CV précised: Barry capable of handling job of boss

Dave White
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The pronouncement of Bill Barry’s bid to seek control of the biggest net in this neck of the North Atlantic Ocean comes as no real surprise. I guess.

 Indeed, by fact, by fantasy, or just by my estimation, Barry’s earliest home-grown experience on the job and later-acquired personal business world acumen makes him the basic fit you might expect someone starting out, as leader of something old made anew, to have. Sustainability. Me. You. We, too. The fishery.

Meaningful communication comes from a willingness to hear the values and concerns of opposing viewpoint and by necessity, as the late Nelson Mandela proffered from his starker perspective on global relations. Taking a standing in public takes guts, too.

Proclivity to speak, to question, clarify and confirm public will to act for truth, justice and a fair society are skills that look good any good public representative’s resume. A premier or prime minister mostly, would have to be good like that. Just being one of the boys, sometimes, is alright, too.

Did I mention needing a thick skin? Omega-3 resilient.

The Barry family fish-processing and export business his father’s family and his grandfather’s family before him first established remains a fixture of success in Bay of Islands. It has continued to grow in Bay of Islands amidst local goodwill, grateful homesteaders and return on work in kind. In testimony, it spans a third century here.

Time tells

More than 150 years on, the Curling-based Barry Seafoods flagship and the Ocean Leader brand employs hundreds in Bay of Islands and around the province, thousands elsewhere under the BGI (Barry Group Inc.) emblem.

Some consider Bill Barry ought be the practised voice of fisheries sustainability matters that remain so vital to the future of Newfoundland and Labrador as it grows new and practised European trade links.

Outside the sitting administration, Barry faces challenges from contenders and pretenders there within. Any formal endorsement of anyone inside or outside the PC caucus is unlikely until later in spring.

To be sure, there’s lots of net working to be done before that leadership vote happens. Then, there’s the upswinging Liberal fortune to face, also sooner than later.

In it to win it

An avid physical runner as well, the 61-year-old Bay of Islands-born fish monger has also long proven he has the legs for setting a pace in business for others to match. Under his leadership, BGI is a perennial marathon contender in its field, that sea of necessity.  

Dedicated is a word that comes to mind to describe the Atlantic Canada business leader who has successfully weathered challenges in an ever-changing industry climate. Smaller fisheries players and competing Crown corporations alike withered and failed. Barry’s prevails.

Bill Barry’s political ilk is really nothing new. He got out of the gate officially yesterday to challenge for the leadership of the provincial Progressive Conservative Party, casting his lot among a lot of early contenders and pretenders.

One from among them will replace the resigned lot — initially Danny Williams, now Kathy Dunderdale and the inherently-passing interim premier lately stepped in, Tom Marshall — in The Right Honourable Premier’s chair. Though, it is unlikely Barry might spend much time sitting on anything political. He stands up.

Some local party insiders feel the retiring CEO is the just the ticket to restore the PC fortunes from the fall and the bad winter, and before too long. Some quietly challenge that notion. Time tells all.

Mark and Tommy remembered

Six competing teams in two pools will this weekend help showcase the fun memories shared from the lives of community sport leaders Mark Baldwin and Tommy Buffett at the annual gentleman’s memorial hockey tournament being held in their honour at their hometown arena again this weekend.

In Pool A, Tommy’s Yung Guns, The Bog Boys and Rick’s Crew tangle in the round robin on tournament organizer Perry Sheppard’s schedule. In Pool B, it is Howard White’s Boys, Island Roofing and the defending tournament champions, Bay of Islands Beers.

The hockey action at Marshall Moores Arena gets under way Friday after the tournament’s opening ceremony, scheduled for a 6:30 p.m.

The round robins are slated to conclude by 3 p.m. Saturday.

Two pool crossover semifinals will feature the top four teams from the regular schedule. Games at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. will set the stage for the title match. Slated for a 7:30 p.m. start, the finalists will face off for the Baldwin-Buffett Memorial Trophy.

The community recreation benefit tournament, which also supports a memorial education scholarship educational, has its closing ceremony set for 9:30 p.m., followed by an après party at the local community hall.

Dave White welcomes your Bay of Islands news and events information at  688-2003, or email at:

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Recent comments

  • George Howard
    January 30, 2014 - 17:20

    It is interesting to see Mr. Bill Barry come forward to be the next savior of our province. Savior or CEO of Newfoundland Inc. Yes, this man is a good businessman but business and having a social conscience is not the same. We see every day the results of the business right wing agenda of our Conservative Prime Minister. Changes to the Employment System, Cuts to SAR, and abandonment of our veterans just to name a few. Do we need a clone of Mr. Harper here in our province or do we need someone who can strike a balance? Mr. Barry’s reputation as an autocratic hard-nosed business man doesn’t speak well to what we need. We have already seen an example of him having an issie fit when things didn’t go his way. His attempt to solicit the help of the Pope and keeping his children out of school in a feeble effort to keep church rule over education in NL, based on his personal religious convictions, despite the high cost to taxpayers for duplication of services. We don’t need this type of zealot of any political stripe. Yes, he employs many NLers but how many did he help put out of business and out of work building his empire. My earliest recollection of Mr. Barry was at an economic development conference held in St. John's more than 30 years ago. These words of his still resonate with me "Our economic woes in NL began when our politicians realized they could buy votes with promises and finance them with deficients. I wonder what promises he will make now he is considering joining the political ranks. I suspect he will get a dose of reality when he stops his usual pontification, descends his present throne and has to tackle the real issues of life facing NL and NLers every way. I will be also interested in seeing how the "two stick" approach he mentioned in a recent interview, fits into what should be a team approach.