1976 Honoree


Harwinton Volunteer Fire Chief Norman Barber became the second recipient of the Arthur B. Poole Award.

Norman “Brother” Barber was instrumental in starting the Harwinton Volunteer Fire Department.

Norman worked for 35 years for the State Highway Department, retiring in 1962. Andrew Kasznay Jr. commented that Norman’s devotion to his job showed in his once snowplowing for 64 straight hours during a bad 1955 snowstorm.

Among Barber’s accomplishments is his work with the Harwinton Agricultural Society, he was once vice president of that organization and has long served on its board of directors.

One of Norman’s greatest services to the town was his hard work in renovating the fairgrounds in the fall of 1963. It included tearing down the old two story structure on the front part of the fairgrounds and moving an existing structure back.

Last year’s recipient Ray Bentley told of a trick Barber once played on him. He had hired Barber to cut a cord of wood for him. Bentley said he was happy when soon after the wood was neatly piled. The job seemingly complete Bentley paid him the agreed upon fee. Much to Bentley’s chagrin, on close inspection, it was found that Barber had found a large rock which he used as the center of the woodpile and had meticulously piled logs around it to hide this fact. “This was the time Bentley had purchased a cord of rock,” Bentley remarked with a note of dismay in his voice.

Of his many community services Barber said, “I did it all, never thought about it and I enjoyed it.” He said the award came as a shock when he was notified by the Poole Committee member Lloyd Shanley Jr., that he had been named the recipient. Barber said he was hesitant until an unidentified voice on Shanley’s end of the phone connection said, “tell that man he has to take the award! So I took it.”
Barber said he was most grateful and that winning the award was a moment he would never forget.

Harwinton Historical Society Scrapbook

The Torrington Register Newspaper

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