Dr Barrie Humphrey was best known locally as a stalwart of the Gabriola Historical and Museum Society (board member 1994–2004 and a frequent contributor to the Shale).
Barrie was characteristically modest about his distinguished medical career: Arthur Crease Award in his final year at UBC Medical School (1967), a coveted psychiatry residency at McGill, postgraduate training at Stanford University, a member of the teaching staff at McMaster University, and a psychiatrist for the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital community outreach unit. After moving to Gabriola in 1990, he brought his expertise to Nanaimo and joined the mobile outreach to seniors team and practised with them until he retired in 2000.
His curiosity was boundless; from Gabriola’s history to the mechanics of his wheelchair, he was a man who loved to learn. He knew more about historical epidemics than most people want to know, had a passion for statistics, and would have reveled in the flood of data occasioned by the pandemic, undoubtedly producing much-needed useful analysis.
Barrie was an empathetic and compassionate listener, a helpful quality in a psychiatrist and a friend. His daughter, Stacey, probably summed him up best: “He was generous and kind, ethical, and he loved to talk about pretty much any topic.”
He is survived by Cathy Humphrey, his wife of 57 years; Jonathan, his beloved son; Stacey, his adoring daughter; and his brothers, Blair and John.
—Roy Innes, MD
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