Barrie was born in Tauranga New Zealand, 15 October 1937 and his family moved to Auckland when he was 1 year old. He started his education at Point Chevalier Primary School, then went to Pasadena Intermediate School and then Avondale College. He studied singing as a tenor and had much success in the local competitions as well as appearing in many musicals. The last of these was Brigadoon where he appeared as Charlie.
He had an Accounts Payable and Credit Management background and met his future wife Patricia when she was on a working holiday in New Zealand. In 1968 they moved to Sydney Australia, where he started working in Real Estate as a Salesman and then in 1974 qualified as a Real Estate Agent and Auctioneer and then started his own business.
He was involved in a serious car accident in 1991 and in 1992 had to sell his business as he could no longer cope with the stress of running his business, while undergoing physiotherapy. He always had a love of Scottish music and history and knew that his family had come from Scotland in 1863 and that they were descended from the Rothes family, but not much more. In 1974 he started to research his family and was able to connect his family back to George Leslie 1st Laird of Aikenway, who was a son of George Leslie 1st Earl of Rothes.
In 1998 he was appointed, Convenor of Clan Leslie Society Australia and New Zealand Branch, but in April 2001, the members decided that they were not content to be a Branch of Clan Leslie Society of America and that they wished to become a separate Society, to be called, Clan Leslie Society of Australia and New Zealand, which was approved by the Clan Chief Ian, 21st Earl of Rothes. In July 2001, the Earl of Rothes appointed Barrie as his Commissioner for Australia and New Zealand.
He has amassed an extremely large database on the Leslie family and families who have married into the Leslie family and makes information available to anyone who asks for help and also produces the Clan Leslie Society of Australia and New Zealand's newsletter "Grip Fast Down Under".
In early 2015 Barrie relinquished his position as "Commissioner" due to poor health, whilst no longer active he still maintains a strong and supportive interest in the Leslie Clan.