Barlee remembered for varied career

Bill Barlee, a B.C. cabinet minister, historian and publisher died June 14.

  • Jun. 26, 2012 6:00 p.m.

N.L. (Bill) Barlee, a former Summerland resident whose varied career included politics, publishing and placer mining, died June 14.Born in 1932 in Grand Forks, he taught high school in Penticton before co-founding the Western Advertiser, which became today’s Penticton Western News.Barlee lived in the Happy Valley area of Summerland and had an antique store downtown.He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia as a New Democrat in 1988. He served as Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food from 1991 until 1993 and then as Minister of Small Business, Tourism and Culture from 1993 until 1996.Barlee was known for his television show on the history of Canada West which he co-hosted with Mike Roberts. This award-winning television series Gold Trails and Ghost Towns, ran from 1986 to 1996 on five different networks nationwide and is still seen in reruns.He published a history magazine “Canada West,” and his books included two best-sellers: “Gold Creeks and Ghost Towns” and the “Guide to Goldpanning”. Over his life, he collected Old West artifacts. Parts of the Barlee collection, valued at more than $1 million, have been placed on display in the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa as well as in museums around the country.



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