Where are they now - Jacob Bowker (SPC 2004-09)
author: Lorrie Liston
The College reconnects with Jacob Bowker (SPC 2004-09) who has a career that most would be envious of, working as a musician on a cruise ship, around the many tropical ports in the Caribbean.
Where has life taken you since leaving SPC?
I was studying music for the first five years after I left SPC. I finished a Certificate IV at NMIT in Melbourne, a Diploma of Music Performance from the University of Adelaide, Generations in Jazz Mt Gambier then graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Music at the end of 2014.
I did an online audition for Carnival Cruiseline over Skype in January 2015 from my lounge room and was flying to Miami to work for the company three weeks later. I currently work in the Rock band for Carnival playing Keyboards in a nine-piece band where we mainly play music from 60’s to now. I am about to start work on my seventh cruise ship.
I have visited almost all of the Caribbean including Mexico, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Island, Curacao, Aruba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, St Martin, St Kitts, Honduras, Belize and Grand Cayman. This experience has allowed me to make friends from all over the world and helped me travel the USA with friends that I have made along the way.
What are your favourite memories of your time at St Patrick’s College?
Some of my favourite memories include Boat Race in Year 12 (2009) and also the old boat race assemblies when I was in Year 7 and 8 when the students used to create videos and the teachers would get involved and dress up.
Many music events including Godspell, going to Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo and Brisbane competing in the school bands competitions and also being a part of the musical acts at Speech Night every year was fun.
I also enjoyed being a part of Stage Band in Year 10 where we could create original music and had the opportunity to record an album and gig at a few places. I enjoyed hanging out with the same group of friends literally throughout all six years of high school and, of course, the continuous competitive playing of down ball/four square.
Which teacher from your time at SPC had the greatest impact on you? Why?
I was very lucky to have Jamie Lynn as my Year 7 Homeroom and class teacher and considering he was in his graduate year, he did a great job. What I liked about him was that he treated us like adults instead of the children that we still were. He was quietly spoken and gained the class’ respect without the need to raise his voice ever. I even chose Outdoor Ed in Year 10 and 11 as he was teaching those classes.
Another teacher that I was lucky to have in Year 9 was Tim Young who was only there for one year. He was also a very young guy who had a great sense of humour and constantly engaged in our class banter even if we were a pretty evil class most of the time. He became very close with our class when we had very competitive games of footy in P.E against the rest of the year level. Hence why we won.
When I was in Senior School, the only teachers I remember enjoying were Mrs Clare Kavanagh (Maths), Mrs Kathleen Plastow (Music) and Mr Art Nichols (R.E).
How has your time at SPC shaped your personal values and your family life?
My time at SPC has taught me to show compassion towards people, show up on time for things, be organised and has created lifelong friendships. Although I work overseas now and my friends have their own lives, when I catch up with them once every year or two, it is like we have never been apart.
If you could pass on a message to the students of today what would it be?
It would be to stick with your passion, not give up on it and to not let other people’s opinions affect what you want to do with your life. I knew I that I wanted to be a musician from the time that I was 13 and was also judged from family and friends for wanting to do this, but I stuck with it anyway and have never looked back. There were six people in my Year 12 music class and I remember being told that VCE music would not be available the following year due to low numbers, so I am very lucky to have been able to study the subject I love. If I was not able to be given a chance to study Music while I was at SPC, there is a big chance I may not have chosen it as a career.
Out of my six years at SPC, I know of only two other people to continue with music and I feel honoured to be working in a career that not many others do. I also didn’t work nearly as hard as I should have during VCE (partly due to thinking my audition would be enough to get me into uni) and I consequently finished with an average ATAR score, but I worked hard once I finished high school and eventually ended up where I needed to be.