I last saw Barry shortly before he died. He was comfortable, cheerful and realistic about his prospects. We talked of many things; he went on to say that the hospice care was ‘marvelous’. Reflecting, he said he had decided that kindness was the most important thing. I am sure he would want me to pass that on to you. I knew Barry for a couple of decades, but I shall remember him best that last time: comfortable, cheerful and realistic. And his reflection that kindness was the most important human quality.
Barry grew up on the West Coast, graduated in music at Canterbury University College, worked in adult education and university extension and the University of Canterbury, Massey University and for the WEA and retired to continue to live his character-filled life at Paekakariki. By his own account i7 ‘he ‘marries the daughter of a communist agitator after fleeting courtship’ n 196. He and Maureen Birchfield have three children Gwyn, Meg and Frith.
Barry died on the 13 January 2014 at The Mary Potter Hospice, a few days after his 82nd birthday.