Bill Barrow passed away on Thursday the 30th of October at the age of 84. He was a long time member of the Arrow Lakes Historical Society and instrumental in obtaining interviews and photographs for his long time friend Milton Parent. He also insisted that Milton write a book about the tug-boaters of the Columbia River and the Arrow Lakes where Bill worked for several years. Bill explained in the book the dangers of the work and supplied many names of the men who worked in these dangerous waters hauling huge bundles of logs for the mill in Castlegar from above Revelstoke. Bill worked as a mate for John Finch and later and on the smaller tugs as a skipper because you didn’t need papers to be a skipper on the smaller tugs.He was the one who encouraged Milton and the Historical Society to help get funding to do trail work on Kuskanax Mountain up to Vicky’s View – named for Bill’s wife who had passed away a few years earlier.
From an early age, Bill played the drums in the Boys Bugle Band – he is shown in this photo with drums his parents bought for him when he was quite young. Milton Parent, who was a few years younger than Bill, had learned to play the bugle when his brother brought one home. He could hardly wait to be old enough to join too. Leader Jack Bailey gave Milton a triangle to play and he was so disappointed! Bill piped up ‘Give him a bugle, he knows how to play it!’ Another reason for Milton and Bill to be such good friends. They played for dances in different groups during their younger years and in 2012 they played in the pouring rain in a Rube Band on July 1st, just a few days before Milton passed away suddenly. Let us hope that they are together once again playing music and talking history.