‘He is truly an unsung hero whose song needs to be heard,’ says project committee member Sir Robert Barrie
It’s time to rhyme and learn more about this town’s namesake.
The Sir Robert Barrie Poetry Competition is open to all grade 8 and 9 students in the city. First place in the contest carries a prize of $100, second place is $50 and third place is $25.
The contest aims to allow residents of Barrie to learn more about the man for whom the city is named.
Barrie was incorporated as a village in 1833 and was named for Rear-Admiral Sir Robert Barrie, a hero of the War of 1812 and Commissioner of the Dockyard at Kingston, Upper Canada from 1824 to 1834 .
Bill Sergeant of the Sir Robert Barrie Project Committee said his aim was to raise awareness of the man behind the town’s moniker.
“As such, we wanted to challenge students to be creative through a medium they don’t use every day, and while learning Barrie’s story and discovering more about his namesake hero,” said the sergeant. “Poems can relate to any aspect of Sir Robert’s life, from his exploits in the War of 1812, to charting the west coast of North America with Captain ( RN) George Vancouver, or the prevention of the spread of cholera during the 1830s in the Kingston, Ontario area.
“He is truly an unsung hero whose song needs to be heard,” the sergeant added.
The entry form for the poetry contest can be found on Sir Robert Barrie’s Facebook page.
Each student may submit only one poem with a maximum length of 32 lines on a single page. Each poem must be original and unpublished. It can be submitted electronically in English or French.
Research can be done online or by reading books about Sir Robert Barrie, such as The Genesis of Barrie, 1783 – 1858 by W. Allen Fisher. One can also refer to Sir Robert Barrie’s Facebook page for a summary of the Sir Robert Barrie project and a summary of his career highlights.
Poems must be emailed to SRBProject2015@gmail.com and must be received by the Sir Robert Barrie Committee no later than midnight May 31 to be considered for this competition.
The winners will be announced on Monday, June 7.
June 7 is an important date as it is the 180th anniversary of the death of Sir Robert Barrie in 1841. It is also the eighth anniversary of the signing of the certificate of twinning between Barrie and the borough of Harrogate, Yorkshire , in England. The ceremony took place at Ripley Castle, where Sir Robert is buried with his wife, Lady Julia Wharton-Ingilby, in All Saints Church in the shadow of Ripley Castle.
Each contest entry must include the author’s name, email address, phone number, school year, and school name.
Members of the Sir Robert Barrie Committee — Rob Warman, Janice Laking, Jean Maurice Pigeon, Randolf Rice and Sergeant — will judge the poems and choose the first, second and third place winners. Other people can be consulted for their opinion, if necessary.
It is also proposed to declare June 7 as Sir Robert Barrie Day in honor of the town’s namesake.