Barry Muir's was a Life Dedicated to Safety and Learning
The impact Barry Muir has had on the motorcycling community in Saskatchewan over the past 37 years, is perhaps only somewhat measurable by counting the smiles on all the faces of those who ride. His contributions as a program developer and instructor were eclipsed only by his enthusiasm as a mentor. Most importantly, Barry was a friend to all those who chose to traverse somewhere via motorized two wheels or for that matter, talk about it.
Striking up a conversation with Barry about motorcycles was like cracking the throttle on a superbike… always entertaining. Barry was a true proponent of making safe riding choices and riding “the right way”. His thoughts were rarely muffled and his being vocal on the topic will continue to be a benefit to many riders for many years. Barry’s stated goal was to make motorcycling a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. He always went to bat for the biker, and has been an influential voice in the recent changes SGI has made to help reduce the number of incidents involving motorcycles in Saskatchewan.
Measuring the impact of those who teach others to ride safe has always been difficult as culturally, the focus tends always to be on the incidents that happen, the injuries and fatalities. Yet Barry Muir’s constant interaction with the public, riders, and the families and friends of those who ride, reassured him that what he was doing was having a positive effect. There was always another story about “the skill they learned that saved them” or, “what could have happened had someone not taken that motorcycle course”.
Barry’s focus on the task at hand meant very few in the motorcycle community knew much about him beyond his beautifully appointed BlingWing (GoldWing). Yes, at times he would arrive at the track, unannounced in his VW van with his wife Dee and his two boxers but beyond that, he was all about the bikes, the students, and the classes.
Aside from bikes, Barry retired from a career as a high school teacher having taught for 35 years with the Regina Public School Division. He not only coached fastball, but also started the first girls soccer team at Thom Collegiate, as well as the first girls wrestling team at Campbell Collegiate.
During the winters, Barry volunteered his time to teach downhill skiing, as well as serve as a volunteer ski patroller and first aid provider. It was that volunteer experience which led him to volunteering as a first aid provider at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. He worked the Bobsleigh and Luge tracks as well as the opening ceremonies. For these efforts he was awarded the Winter Olympics volunteer medal.
Barry also worked with the Canadian Recreational Canoe Association in the development of canoe training and safety standards for Canada.
In 1999, Barry Muir was honored by the Canada Safety Council for 20 years of voluntary service with the Motorcycle Safety Program. In 2005, he received the R.M. Rowley award for volunteer of the year. In addition, he was inducted into the Saskatchewan Safety Hall of Fame for his significant volunteerism, work and contributions to the field of health and safety in 2011.
Over the past couple of years, Barry has fought a battle with cancer. Very recently, it was suggested to him that, for his own safety, he sell his bike and not ride. Perhaps, this was the most difficult safe choice Barry Muir ever made.
Barry lost his battle with cancer on July 7, 2016. On that day, Dee lost a husband, Bruce and Lorne lost a brother, Shaunine and Shannon lost a dad, his boxers (Maddie and Max) lost a playmate, the Saskatchewan Safety Council lost an employee, our province lost a community leader, and we all lost a friend, a riding partner, and a wingman.
A Celebration of Life, with an Open Mic., will be held on Saturday, July 16, 2016 from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. in The ROC Church, Albert Street South and Highway 6 Junction. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to either The Cancer Society or The Humane Society. You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence at the family's online obituary at: www.myalternatives.ca
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