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Winifred Barton, whose birthday today is (May 6) left us a few years ago.

About the later controversy over her life I will say nothing as I have nothing to say.

In the winter of 1968 I was living in Ottawa with my uncle, Douglas Hartt, who was serving as Director General of Public Works Canada under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

Mu uncle thought I had the making of a poet. I wrote some of the worst poetry in my life under his guidance. Then one day a chance encounter led me to write something that broke all the rules he taught me the result of which was that I did not show it to him. He found it, read it and said, “That is the best thing you have written since you got here.”

I threw out his rules.

One day browsing in an Anglican Church used bookstore I bought a book on the occult (ESP, etc..).

“If you are interested in that there is a group meeting tonight you should check out,” said the girl to whom I gave my money.

I took a seat in the back row the better to see the people who came. The place filled up with perhaps 125 people of all ages.

A short, stout woman at the front introduced herself as Dr. Winifred Grace Barton. Pointing to a shelf load of books she said they had all been written with the guidance of ancient Atlantean spirit.

As she spoke I glanced around the room at the others sitting there listening to her. As I did so I saw a man on my right wearing a red plaid shirt seated by the exit door who, when he caught my eye on him, faded from view the way people did in the transporter beams of the TV show, STAR TREK.

That was definitely interesting. I kept an eye on the spot. I saw him two more times before the intermission.

At that point I introduced myself to Dr. Barton. I told her what I had seen.

Leaving the room she said, “Wait here.”

She came back seconds later with a photograph in her hand. She said, “Was this the man.”

It was. I said, “Yes.”

She said, “That is the caretaker. He died yesterday. Would you like to speak to the group after the break?”

That surprised me. How often does a complete stranger be given the podium?

I spoke for about an hour.

Afterwards I was invited to join the group.

For a year I hung out there studying all aspects of Extra Sensory Perception. I learned to see auras. I had out of body experiences.

Mostly I had fun.

I returned to Toronto in the winter of 1969.

A few years passed.

One day I saw her on the CTV news.

She said the world was going to end that weekend. She and those with her were to be taken up in a flying saucer. The rest of us were doomed.

I was surprised to say the least.

We are still here.

God bless her. May she rest in peace.

Reg Hartt 2020 06.



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