Born September 7th, 1948, Babra Moonian grew up in New Amsterdam, Guyana.
Babra (pronounced Barbara) lived in Glasgow VIllage and was raised by her parents Henry & Celis Moonian, along with her 4 siblings (elder twin sisters Barbarine & Babzin, younger brother Herman, and youngest sister Theresa).
Barbara’s parents were very enterprising, and she grew up around businesses they ran, including a dancehall. She was introduced to farming and fishing, sold vegetables at the local markets, and performed music with her siblings in a local singing group. She lived the simple country life, and spoke glowingly about those experiences throughout her life.
In the mid 1960s, she worked as a teacher at Scarder Preparatory School. She also met and fell in love with Patrick Allicock, also of New Amsterdam. After a four year courtship, they were married in August of 1970, and she took the name of Babra Allicock. Shortly after their marriage, Patrick just 20 years old, left Guyana to lay the foundation for a new life abroad in the country of Canada. His hope was to bring his young bride across as soon as possible. In May of 1971, Barbara gave birth to their first son, Brian. Later that year, she also immigrated to Canada.
Living in 1970s Toronto, she worked many jobs, notably for the Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan and later Sears from 1972. In 1973, Barbara & Patrick happily welcomed the arrival of 2 year-old Brian to Toronto, and Barb continued working until the birth of the family’s second child Kevin, in June of 1975.
At this time, she became a full-time Mom to her two boys.
In the early 1980s, Patrick and Barb started the venture Barb’s Roti, specializing in bringing West Indian cuisine to Toronto like it had never been done before. The success of the venture, which included classy, professional packaging and convenient ready to eat meals, lead to the opening of a restaurant in 1986. This would be known as the ever popular Barb’s Roti Shop. This business thrived in Mississauga for close to 30 years, before health concerns for Barb suddenly caused the business to stop operation, in 2013.
But Barbara was more than just a business woman, she was a devoted wife and loving mother of her two boys. A doting aunt to a host of nieces and nephews. A great sister and sister-in-law to many. Mother-in-law and later grandmother of two beautiful grandkids. And to her customers, a warm and welcoming personality, they often called friend. She had a boisterous laugh, loved to talk and get to know people, and demonstrated a genuine kindness to those who knew her.
Sadly, her ongoing health concerns culminated into the stroke that she suffered in 2013, and it proved to be a devastating one. Patrick, devoted all of his time to become her full-time care giver, and the business was put on hold. He cared for her for 6 years, and never waivered. But over the years, rehabilitation became more and more difficult and eventually, impossible. Her condition advanced beyond anyone’s control or intervention and she passed away, with Patrick by her side, on December 28, 2019.
Barbara loved, and was loved by, a great many family and friends.