Tapestry Ambassador Series: A Lifetime of Harmonies and Memories at Tapestry
Tapestry residents Maggie and Larry first met on the campus of the University of British Columbia (UBC) over 60 years ago. They met as students and shared a love of music and theatre performance. Today, their passion for life and each other is stronger than ever as they continue to create new memories only steps from where their story together began.
Maggie and Larry grew up in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia; Maggie was raised in Langley, and Larry in Kerrisdale. Both were members of the music society at UBC, MUSSOC. Maggie and Larry were formally introduced in the cafeteria under the old auditorium.
Maggie began singing at a very young age, and she has never stopped. “Music has always been a real joy in my life,” says Maggie. She performed as a professional singer in Theatre Under the Stars, and after earning her Bachelor of Music degree, Maggie sang with the Vancouver Opera and several choirs, eventually joining the Vancouver Chamber Choir, where she performed internationally for more than 20 years.
“We travelled all over the world singing and were well received everywhere.” She also channelled her musical talent and enthusiasm into teaching by instructing a new generation of singers.
After Larry completed medical school in BC, he and Maggie moved to Philadelphia where he completed his medical internship. He became a General Practitioner in Princeton, BC, where he was one of only two doctors. Eventually Larry returned to Vancouver General Hospital to train in heart and lung surgery.
“I was fortunate to have great opportunities to develop my medical career,” says Larry. “At the same time, Maggie was able to develop her musical profession so that our careers could proceed individually.”
During their musically-inspired journey, Maggie and Larry welcomed three wonderful children. “It’s a real joy to have children… I have loved it,” says Maggie. “Any time the family got together, there was always singing,” adds Larry.
Maggie and Larry planted their roots in Vancouver. Larry completed his career at Vancouver General Hospital where he worked for 30 years as a heart surgeon, while Maggie continued to sing and teach. After Larry’s retirement, with more free time, Maggie and Larry were founding members of the EnChor Choir where they continue to perform to this day.
As UBC alumni, Maggie and Larry had heard of Tapestry at Wesbrook Village. However, like many, they believed they were not quite ready to move into a retirement community. It was only once their choir, EnChor, visited Tapestry as performers, that their expectations and past notions of what a retirement community was were completely changed.
“I walked in and said, ‘This is a retirement community?’”, says Larry. The spacious beauty and vibrant environment of Tapestry was completely unexpected. They knew then that if they were to move into a seniors’ community it would be Tapestry.
It was not only the beauty and vibrancy of the community that led them to make the move. Maggie fondly remembers her mother making the decision to move into a retirement community partly to help maintain her independence, but also to give her children peace of mind and confidence that she was in a place where she could enjoy her life in a comfortable and safe environment.
“My mother gave us a gift and I wanted to do the same thing for my children. I didn’t want them to worry about us. They know that we are living in a community that inspires us to live a joyful, healthy and happy life,” says Maggie.
Since moving into Tapestry three years ago, Maggie and Larry have been doing just that; living vibrant lives near the place where their relationship first started. Maggie and Larry still sing as a part of the EnChor Choir and Maggie has created a Tapestry Choir that fills the community with beautiful music.
Today, Maggie and Larry’s lives are filled with activity and friendship. They remain as busy and connected as they were when they first stepped foot on the campus, they now so proudly call home.