Norman Barber and his wife, Violet, relocated to Sicamous from their home in London, Ontario, in September of 1994 when he retired at age 80. Sadly, Violet died only 22 days after their arrival in Sicamous. It had been their plan to live near to their daughter Suzanne Heigh.
Norman absolutely loved his adopted community of Sicamous, according to his daughter, and became active as a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Br. 99, executive member of the OAPO and bus committee for three years and was the senior representative of the Eagle Valley Housing for three years.
Norman made a decision a few years ago to make a one-time lump sum gift to
Shuswap Community Foundation of $45,000. The interest garnered was to support seniors, especially, plus other projects in the Sicamous community. A private man, Norman wished to
remain anonymous until the time of his death. In fact, his family knew nothing about his gift until June of 2006.
That gift has accrued interest allowing the Foundation to give out over $2,000 a year to non-profit community projects.
Suzanne says her father like to see his “money working” and while, not an impulsive man, he kept up-to-date on current affairs and “did his homework” regarding investments.
Suzanne notes that her father felt women often did not get a fair deal in many instances and he made sure the women in his family were given a hand such as paying for his grandchildren to obtain their driver’s licenses. He made friends easily and seemed to impart words of wisdom for his family. “He always had something good to say,” recalls Suzanne.
He did not have hobbies as such. His community work was his recreation, according to Suzanne, although he did enjoy fishing at summer cottage on Lake Erie and, to the family’s alarm, decided to take a white-water rafting trip near Niagara Falls when he was 89! Norman was born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England and immigrated with his family to Canada in 1919 to settle in London, Ontario. He graduated from high school and worked at many positions during and after the Depression. He was married and had a family of two sons and one daughter. He joined the RCAF in 1941 and was honorably discharged in 1946.
He started working for CN Rail in 1939 and retired in 1970 after 30 years of service at age 55. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and the Army, Navy & Airforce in London, Ontario, where he served as an officer for many years. Norman was also a Charter and Life member of the Royal Canadian Legion Br. 410 in Port Stanley, Ontario. Other service included: six years as an executive officer for the London District and Labour Council and as treasurer of the Western Ontario Educational Council. He also served as treasurer of local 96 of Canadian Brotherhood of Railway Employees and General Workers CB of RENGW for many years.