Alan Barrett passed peacefully at home after a long bout with cancer. Born at Southend-On-Sea, Essex, England; May 31, 1924. He had three brothers: Ted, Jack, Ray and a half-brother, Norman Archer. Also three sisters: Joan, Edna & Ruth. He had a love of the water, and as a boy rowed a boat from Southend-On-Sea to Leigh-On-Sea. Private Alan Barrett, regimental #5836488, joined the Suffolk Regiment (Royal Infantry) and served King & Country in World War II. He took part in the invasion of Europe, June 1944. He served in France, Belgium, & Germany with the Queen of Battle (The Infantry). At the end of the war, he was awarded the 1939-1945 Star, the France to Germany Star, and the 1939-1945 War Medal. he also received The Normandy Landing (Commemorative) Medal, and the Peace Medal (Royal British Legion). Following the war he worked for a period as a transport lorry driver taking scarce goods on a route from the south of England, all the way to the north of Scotland. He later worked in the aircraft industry for Hawker-Siddley before immigrating to Canada in 1959. Once in Canada he settled in Brandon, MB where he was employed as a steamfitter with Manitoba hydro. later he moved to The Pas, MB where he worked in the education field, and was with the forerunner to The RCMP Auxiliary there. Following that, he and Ivy moved to Winnipeg. There he worked for Motor Coach Industries as welding instructor in the MCI Bus Manufacturing Plant.
Al had a keen interest in hunting and fishing, and trained his own Labrador retrievers for field and show, and had a number of CKC Canadian & American Champions. Following this avocation, he & Ivy opened a boarding kennel business for dogs. The business grew rapidly; developed a superior reputation for good animal care. He and his wife, Ivy, soon had to increase the size of their business so as to accommodate dogs, cats, and many exotic pets. Operating as a family business, it wasn’t long before “Barala Kennels Ltd.” became the most respected boarding kennel in the Winnipeg area.
In 1989 Alan & Ivy sold their business and retired to the Comox Valley. They enjoyed their retirement with some old, and many new friends. Al enjoyed playing his guitar and omnichord, as well as karaoke singing of many of the old songs. In 1998 he did a turn singing in the British variety show put on at D’Esterre house. The following year he performed again at an even larger British variety show at the Comox Legion. One of Al’s passions was racing. Whether it was putting a pound on a hound at Catford, or a hundred pounds on a horse at Ascot, he was a whiz at reading the forms and figuring out the likely winner. Alan developed cancer in late 1990’s and resisted as long as he humanly could. He was predeceased by his son Alan. He is survived by his wife Ivy, step-daughter Shirley (Harry) and grandson Michael in Canada and by his son Michael, daughters Susan (Horace) Sowerby and Jackie Kelly and ten grandchildren in England. At his request, Cremation has taken place. His ashes will be taken to Doncaster, England where a family memorial service will be held.