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Roy Chalmers Barnes was born in Smith Falls, Ontario on December 23, 1884 to blacksmith Samuel Barnes (1837-1922) and his wife Agnes Barnes (nee Agnes Chalmers 1845-1916). The youngest of ten children, Barnes moved to Copper Cliff, Ontario in 1910 to work as a telegraph operator and clerk for the Canadian Copper Company and later the International Nickel Company (INCO). He remained in this position until his retirement in 1949.
On October 25, 1911, Barnes married telephone operator Ethyl Mae Keir (September 7, 1886 - November 3, 1975) in Parry Sound, Ontario and they settled to raise a family of four children in Copper Cliff.
Barnes was very active in the community, volunteering with the Boy Scouts. He also founded the Copper Cliff Highland Cadet Corp #765 on July 30, 1918 (originally sponsored by INCO and disbanded January 10, 1993).
Roy Barnes was also very well known for his calligraphy. He was frequently asked to create official documents and illuminated manuscripts such as invitations or greetings to be presented to royalty. One such document was the Book of Remembrance for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76. Barnes wrote the names of the local World War One and World War Two soldiers who lost their lives in the book in 1949, later adding an addition for the Korean War at the back of the book. The names were provided to Barnes by a Book of Remembrance Committee with the local legion.
After retirement, Barnes and his wife moved to Sudbury, Ontario where they lived the rest of their lives. Roy Barnes passed away on September 18, 1962 at the age of 77.
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To learn more about Roy C. Barnes, see "Famous for Scrolls," The Sudbury Star, September 18, 1962, p. 3, "Funeral Thursday at 2 For Major Roy Barnes," Sudbury Star, September 19, 1962, p. 17 and "Death," Sudbury Star, September 19, 1962, p. 24.
To learn more about Ethyl Mae Keir Barnes, see "Deaths," Sudbury Star, November 4, 1975, p. 20.