It is with great regret that the Gabriola Branch of the Taoist Tai Chi Society says goodbye to one of its founding members, Barb Howardson.
Barb and her husband Alan have been long-time residents on Gabriola. Moving from Winnipeg, first to Nanaimo and then to Gabriola, both Alan and Barb have been active in our community. Barb developed a love for gardening while living across from Good Earth on South Road. While working as an instructor for the Dental Assistants’ program at what was then Malaspina College, Barb would come home and expand her garden, offering the proceeds to the public at an “honour system” roadside stand. Eighteen years later Barb and Alan became caretakers for Clyde Coats in his house by the golf course.
Ever active, Barb became involved in the Taoist Tai Chi Society in the fall of 2004, when Matt McLuckie, an accredited instructor, began the first Tai Chi class for beginners on Gabriola. Under Matt’s instruction Barb was hooked, and in the Spring of 2006 became an accredited instructor herself. As both Matt and Barb developed their Tai Chi practice, they were able to offer classes for beginners and for those who wished to further develop their Tai Chi. As Matt’s life became busier, Barb stepped up and ran more classes and became involved at the Taoist Tai Chi Club in Nanaimo. At one point Barb was either teaching or attending up to five classes a week!
Barb often offered to coach students privately between classes and was endlessly patient. Her concern for those with health issues has led to a continuation of her volunteer work in Nanaimo where she is involved in the Health Recovery classes.
As she settles into her new life in Nanaimo Barb plans to continue sharing and teaching her Tai Chi. Those of us who have been introduced to Taosit Tai Chi through Barb will miss her caring and enthusiastic attitude towards Tai Chi and we look forward to have her visit as a guest instructor!
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