Ronald Ford Barr (G 47-52), who died on 11th May 2012.

Ron’s sister, E. Helen Senior, has kindly sent in the following:

“Ronald was born at Kirkby Stephen in June 1934 and educated at St Bees School, where he grew to love the Lake District. Here he made some life long friends who have been meeting together for many years for Lakeland walks on Ron’s annual visits to the UK. This year’s walk was to have been in Borrowdale in July.

After reading medicine at Glasgow University (his parents’ birthplace), Ron surprised everyone by opting to do his National Service in the Australian navy. This proved to be a turning point in his life and the beginning of a deep regard for Australia, and particularly Sydney, where he spent the greater part of his adult years. He moved to Australia in 1966 and bought a house in Woollahra where he lived with his wife until his death. Ron made his career in Sydney at the University of New South Wales, where he became a senior lecturer in psychiatry. After retirement he took on a number of activities, often to do with psychiatry (for example with the prison service), but other things too. He qualified as a bus driver (how, I will never know!) and regularly drove groups of blind people on outings into the countryside where they all disembarked for cups of tea made for them by Ron (in a billy can!). He never seemed to have difficulty connecting with people from any walk of life – university, prisons, disabled, church, tennis clubs, drug addicts: to Ron they all counted.

Sadly, in the spring of 2012 he was diagnosed with extensive bone cancer and he set about preparing for his death and organising his funeral – in detail! He invited all his friends and family to his bedside to say goodbye and explain to them their precise role in his funeral service.

Those closest to Ron know life was not always easy for him; he had his own demons to overcome. But overcome them he did, and he spent much of his life helping and supporting others in need, often cutting across the grain of conventional thinking to do so. What I admired most about him was his gift of friendship. He was loyal, caring and generous to so many people. What I enjoyed most was his sense of humour and his ability to surprise, even amaze. He was a one-off – there will never be another Ron.”



The St. Beghian Society,    St. Bees School,    St. Bees,    Cumbria,    CA27 0DS.
         Tel: (01946) 828093