Barber trades scissors for retirement

The cracks and the quips are never in short supply at the Len Fraser Barber Shop in Esquimalt.

That’s part of the reason why Terry McLean kept cutting hair for so long.

But after 46 years – including 31 at the Esquimalt shop – McLean finally handed over his scissors and embraced retirement after his Saturday shift.

It’ll be the people and the laughter that the long-time Esquimalt resident will miss most at the shop where he faithfully walked to work five days a week.

“It is sad because I’m going to miss this place,” he said while clipping Jean Lambert’s hair. “I wouldn’t trade my 31 years here for anything.”

“It’s amazing, this place,” said Lambert, who has been coming to the barber shop every few weeks since 1983. “(McLean) remembers who you are.”

When asked why McLean held on to his scissors at the Esquimalt barber shop for so many decades, he said with a smile, “So everyone can give me a hard time, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

McLean will be greatly missed by staff and customers alike.

“Terry is an easy guy to work with. He’s the salt of the earth,” said shop owner Doug Fraser, who has been cutting hair alongside McLean for more than 25 years.

Fraser said he “is one of those guys you can’t say a bad thing about.

“He’s one of the family around here.”

McLean actually became a barber by accident.

Originally from North Battleford, Sask., he had plans to join the navy. But McLean ended up in hospital with an injury and through contacts he met there, he soon found himself in barbering school.

“I love it,” he said. “But, you know, I’m 65 years old, it’s time for me to do something else, like golfing.

“I’d like to win the (Lotto) 649, Lotto Max, you know, the freedom plan,” he quipped.

He’s also considering volunteering part time to help fill his days as a retiree.

“I’ll just take it day by day.”

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Governing bodies accused of ‘destroying’ girls’ hockey by Island’s top team

When asked for advice hockey dad says ‘put your girls in soccer’

Esquimalt to finalize township’s four-year plan

Council will soon make final decisions on its draft strategic goals and priorities

Syrian violinist plays with new Canadian band at upcoming fundraiser

Sari Alesh played with the Symphony Orchestra in Syria for six years

Guns could use smartphone-style fingerprint locks in near future

Startups looking to outflank traditional gun manufacturers using tech knowhow

WATCH: Soon-to-be guide dogs take part in the Amazing Puppy Race

10 puppies training to be guide dogs took part in a social Easter egg hunt

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

B.C. senior sentenced for sexually abusing special-needs granddaughter

73-year-old Cortes Island man will go to jail for three years

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

Most Read