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Goodbye to ‘Sister Barney’

Barney Belmar died September 8 at the age of 84. The Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny pay tribute.

Barney Cecil Belmar (January 27, 1936 – September 8, 2020) was an affiliate of our congregation for over 30 years. He was a friend and benefactor. He cherished all our Sisters and would do anything for any of us. He did not have to know you personally to reach out. He always referred to himself as “Sister Barney”.

As a young man, his ambition was to give himself to God in the priesthood, but God had other plans for him. He married Palmilla (she was born on Palm Sunday) and they had three children, one girl (deceased) and two boys. Barney is survived by his wife and sons.

He was deeply religious with great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and God saw fit to call Him home on the feast of her Nativity. He always had a rosary in his hand and pocket.
For many years he assisted the priest by assuming the responsibility of preparing the venue for Holy Mass at Mt Hope hospital, thus ensuring patients, staff and visitors were able to attend Mass weekly.

Barney was service oriented. For many years he ran a gas station on the Eastern Main Road and his generosity saw him supplying gas to clients without receiving payment or with promise of payment at a later date. Needless to say, it did not augur well for his finances.
As a boy, Barney lived close to the Scarborough convent and so his family developed a close relationship with the Cluny Sisters. He was for many years the sole acolyte at Mass in the parish church.

He established “the apostolate of the port” where he befriended the workers assisting them however, he could. This facilitated his ability to bring over the Catholic News weekly for the parishioners. Anything that was needed by the church or Sisters in Tobago, Barney would see to it.
Barney was to the sisters as

‘St Joseph’ to Mary and guarded, protected, provided, and loved them. He was truly a good Samaritan to all. His mantra was “I love you”.

Rest in peace, Barney.

You have served your God well.