BARRIE WEBSTER relocated to Victoria from Winnipeg after a multi-faceted analytical chemistry career, first as professor/researcher at the University of Manitoba and, later, as a public and private sector scientific consultant in his area of expertise: issues relating to pesticide and environmental contaminant residues.
Heading out west in 2010, Barrie changed course, and says he “leaned on his musical interests” to support a long-held passion for making music.
“It’s fun and compatible with a career in science.”
He now regularly plays his custom-made mandolin with the Victoria Mandolin Orchestra, cello with the Hampton Concert Orchestra and tenor banjo in the English Country Dance Band.
Somehow, between practices, he makes time to keep physically and socially fit by cycling about 70 km a week with a group of like-minded friends that get together post-ride to discuss personal and global issues as they come up.
And, in case that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, he also serves as president of both the Victoria Secular Humanist Society and the Memorial Society of BC. “I can’t imagine ever being bored,” he says.
LUCY RUSSELL knew when she was 10 years old that home design was her passion. But growing up in an academic family in Edmonton, she didn’t realize it was available to her as a profession. Not until much later.
“We underestimate the power of that small voice we have,” she says. “The interest has always been there, but it took studies in comparative literature, classical piano and a teacher-librarian career to get me there.”
Early retirement from the Vancouver Board of Education three years ago – and her partner’s full support – motivated Lucy to study and redefine herself as a designer of interiors.
“When we change our physical surroundings, we change something inside ourselves,” says Lucy, founder of InterAlia (Latin: among other things). “Our private spaces relate to who we are internally. I like to work with people and to support them in realizing the connection between themselves and their live and work spaces.”
Verena Foxx is a Vancouver writer/educator. Each month, she will explore how people across BC are living, transforming and re-imagining their 55+ lives. To share a story with Verena, email her at email@example.com