Barb Fritz is the newest member of the Westport Lions Club.
Westport Lions Roar
By Lion Bob Reddick
New Lion Barb Fritz’s varied career will bring needed skills to the Westport Lions Club. Barb was born in Sudbury but spent her formative years in London, Ontario. After graduating from Queen’s University, she attended London Teacher’s College where she enrolled in program of cross-cultural education with practice teaching assignments at area First Nations. As a result of participation in this program, Barb was hired by what is currently known as Indigenous Services Canada.
Barb’s first teaching job was at Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, (previous known as Big Trout Lake First Nation), an Oji-Cree First Nation community about 580 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Ontario, where she spent 9 years. During her time in northwestern Ontario, she also taught in the community of Kingfisher Lake and worked two years as an educational consultant in 18 schools. She spent a lot of time in small airplanes travelling to the communities to work with teachers, principals, and the local education groups.
Barb’s next stop was the Indigenous Services Canada Regional Office in Toronto where she undertook a variety of roles in the education field including the development of curriculum specifically designed for use in First Nation schools on reserve and co-ordination of the First Nations and Inuit Youth Employment Strategy for Ontario Region.
While in Toronto, Barb met and married her husband George Jones, a Lion member. They have one daughter, Carol-Lynne and a grandson, Isaac, who now live in Sharbot Lake. Although long-time residents of Toronto and Mississauga, Barb and George intended to move to a small town in eastern Ontario when they retired.
As she had to wait for George to retire before leaving Mississauga, a few years after retiring in 2005, Barb became self-employed, taking on contract work as a proofreader of legal transcript and later, work as a court registrar. When George retired in 2014, they began their search for a small town to move to which was near Barb’s family members in eastern Ontario. George spotted Westport on a map. They came to look at it, found a house and decided this was the place to call home, moving here in September of 2015.
George became a Lion in 2017. Barb often accompanied George on his shift at the Lions’ recycling depot and occasionally helped with the medical transport. She started volunteering at the Recycle and Re-Use Centre this year and had “a wonderful time working with a great group of people.” She “enjoys being part of the community and being a Lion is a good way to be involved and give back to a community that has welcomed us.”