The name of our graduate Peter Barakat (EHL 1956), affectionately nicknamed "Papy", strongly resonates among many alumni and friends of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne.
But who was Peter "Papy" Barakat?
Born in 1924 in Palestine, Peter fell in love with the hospitality industry thanks to his father who owned a hotel in Jaffa. Despite his initial desire to become a lawyer, he decided to join the famous Hotel School in Lausanne to be professionally trained.
Devoted to his school, Peter returned to EHL in 1959 after working several years at the Grand Hotel Observatory in St. Cergue. Peter retired from EHL in 1989, after dedicating his entire career to the school, and one should not forget all the years that followed...
As Deputy Director, he was responsible for admissions, F&B and student life. The weekly ceremony of distributing pocket money, which he would receive directly from parents, is one of the many legendary moments that our alumni love to talk about. Appreciated by all, he was a real mentor and model for our students ... and alumni!
Obviously, one cannot speak about "Papy" without mentioning rugby as he kept the EHL's Rugby team members under his strict watch. Since 1997, alumni compete against current students during the Nini & Peter Barakat Challenge. This distinctive competition was initiated in 1997 by Fabrice Dellandrea (EHL '95) in memory of Peter’s wife Nini. It will celebrate is 20th edition on the last weekend of September 2017.
As far as the Alumni Network is concerned, Peter has as well held an important role. From 1978 and for many years he held the title of Secretary General.