Twelve Peter Leitner Arts Scholarships Awarded

August 26, 2016

Now in it’s fifteenth year, The Peter Leitner Arts Scholarship has just awarded twelve scholarships to Bermudian students who have chosen a career in the arts.

Recipients this year included:

  • Eryn Beach – Trinity Laban, BA [Hons] in Contemporary Dance
  • Kioshi Burgess – Musicians Institute, LA, Bachelor of Music, Vocal Performance
  • Ravi Cannonier-Watson – The Royal Ballet School, Ballet and GCSE’s
  • Jahsh Durrant – University of King’s College, Visual Arts
  • Niamah Frith – Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, Bachelor Arts, Visual Arts
  • Brittany Hayley – The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, BA [Hons] Theatre School
  • Cree Lottimore – Sheridan College, Bachelor of Design
  • Kyle Simmons – Ontario College of Art & Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts [Integrated Media]
  • Alexis Smith – University of the Arts, BFA Dance
  • Marcus Smith – Tisch School of the Arts, NY University, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama

Left to right: N.H. [Cole] Simons [Trustee], Marcus Smith, Cree Lottimore, Eryn Beach, Jahsh Durrant, Brittany Haley, Niamah Frith, Alexis Smith, Kyle Simmons, Ravi Cannonier-Watson and Linda Tucker [Trustee]. Missing from photo: Kioshi Burgess

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A spokesperson said, “Over the years The Peter Leitner Arts Scholarship has awarded nearly 140 scholarships to 84 individuals totalling more than $500,000. The scholarship was set up by Margaret Leitner in memory of her husband Peter, a Hungarian Jew who fled his homeland at the age of 19 during the quelling of the Hungarian Uprising in 1956. He found refuge in Canada and England before coming to Bermuda as a trained architect.

“Peter and Margaret both moved to Bermuda in 1966, met the same year and were married in 1968. They lived in a small house, with their beloved dog Toschka, that overlooked the harbour until their deaths in 1988 and 2000 respectively. Peter could often be seen running on the beach with his canine companion or riding his scooter around town with Toschka riding atop the gas tank.

“In 1969 Peter joined Maurice Terceira in what would eventually become the firm Terceira & Leitner. Many Bermudian houses and office buildings owe their origins to Peter’s designs. He had a strong interest in art and music, and was a skilled water-colourist in his own right. Naturally, Peter and Margaret looked to Bermuda’s arts scene for both the stimulation and relaxation so necessary for working couples.

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“Margaret, who was English, embarked on a career in Government service that would eventually see her serving as secretary to the Attorney General, and finally as the Chief Justice’s secretary. Throughout this time she was responsible for the Supreme Court Library. She worked long hours without the benefit of the high-tech equipment we now take for granted.

“In deciding that this scholarship should benefit ‘creative Bermudians’, Margaret acknowledged what her husband always considered himself to be, albeit without the status to prove it. It was Margaret’s wish that the scholarship be in the name of her husband alone. This, more than anything else, allows us to see Margaret’s enormous capacity for humility and generosity. It is even more touching to know that she did not intend for us to think of her this way. To her mind, she was simply honouring Peter’s spirit.”

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