The grand piano donated by Howie Meeker in 2002 still remains at The Old School House Arts Centre. (Mandy Moraes photo)

Qualicum Beach arts community members fondly recall Howie Meeker’s love of music

Hockey legend died on Nov. 8 at the age of 97

The outpouring of love an admiration continues following the weekend death of Howie Meeker.

Corinne James, retired executive director of The Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach, and Ron Hadley, retired director of the Music on Sunday concert series through TOSH, sent a letter to PQB News in memory of Meeker, who died Nov. 8 at the age of 97.

“Most Canadians remember Howie Meeker as a hockey player, politician and humanitarian,” read the letter. “TOSH also celebrates him as an ardent supporter and enthusiastic music lover. In 2002 Howie and his wife, Leah, approached TOSH to ask if we’d be interested in a donation to enable us to buy a grand piano for our Music On Sunday concert series. This incredible gift catapulted our music program to a very exciting new level. We became able to invite solo pianists as well as ensembles with piano from all over the world to our intimate, gallery series. Howie and Leah became season ticket holders, and, as the seats that they chose were near the door of the gallery, Howie would personally thank the musicians after the concerts as they left the venue.”

READ MORE: Canadian hockey and broadcasting legend Howie Meeker dies at age 97

The letter said that TOSH “will never forget not only Howie’s great generosity but also his positivity and compassion for each and every person with whom he interacted.”

“Howie always had a handshake, a smile and encouraging words for the musicians, for his fellow audience members and for the TOSH volunteers. His was a life well-lived because he left each of us much the better for having known him. Howie Meeker is an inspiring example of how one individual can immeasurably impact an entire community, and, in this way, although we will certainly miss him, he will be with us forever.”

James and Hadley offered their love and deepest condolences to Leah and Howie’s family, as well as their gratitude for being such constant and dedicated members of the TOSH family.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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