Taimi Rose, now a resident of Abbeyfield House, was a popular school teacher in Port Alberni before she retired. Now, she is a popular senior, known for her volunteerism.
“Taimi spent many happy years doing a multitude of volunteer tasks for the Echo Sunshine Club,” says Maureen Brechin, past-president of the Echo Sunshine Club. ”She was always enthusiastic, well organized and creative no matter what task she took on”.
For 18 years Rose was an important part of the senior community in her volunteer job at Echo Centre, especially when fulfilling the duties of the director of the travel committee.
“In 1992 I joined the Sunshine Club, shortly after I retired from my teaching career,” Rose recalls. “Well, once I became a member of the club, I was asked to hostess bus trips and do the organizing of bus excursions to interesting and sometimes unusual places on the Island.”
Later on she was at the helm enthusiastically planning major outings, by contacting local Travel Agents for trips to the west coast, including Washington and Oregon, Eastern Canada, Australia, Panama Canal, a cruise to Alaska, Graceland in Memphis, Nashville, etc. “Lots of fun on those trips!”
“Anyone who went on a Sunshine Trip with Taimi as the hostess knew they were about to have a very enjoyable adventure filled with a few jokes, candy and laughter! Taimi is the quintessential volunteer,” Brechin said.
Born in Mattawa, Ontario, in 1937, Rose was one of eight children raised by her Finnish parents on a farm (six boys and two girls). “I was the first one in the family who was born in a hospital,” she says.
Her father died of tuberculosis (TB) when Rose was only eight years old, leaving her mother to raise the children on her own.
At a young age, while attending a one-room school, she decided that someday she would be a teacher. Her dream became a reality soon after she finished Grade 12: she attended a summer training workshop for future teachers for six weeks. At the time, there was a shortage of teachers in the province.
“I was 18 years old then and after teaching for a year in Rutherglen I attended another six-week training course.” After teaching for two years she had to attend a teaching college in Ontario.
Years later Rose got her Bachelor of Education at the University of Victoria.
In 1969, married with four children, she moved to B.C. The family drove from Ontario to the west coast, stopping in Comox on Vancouver Island and then continued south to Nanaimo where they read this sign about Port Alberni on the west side of the Island. “We were adventurous,” she said.
The family decided to settle in the Alberni Valley where Taimi got her first job at Gill School. “I had been a teacher in Ontario for 11 years, including four years teaching at the same school I had graduated from, when we moved to B.C.,” she said. “By the way, last August we celebrated our 50th anniversary in Port Alberni.”
Rose’s career in the Valley took her to work at another educational venue, Eighth Avenue School, where she taught from Kindergarten to Grade 2, her preference, until her retirement. “I always loved teaching. It is something I wanted to do all my life. My goal was to have the young students love and enjoy learning. What a good experience!”
Her passion for teaching made her a popular educator in the Valley. Many of her former students happily greet her when she is in the stores or in the streets of Port Alberni. “Very often I am greeted by some of them in many different places of the city. It’s very nice to see them.”
She was also active in extra-curricular activities in the district. For years, she coached girls’ volleyball, basketball and floor hockey. In 1989, the artwork of four of her students was chosen to represent the district in a provincial art contest sponsored by the B.C. School Trustees Association (B.C.S.T.A.) and their work displayed in Vancouver.
Rose just moved to her new home in Abbeyfield and has expressed her satisfaction with the move, mainly because she finds residents and staff very helpful and kind, which is making her transition much easier.
“I love it here,” she said.