Barrie Clark - 27 November 1932 – 16 March 2018Friday, April 13, 2018
It was a few years ago that as I was driving through a back alley in East Vancouver I noticed a gull thrashing on the ground in its final moments of life.
I felt sad in that I could not comfort the bird and that the bird was going to die alone.’
Can anybody relate to those Hollywood films with the dying man (more often than not a man) on a hospital bed or on a war zone area about to breathe his last? Is the dying man getting any comfort from not being alone? Will it make any difference on the other side?
As a product of my age (75) I often look at the Vancouver Sun’s obituary page. The little photographs of people that I know are all dead (all smiles or in their best WWII uniform best) remind me of the dying gull. They died alone as we all die alone. Hand in hand two dying persons go their separate ways.
In the 19th century photographers using the new invention of photography believed that if they parked their camera, bedside by a dying man (many children, too) they might capture that moment between here and there. Of course that never happened. We will all die not knowing.
Today I read the little box in the Sun informing that radio personality Barrie Clark has died.
I was not there when he died but somehow my portrait of him taken in the early 80s for a Vancouver Magazine article on radio announcers (they were all men) makes me think that I was and am a witness to a man who few will ever get to know.
In those 80s Vancouver Magazine and its editor Malcolm (Mac) Parry was Vancouver’s Ukraine.
Why Ukraine? I have been told that Ukraine has mountains but I believe that they are not high enough to stop invading armies going west or east. It seems that Ukraine was a carpet for invading armies. In the same way Vancouver Magazine and Parry’s office was such a carpet. Prostitutes, actors, actresses, journalists, politicians, hoods, illustrators, photographers, wrestlers, boxers, real estate tycoons, businessmen, policemen, detectives, comedians, musicians, chefs, all visited and sat in Parry’s office.
In this year, 2018, the local media has withdrawn and I have my doubts that I will read an informative obituary anywhere about Barrie Clark the man.
I consider myself lucky that in my portrait I can see intelligence and humanity. That it is gone is a shame but then that is an irrevocable path that I, too, must travel.
From Wikipedia there is this:
Barrie Aird Clark (27 November 1932 – 16 March 2018) was a Canadian politician and broadcaster.
He began his broadcasting career in 1949 in Kelowna, and served brief stints in Ontario and London, England before settling in Vancouver. He was a popular radio personality and parlayed his popularity into politics, beginning in 1963 as an alderman in the District of North Vancouver.
In 1966 Clark was elected to the B.C. Legislative Assembly as a Liberal in the riding of North Vancouver-Seymour, and was re-elected in 1969. He was defeated by Colin Gabelmann in the 1972 election.  The following year he was appointed B.C.'s first Rentalsman by Premier Dave Barrett; he served in that position until 1976.
Clark then returned to radio as a talk show host in Vancouver, and in 1988 he returned to Kelowna to host a show on radio station CKOV. In 1999 he was elected to Kelowna city council and served there until his retirement in 2008.
Sometimes in my magazine assignments my subjects would ask to be photographed with someone. I found this negative in my Barrie Clark file. I have no memory as to who it was.