Positive memories abound

It is a good time to reflect on the beginning on the beginning years of Taoist Tai Chi

It is a good time to reflect on the beginning on the beginning years of Taoist Tai Chi in Vernon and those founding members who made it all happen 22 years ago.

When the Taoist Tai Chi building was first purchased in 1995, I had just retired from a downtown Toronto stock brokerage trading room job — not much kindness or goodwill there.

So that dedicated enthusiasm of such a high order from the Taoist Tai Chi club came as quite a surprise to me. Quite frankly, I was incredulous of the volunteers.

Of course, with such a diversity in the membership, there were differences in personality, beliefs and ways of doing things. There was both radiance and shortcomings.

But I still believe to this day that everyone had adopted the Taoist philosophy of master moy, the very foundation of the society — compassion, kindness, tolerance, charity and goodwill to others.

Otherwise, with so much to be done with a badly neglected building and so many problems to be solved, how could they have worked so well together, so tirelessly, unselfishly, and so incredibly hard?

With the building finally renovated, as well as the surrounding area outside, it was no surprise to me that the Taoist Tai Chi Society quickly became so highly respected with city officials, close neighbours and Vernon citizens.

Being the outsider, I was always outside working in the Taoist gardens. I became the recipient of many comments during the famous week-long and weekend workshops by students from all over Canada and the U.S.

I heard about not only the beauty of the newly renovated exercise hall, the quality of instruction and the sanctuary of the gardens, but something so much more — the wonderfully welcoming hospitality afforded to one and all.

B. Sharon Free, Taoist gardener, 1995-2007