Tag Archives: alan barker

Who You Gonna Call? Alan Barker’s Ambulance Service

Joshua Peters-I can remember when Alan Barker had several like this, the station was at the back f the funeral home and Armour Gulf service station was where the old tim hortons was lol (Steve Larkin)
Sept 1967

joshua peters photo

Here is one of Carleton Place’s ambulances-Bill Mains said=
My grandmother was one of the first patients admitted to the hospital and was the first surgery in the operating room. The surgery did not go as planned as grandmother went into cardiac arrest on the operating table. She was a patient for six months and lived twenty years following release. Dr. H. Featherston named in the clipping was grandmother’s cousin
Joshua Peters photo

Thanks to Pete KJ Harris-Mcgregor for the badge photo.

Your Smile of the Day

Your Sunday smile-When a former Former Owner-Operator at Carleton Place/Richmond Ambulance Service and Former Supervisor at Alan R Barker Ambulance Service sees an ambulance now..:.. “Hey Jim THERE is an ambulance outside our door, Jim replies NOT MY PROBLEM

Rich Morgan

When I worked the Ambulance for Alan, Ken Bodner and I used to take that ambulance to Rideau Carleton Raceway. Alan had the contract to provide service on race nights! We used to sit trackside in the event of a mishap! It was more often the fans over indulging than the sulky drivers that got into trouble!

Video converted from old 16mm film used in EMT class in the 70’s This 1977 Video classic highlights the need for a professional Emergency Medical Service, by comparing the “skills” of the part time, gas station based “Economy Ambulance Service”, and a neighboring community with a modern EMS system.

On the Subject of Accidents and Underwear

Things About Bill Lowry 1998

Colliding Into the IGA — Carleton Place

Blast From the Past–Remembering Alan Barker– July 4 1979

The Last Man to Let you Down? Political Leanings at Local Funeral Homes?

Embalming 1891 – A Local Report

Blast From the Past–Remembering Alan Barker– July 4 1979




1952 Calendar


In 1979 Alan Barker of Carleton Place was presented with the Good Citizenship Award Certificate by Ontario Premier William Davis. The award was presented at Queen’s Park, and was followed by a reception and later a formal dinner with the Queen Mother.
Doug Wiseman MPP for Lanark formerly introduced Alan Barker to Lt.-Gov Pauline Mc Gibbon during the award ceremony. The Lt. Governor pinned the medal onto Barker while quietly congratulating him. Melba is photographed with her husband below.



Remembering 1964 — The Columbia Record Club


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In 1964 I began to get myself into financial trouble with a mail-order company called The Columbia Record Club. At 14, I had a huge passion for music, and all I had to do was tape a penny to a card I found in the back of a comic book. I happily picked out what I thought was 12 free music selections– after all, Columbia House had shipped 24 million records to other teenagers that year. Nothing could go wrong, could it?

I, similar to other kids in greater North America had failed to read the fine print. Along with other Beatle fans I never understood the “music appreciation club” wanting me and other music aficionados to purchase a certain number of monthly selections that were not even in our genre of music. Of course, had it not been for Columbia House I never would have had an appreciation for Barbra Streisand had I not listened to the records they shipped me without consent some months before.

As the months passed I found myself with a lot of unwanted music and a growing bill that my allowance could not cover. My father had warned me, as he too had been taken in by something called “The Book of the Month Club” and caught by something called “negative option billing”.

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A man called Les Wunderman had taken “The Book of the Month Club” to new heights and created such novel marketing ideas as: the database, the 1-800 number, the ‘buy 12 items for a penny’ and postpaid insert cards.  Many teenagers had no idea about all of this, as all we knew was that we could order records for free without the cost of even a stamp.

There was nothing like receiving something free in the mail, even if they were hounding you for the $25 you didn’t have. The collection agencies began to send the obligatory nasty letters for the outstanding records I owed. I began to respond to the letters and argued they charged full list price for the records plus a very large “postage and handling” charge, usually $2.98 per record.  A $4.98 LP that you could get for $2.79 in most record stores would cost $7.96 with the club.

Columbia House kept sending the records and bills until one day I decided to ask for the help from the smartest kid in the 9th grade, Alan Barker. Word on the street was that he was some “boy genius” and was filled with all sorts of facts.

It took me days to gather up the courage to set up “an appointment” during school lunch break, and finally one day I took the plunge. As I told him of my dilemma he lowered his glasses and read the letters carefully and said he might have an answer the next day.  Forty-eight hours later he summoned me to his desk. By that time others had gathered, as it seemed they were ‘under the boardwalk’ with Columbia Record House too. The young man with the razor sharp haircut was tapping his fingers on his desk and began to smile broadly and said,

“Linda, I have an answer to your problem and it’s quite simple!”

Gasps could be heard around the room that we had someone so smart in our school that could save us all. He held up the collection letter and began to laugh,

“Just tell them that contracts like this are not legal tender for anyone that is fourteen!”

With that everyone clapped their hands, and that very night letters from all the corners of Cowansville, Quebec were sent to Columbia Record House. In later years some of us still found ourselves caught in the clutches of other “kissing cousins clubs” that sold CDs, video and cookbooks. But, it always made us remember that day when we learned that you could not force ‘little children’ to buy Ray Charles Singers records, but negative option billing would always be legal in some shape or form.

Tug of War 1970’s Riverside and Centennial Park Carleton Place



Team Barker— Centennial Park Carleton Place in the 1970’s. Carleton Place built this park in 1967, to celebrate the 100th birthday of Canada becoming a country. Riverside Park is on the other side of the river.

Another picture from The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum‘s boxes of photos from the old Canadian basement that Jennifer Fenwick Irwin rescued.