Bill's Got A New Book Out

FTLComm - Regina - Wednesday, October 31, 2001
Bill Barry began this project as a hobby making notes on the names of Saskatchewan places and stuffing them away in a database. As the years went by the database just grew and grew as did the details, about ten years ago Bill realised that what was growing in that database was something that needed to be preserved and shared. Saskatchewan people needed and wanted to know about their history and so much of what this complex province is can be found in the place names that were given the towns, the villages, the rural schools, the municipalities and the geographic places that marked the people who lived there and tell of its remarkable history.

Bill grew up in this part of the province at Kinistino and graduating from high school in Carrot River. He went to military collage, later became a teacher and principal at Star City, did his graduate work in administration and I met him as assistant director of education for Long Lake School Division (the picture above was taken June 30, 1977 at Imperial) from which he went on to be the Director of Education for Shamrock School Division and then he went to work in various roles in the provincial civil service.

Bill is a man of passionate interests, a stamp collector, loves a game of chess and history. He doesn't dabble in any of these he immersed himself completely in those things that interest him and follows that interest as it leads him to a great and great understanding of things in general.

His first book was a landmark in Saskatchewan history "People and Places: Saskatchewan and its Names" was published in 1997 then a more detailed "People and Places: The Dictionary of Saskatchewan Place Names" published in 1998. These books have become extremely popular and every library has at lease one worn copy of the fruits of Bill Barry's research and that database.

An equally popular but far lighter work was the book he and his family put together as they developed a host of recipes that commemorated and celebrated Saskatchewan places with dishes suited to various communities, People and Places Cookbook.

This past week Bill has out his fourth work Ukrainian People Places. In this work Bill explores the rich heritage the people of Eastern Europe brought to their new homeland lending names to villages, towns and schools right across the province. To order one of these $14.95 volumes click on the picture and check out the details on Bill's web site.

Once a week Bill makes an appearance on Collin Greurer's 4 - 6 radio program on CBC 540 and often he is a guest on Lindy Thorsen's 1:00 phone in show also on CBC.

Besides continuing to explore the place names in the province Bill has been instrumental in establishing a Saskatchewan historical society to promote and preserve Saskatchewan place names. Like any fanatic Bill Barry's curiousity and passion for history will continue to propel him onward to more adventures taken from the past.
Timothy W. Shire