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"ROA" 2007 Obituary


ROACH 2007-09-23 published
BARR was the first lifeguard at Grand Bend beach
By Lynda HILLMAN- RAPLEY, Sun Media, Sun., September 23, 2007
When Les BARR and his University of Western Ontario buddy decided Grand Bend beach needed lifeguards, they went to village council and pitched the idea.
They were given the okay as long as they built their own lifeguard stand. So they did.
And in 1946, 26-year-old BARR, whose family lived in London but vacationed in Grand Bend, was hired, along with friend David STITT, to be a lifeguard for the summer.
The Bend's first-ever lifeguard, later in life known as the Mayor of Alberta Street, BARR died recently at age 88.
BARR, who also once worked at the Lakeview Casino, studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. He later married and had two children, Leigh and Laurie.
BARR often spoke of his Second World War buddies, Gordon ROACH and Daniel COLLINS. BARR said, 'cause it was the thing to do."
BARR was injured in the war -- defending a young woman in a bar brawl.
In later years, BARR worked at General Electric, where he once escorted singer Robert Goulet and actor Kate Mitchell on a cross-Canada promotion for the company.
He left General Electric in 1961 and bought an appliance store that grew to two stores and was later sold to the Patton brothers of London.
In the early 1950s, BARR built a cottage on two lots on Alberta Street in Grand Bend, hence the mayor monicker.
He retired from MF Arnsby Property management at age 65. He loved to swim, dance to big band music and was often seen cruising the Bend strip, checking out what was happening.

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