine engineer so he got his qualifications and went to London. He was a very successful marine engineer and was as technical manager for P&O ferries at Dover.”

The couple moved to Geneva where Peter was head of ocean shipping for Cargill and during that time he raised thousands of pounds for sailors charities.

The dad-of-three and stepdad-of-two sadly began to show the first signs of dementia, aged just 57, while the couple were in Switzerland.

Claire said: “He was a very clever man, incredibly handsome, incredibly loud and flamboyant.

“Unfortunately while we were in Switzerland he showed the first signs of dementia, he had word finding problems and then maths.

“He was made redundant from his job and started a company but he couldn’t really do it.

“We came back to Thanet and bought a boat. In 2017 we set off but Peter couldn’t sail after the first six months, so I was sailing. We had a fantastic time but only got as far as the Med.”

The couple returned to Thanet and Peter was a well-known, ‘larger-than-life’ character in Broadstairs.

Sadly, after a long battle with early onset dementia – which was frontotemporal – Peter died in January this year.

Claire said: “Before he died he said he wanted money to be raised for charity and I suggested a dinner as we used to go to some magnificent balls in Geneva. So, that’s what we have done with this memorial celebration to celebrate his life and raise money for the seafarers’ mission.”

The event at St Augustine’s in Westgate on June 28 from 7pm will be a champagne reception with a three course meal, wine, speeches, music and an auction.

As well as hoping people will buy tickets to the event Claire is appealing to any local businesses who would like to donate for the raffle.

Claire can be contacted by email: [email protected]

Tickets cost £65 and can be bought by clicking here

Find out more about The Mission to Seafarers at:

What is Frontotemporal dementia?

Dementia describes a group of symptoms that can include problems with memory, thinking or language, and changes in mood, emotions and behaviour. It is caused when the brain is damaged by disease.

The word ‘frontotemporal’ refers to the two sets of lobes (frontal and temporal) in the brain that are damaged in this type of dementia. FTD occurs when disease damages nerve cells in these lobes.

The first noticeable symptoms for a person with FTD will be changes to their personality and behaviour and/or difficulties with language.

These are very different from the early symptoms of more common types of dementia. For example, in Alzheimer’s disease, early changes are often problems with day-to-day memory. In the early stages of FTD, many people can still remember recent events.

Frontotemporal dementia is mostly diagnosed between the ages of 45 and 65 (though it can affect people younger or older than this). This is much younger than more common types of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, which mostly affects people over 65.

It is the condition actor Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with.

Find out more and get support at:

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