Private School, Public Hell

When Barney’s Dad died, his mother had a difficult time coping with the loss of her husband. Barney, his brother and his two sisters were all “sent away” to different private schools. At ¬†eight years old, still trying to recover from the absence of his father, a move into the harsh discipline of British style boarding school was not easy.


“It might as well have been reform school. In 1958 they were pretty rough with the kids. I had a teacher who beat me with a cane in front of the other students. They wanted to scare us. It was effective,” explained Barney.

“It’s not an excuse, and I ultimately blame myself, but most of the anger I had in later life and my motivation for getting into so many fights came from the violence I was introduced to in private school.”

The bottom photo is from the City of Vancouver archives, taken by Jack Lindsay. It shows a cell similar to the ones Barney would see later in life.

(Private school photo by ell brown)

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