Barry Woodberry

Obituary of Barry Douglas Woodberry

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WOODBERRY, Barry D. Caribou Island WOODBERRY, Barry Douglas passed away suddenly at his home on Caribou Island, Pictou County, Nova Scotia on May 9th, 2022 at the age of 82 years. Barry was born in Melbourne, Australia on July 16, 1939 and graduated with a Masters in Engineering. After university, he worked in research, and in due course was sent to Antarctica, where he spent the 1962 winter as an Ionospheric Physicist at Mawson, an Australian Antarctic and sub-Antarctic ANARE/AAP station. In the winter of 1966 he continued his work as an Ionospheric Physicist on the South Pole at the US Amundsen Scott Station. Woodberry Glacier in Antarctica was named by the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (US-ACAN) in Barry's honour. In 1967 Barry moved back to Sydney, Australia, where he lived on his steel sail boat 'Bundoon' and explored the Great Barrier Reef and the beautiful waters around Sydney Coast and Harbour. In Sydney he started an electronics company named 'OpAmp Engineering' which was very successful in the vinyl record business. In Sydney, aboard Bundoon, he met his former wife - and life-long friend - Gerta, and they enjoyed many sails together and were married in 1968. He moved a short time later to Papua New Guinea, where he also performed ionospheric research. He and Gerta lived for several months in a small hut in a remote village called Vanimo, deep in the jungle, but - on the sea. In search of a new life, he and his new wife emigrated to Canada in 1969. But before that, they detoured via Europe, making the voyage from Sydney to Hamburg on a small Russian cruise ship 'Shota Rustaveli' and then spent some time skiing the Austrian Alps. To make the final leg to Canada, they crossed the Atlantic on the 'Alexandr Pushkin' from Bremerhaven to Quebec, and on to Toronto to look for work. Shortly after settling in Toronto, Barry was hired by Michelin to work at the Granton Plant, Nova Scotia, which was then under construction. Off to France he flew for a year of training in Clermont Ferrand and Tours, France, at Michelin Works. His wife followed by ship - on the 'Shota Rustaveli' again. Barry returned to Canada - this time on a Hapag Lloyd Freighter called the 'Saarland' - from Bremerhaven to Montreal. All their worldly belongings were crammed into their tiny red MGB sports car, which Barry bought in England and then travelled on the freighter's deck with them across the Atlantic. Fortunately the little car survived a violent storm in the North Atlantic, which caused various containers loaded with Scotch Whisky to be washed overboard; but miraculously, the MGB survived intact. The year in France prepared Barry for his life-long career at the Michelin Plant in Granton, Pictou County, where he retired decades later as an esteemed and respected head of the Information Department. He resided in Westville for a while, but then moved to a hobby farm in Lyon's Brook, where he raised feeder cattle. He was a 'builder' and designed and built not only the teak and concrete hulled sailing boat of his dreams, but various farm buildings, and numerous renovations of the old farm house. Although Barry and his wife separated shortly after moving to Lyon's Brook, they remained very close friends for the rest of his life. They visited each other at Canada's East and West Coasts and maintained a lively correspondence until it was sadly cut short by his passing. Barry obtained his pilot's license and enjoyed soaring in his motorized glider over the coastline of Nova Scotia, getting special pleasure out of the 'lift' offered by hot parking lots on the ground. Barry was passionate about the sea and all imaginable water sports namely swimming, bodysurfing, sailing, kayaking, paddling, kite sailing and jet skiing. He set out to build himself a paradise on the beach on Caribou Island, an engineer's dream, designed to the most finite detail by Barry himself. Once the building was mostly finished, he moved from Lyon's Brook to his new home, to enjoy the sunset over the inlet with a refreshing glass of beer in his hand and a good steak sizzling on the BBQ. Barry had a previous 'brush with death' around 1974 or so, when he was almost electrocuted on Melmerby Beach, carrying his catamaran across the road with a friend, and hitting a hydro wire with the mast. The friend suffered a broken leg, and Barry was struck by 7000 volts, suffered 80% burns to his body, nearly succumbed to his injuries and was in Halifax in the intensive care unit for a long time undergoing multiple skin transplants. Barry spent his last working and retirement years enjoying all his passions. Most recently, Barry had an outrigger canoe custom made which he was so excited to put into the water to try for the first time. He never did get that "first ride". He was an avid fan of sports cars, starting with a Super Mini Cooper in Australia, zipping around Europe and Nova Scotia in his tomato red MGB, and touring Nova Scotia in his beloved cherry red Miata. He was an accomplished skier, and even tried his hand at horse riding. Barry was born for solitude being an intrepid, independent and free spirit. He had an outstanding intellect, which inspired him to spend two dark winters on lonely outposts on the most remote and coldest places on earth, and he continued to be absorbed in research and study of challenging subjects all his life. He was blessed with a sharp wit and crazy sense of humor. Barry made many friends in his chosen home of Pictou County, who cherished, loved, admired and cared for him. He adopted the family of Debbie, John and Kaylee because, well, they came with the package. If he loved, adored and took care of their dogs, then he had no choice but to be loved and be taken care of by them as well. He loved all of the happy little dogs throughout his life. Henrietta, Moerken and Stumpy as well as his adopted dogs Pongo, Luna and Jake. Dogs were his favourite companions and the connection between them and Barry was always magical. He was his true self with his canine buddies. He enjoyed Willie Nelson as much as Amadeus Mozart and Judge Judy made him laugh. Barry did not remarry or have any children. He was predeceased by his father, Douglas John Woodberry; his mother, Dorothea Woodberry (nee: Petrie); sister, Barbara Woodberry. He is survived by a niece, Sarah Speedie; a nephew, Martin Speedie, both from Australia, and his ex-wife and lifelong friend, Gerta Woodberry. We know that Barry was grateful for the friendships he had with his close neighbors, other Caribou Islanders and friends and acquaintances during his many years of life. Barry was a good man and respected by all....may he Rest in Peace. He will be forever in our hearts and memories. A Celebration of Life in Barry's memory will be held at his home at 27 Kenneth Point Road, Caribou Island, Pictou County on May 21st, from 2PM to 4PM. Refreshments and snacks to Barry's liking will be served. Wearing masks is recommended, also to Barry's liking. A private disbursement of ashes will occur at a later date. Donations in Barry's honor may be made to the SPCA of Pictou County.