For those involved in Tai Chi, having a cup of coffee on the mainland afterwards seems as important as Tai Chi itself. It has not always been like that. In the beginning it was purely meeting for exercises and then everyone going their own way. It all started about ten years ago. Ally Pritchard (nee Greenaway) a young islander decided that we needed some organized physical activity. Ally has always been a fan of Tai Chi and started classes in this wonderful hall of ours.
Ally in the "Unabridged" orchestra & choir in about 1998
From the very beginning it became a favourite island activity. Getting people to attend was never an issue. From 20 to 25 people coming to two sessions it has now grown to over 70 people attending three mornings a week. Rob Eldridge and Enid Webster (Fritz to some) are now the team leaders. Ally still turns up at times but with a family of two boys and a girl and a Doctor for a husband she gets enough exercise at home. All team leaders are volunteers.
Rob and Angie
We must not forget Winnie Scott. She stepped in whenever Ally could not make it. (or was having babies). Now, you all know Winnie, a lady of small stature and for her to appear somewhat taller, more authoritative, she used to conduct her classes in high heels. Winnie may well be the only person in the world to have done so. We are told that she never fell over or did any sort of damage to herself. Winnie refuses to have her photo taken. We would love to “do” a story on her, but she’d refuse. She doesn’t want anyone to know that she managed the hall for years, cleaned the BBQ in the park for longer than we can remember, delivers the morning papers whenever Barbara Young can’t do it, does the shopping for people, acts as a walking companion for the elderly, house sits for people going on holidays to look after their pets, but she wouldn’t want you to know that.
Winnie did tell us that during her time at Tai Chi a lot of the money she collected was donated to the ambulance fund appeal.
Winnie trying to get away from the camera
Winnie thinks this photo might have been taken 2003/4 ?
These day there are three sessions starting at 9.30 Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and AFTER that it is Cafe Cliquetime when most take the 10.30 ferry and have a relaxed, but boisterous time over a cup of coffee. They share their patronage between the various cafes. (The photo at the top of this page was taken at Stanley’s) For those unfortunate enough to be in the same café, be assured, the noise they make is deafening but their almost continuous laugher permeates a wonderful aura of mateship. The fee charge for the sessions is modest and over the years Tai Chi has donated towards many projects, the most recent being towards the Ferry Park upgrade They donated the seat and bench for Ugly Betty’s waiting room, also the two seats outside the hall. The current philosophy of the group is to donate towards island projects. Next on the agenda is a bike rack.
Apart from Islanders people come from as far afield as Sarsfield, Eagle Point, Wy Yung and Paynesville