A duty to remember George Beattie Barr

by Céline Daignault  (February 2020)

Mayor of Hemmingford Township from 1977 to 1981, Beattie was born December 4 1923, the youngest of the 5 children of Walter Barr and Ellen Anne Beatty. ‘Bea’ was a descendant of the first Barr to settle in the Hemmingford area in 1820. The family farm was located on what is now Covey Hill Road. Throughout his life, Beattie Barr cared deeply about the well-being of his community, expressing a particular interest for it’s history and culture.

In the long list of his involvements, he was very active in various committees of the Apple Festival back in the days as well as in the Havelock Fair.

His postcards, printed in 1977 for the village’s centennial, represent 6 buildings that no longer exist but were significant in our history: a cheese shop on the corner of Jackson and Covey Hill, the Grand Trunk train station on Champlain street and city hall, built in 1867 and used until 1963, among others. We can also thank him for the township’s coat of arms.

He loved people and kept a special eye out for the interest of children.

When he died on February 1 2005, Beattie Barr left a large amount to the Hemmingford Library in his will to allow for his cultural work to continue. This is how the Beattie Barr Fund was born.

Since 2007, thanks to that fund, the Hemmingford Library has organized conferences on health, gardening, arts and crafts, mycology and apiculture; theatre for children in the schools, concerts, cooking lessons, film nights, and much, much more. In all, hundreds of various activities, all made possible by the generosity and vision of George Beattie Barr.

The volunteers of the Hemmingford Library would like to honour him by acknowledging his important contribution to the well being of our community.