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

Victoria Ska and Reggae Festival returns to its roots, 20 years in

Longstanding music event brings together myriad talent in various genres

New secondary school planned for north Langford

Province announces $18.6 million in funding for site

Victoria fulfills period promise with free menstrual products

Tampons, pads and other products available at City Hall and downtown washrooms

PHOTOS: Car Free YYJ entertains the masses in Victoria

Third annual fair where cars are banned goes off without a hitch

Victoria Board of Education reviews its catchment boundary plans this week

Following consultation process, SD 61 ready to recommend shift in school learning lines

WATCH: Barbers battle it out in Victoria

‘Barber Battle’ saw stylists and barbers from across North America go head-to-head

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Police probe report of shooting as Raptors rally continues

There were reports of a woman being injured at the event that celebrates the team’s NBA title win

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Skipping school costs a dozen B.C. students chance at a new car

Cowichan’s Jared Lammi showed up and won $5,000 cheque toward vehicle, but he can’t drive

Man suffers burns, dog dies in fire in Nanaimo

Structure burns down on Clifford Road property in Cedar

Province comes through with funding for Charleigh Fales

Lake Cowichan toddler only one in B.C. diagnosed with CLN2 Batten disease

Most Read