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James Alfred Barrington

Awarded Status of Freeman: March 7, 1983 (Presentation Made March 25, 1983)

Freemen - James Barrington 

James Alfred Barrington claimed that his philosophy for life was “if you can’t have any fun at it, don’t do it.” Fortunately for the people of Burnaby, James always seemed to find a way to have fun while helping others in the community and when then Mayor Bill Lewarne announced that James would be made a Freeman of Burnaby in 1983, it seemed an appropriate honour for a man whose years of service contributed to the welfare, happiness and progress of the municipality.

James and his wife Yvonne moved to Burnaby in 1956 with their two children, Sandra and Brian. Almost immediately, James involved himself in community groups and organizations and so began a career of 26 years of service to Burnaby. A complete list of all James’ contributions would be difficult to compile due to the sheer number of groups and organizations with which he was affiliated, but among the highlights are a 20-year stint with the Mainland Parks Advisory Association, 6 years on the Burnaby Parks Commission, 6 years on the Burnaby Beautification Committee, as well as memberships and chairmanships on such boards as the Burnaby-Vancouver Central Park Committee, the Family Court Committee, the Burnaby Centennial ’71 Committee, the Burnaby Public Library Board, the Burnaby General Hospital Board, the New Vista Society and the Burnaby-New Westminster Canada Summer Games Committee – to name but a few.

Alongside all his public service, James also found pride in his 40-year career in retail advertising, working for the same newspaper. Even after retiring, he continued to contribute to building a better community. When he was told that he would be bestowed the title of “Freeman of Burnaby,” James informed the Mayor that he would accept the honour only on the basis that it represented all the hundreds of people over the years who had served on boards and community groups, who had worked to make the city a better place to live. It was this attitude which exemplified the character of James Alfred Barrington and which made him stand out as worthy of the honour of being named “Freeman of Burnaby.”

James Alfred Barrington died on September 9, 1990.

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