Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • April-May 2024 • Circulation 5000


A Tribute to Richard Barrett

Richard Barrett. Paula E. Kirman

Richard Barrett was not with Boyle McCauley News for long, but during his time with the paper he made a huge impact.

As a volunteer, Richard wrote articles, was an active member of the Editorial Committee, and helped out with distribution. He sometimes worked up to nine hours in a day to get the paper picked up from the printer, sorted and bagged, and finally delivered to our block carriers. During this last brutal winter he kept the office’s stairs free of snow, shovelling them on a regular basis. All of this was done cheerfully, asking for little in return in the way of volunteer appreciation.

Sadly, Richard passed away suddenly over the Labour Day weekend. We will miss his selfless contributions to the paper and wish he could have been with us longer. Our condolences go out to all of his family and friends in England, Saskatoon, and here in Edmonton.

Richard was originally from England but taught at colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada. His dry sense of humour and infectious smile were two of his most endearing character traits. He loved doing crossword puzzles and keeping up with current events, and so would gratefully accept the three newspapers his landlady would deposit with him almost daily. As well, he enjoyed listening to CBC Radio and would often hang out in Abyssinia (formerly Rendez Vous) Restaurant watching the BBC, or go to Zocalo for coffee.

I first met Richard in my final year of university where he was the professor of the senior-level Educational Foundations course I was required to take. We stayed in touch over the years and he moved to McCauley in November of 2010 in part to become involved with BMC News. Richard was a very dear friend and I will cherish the memories of our time together.

As this month’s theme is “Learning,” Dr. Barrett was no doubt planning to write an article or two. Instead, let me say I learned a lot from him both in and out of the classroom.

Richard’s main academic area was philosophy, and one of his favourite quotes comes from the Dutch philosopher Erasmus:

Create light, and the darkness will disappear on its own.

Richard created a lot of light in his life, and it will not be forgotten.

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