BARRY’S BAY – Shortly before he passed away, my father told me a story.
He and a cousin were among a group of friends drinking beer in the storage sheds behind his father’s general store, located on the Opeongo Line in the middle of Barry’s Bay, one hot Saturday afternoon in 1942. In the days before air conditioning was common place, the sheds were airy and cool and a favourite spot to share a beer.
As it happened, a military recruiter had set up shop in the store that day and was imbibing with them. After some persuasion by them, and a fair bit of beer, both cousins allowed that it would be a good thing to volunteer and signed up.
The next day, when they had sobered up enough for Mass, some second thoughts came into play. They knew that if they went in front of a judge and declared they had been consuming alcohol when they volunteered, they could be released from their commitment. However, after some discussion, they decided that, drinking or not, their word was good and they showed up at the processing centre in Killaloe, as promised.
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