Regina Beach pier dedicated to teenager after tragic death

REGINA BEACH, Sask. – When Janet Barber looks out at Last Mountain Lake, she remembers her son, Douglas. He died tragically in 2005 in a forklift accident at the age of 15.

In memory of Douglas, the Barber family undertook a massive project, building a new pier and lookout at Regina Beach.

“We felt that we would like to do some kind of a lasting memorial for the community, just to commemorate our Douglas,” Barber said. “The pier was the perfect thing because our kids were children of the beach.”

Family friend Lori Zak joined the Barbers in a committee to turn the idea into a reality.

“It really is kind of a hub for the community,” she said. “There’s rarely a time when there’s not someone fishing off the pier or just standing and watching the lake.”

Story continues below advertisement

For decades, the only pier at Regina Beach was a wood one, worn down by the elements.

“The flood in 2011 all but destroyed it,” Barber said.

Rather than trying to repair the disintegrating structure, the group wanted a fresh start. Thanks to grant money, donations and plenty of hard labour, the million-dollar pier and lookout is now open to the public.

“We’ve had an incredible number of friends and businesses contribute time and equipment at various stages of the project,” said Barber.

“Everybody enjoys it. Everybody has good things to say about it,” said Regina Beach Mayor Cameron Hart.

“I’m glad they did it, there’s a lot more space, especially when you get more guys here,” said Calvin McEachern, an avid fisherman. “Sometimes you can’t find a spot here and now at least you’ll get deeper water.”

Janet Barber loves watching people out on the pier: “It just makes my day. It just makes my heart sing.”

The family doesn’t want to attract too much attention to the memorial, but the ‘barber pole’ is their subtle way of acknowledging Douglas.

“I want people to remember him as a fun little kid that played on the pier with his brothers, his cousins and his friends,” Barber said.

Story continues below advertisement

A grand opening celebration will be held once the docks are set up later this summer.

Sponsored content