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Local barber Bob Prentice retires after more than 50 years in business

DAN CEARNS The Standard

SCUGOG: After a career spanning 53 years, barber Bob Prentice is hanging up the scissors.

At his longtime business location on Queen Street, there is a note in the window which explains that his health situation forced his hand.

“On orders from my doctor, I have no choice but to retire. Many thanks to all my customers for their loyal patronage. It is with a heavy heart, I say goodbye after 53 years in business. Maybe I will see you in passing. Best wishes and many, many thanks,” the note reads.

Mr. Prentice told The Standard why he chose to get into the barbershop business over 50 years ago.

“I was fed up with working in a factory, and I was looking for something I could do to stay in my own community. And my father’s uncle was a barber all of his life, and his son barbered after him, so I’m the third generation in my family to barber on Queen Street.”

Mr. Prentice said the best part of his job was the people.

“So many nice people came in to talk with me, and get a haircut and tell jokes. It was a great way to make a living at the time.”

And he’s seen his client base evolve over the five decades he was in business.

“I’ve had people come in [who] were little kids when their parents brought them in. They’d moved away and come back here for vacation or something and they stop in and it’s great. The hardest part of course was remembering everyone’s names. Especially if it’s been a number of years, people change. All kinds of kids come in and tell me they got their first haircut in this shop.”

In 2020, Mr. Prentice reached the milestone of 50 years in business.

“It was kind of frightening, because I knew time was running out. But I was planning on staying at it for another six or eight or nine years,” he stated.

However, life had other plans as his health declined and a cardiovascular issue forced his retirement.

“You gotta do what you gotta do. It was a really hard decision. It took me at least a week to come to grips with the idea,” Mr. Prentice said.

Over the years, Mr. Prentice enjoyed more and more working out of his space on Queen Street.

“I was pretty happy with the space I had and the clientele I had.”

Mr. Prentice explained the main focus of his retirement will be to simply work on his health.

“I have every confidence that I’m going to,” he said. “There’s a lot of Canada I haven’t seen yet, so we’re planning on taking a few trips in Canada. I’ve got a few relatives in Saskatchewan and Winnipeg.”

Mr. Prentice recommends any of his clients looking for a barber similar to him contact Ray Brown in Orono at 905-983-9452.

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