People from all over North Devon and beyond came together today to celebrate the life of key local figure Peter Brend Snr of Brend Hotel Group, who passed away on 2 June 2019 aged 61.
A fitting celebration
The service was held at The Parish Church of St Peter and St Mary Magdaline, Barnstaple, with burial attended by family only at Bear Street Cemetery, followed by a gathering of friends, family & colleagues at Saunton Sands Hotel.
The service was conducted by Revd Anne Thorne, Vicar of the Braunton Mission Community, assisted by Revd David Fletcher, Vicar of Barnstaple Parish Church St Peters. In his eulogy, Martin Thomas spoke intimately of the family man and passionate hotelier, having been a close friend for almost 50 years to Peter, or 'Brendy' as he was affectionately known by Martin. John Hughes paid tribute to Peter on behalf of himself and Ricci Obertelli, as guests and friends of Saunton Sands Hotel. Michael Harrison also read the first less on Psalm 23, The Lord is my Shepherd.
A passionate businessman
Whilst a committed family man, and part of a large family who were clearly very important to him, Peter was also a passionate advocate for tourism and the wider business community in North Devon, learning his hotelier trade from the age of 18 years old. Involved in the development of Saunton Sands Hotel over the years, Peter was not afraid to embrace change, introducing the latest technology . . . as long as he himself was not required to use it given that he struggled to switch on a computer!
Peter was hugely supportive to those working with him and the Founding Director of the Brend Apprenticeship Academy, offering opportunities to young people to join the Brend team to receive training and qualifications in the hospitality sector.
Several Chamber Directors attended the funeral, along with many other business leaders from across North Devon and many staff members from the Brend Group, including those from Saunton Sands Hotel. All wanted to pay their respects to a man who made such a contribution to, and investment in, tourism and business in the area.
Picture credit: Brend Hotel Group