Redwood flute sets tone for memorial gatherings

NANAIMO – Flute player salvaged redwood tree from Hospice House.

A flute carved from the branch of a downed redwood tree will lend its soft notes to memorial gatherings at the new Hospice House.

When Nanaimo Community Hospice staff had an old redwood tree taken down in the back yard of Hospice House  on Boundary Avenue, they never suspected the tree would play a role in the society’s future.

Terry Mack, a former staff member, who is also an intuitive player of the Native American flute, saved several branches of the tree, which she took to a flute maker.

A flute, two years in the making, made its performance debut when it was presented to the society during the Language of Light at Costin Hall in Lantzville Oct. 18.

The concert, performed by Mack, singer songwriter Cali Massey and guitarists Paul Bezooyen and Dave Kilbank also raised $900 for Hospice House.

“Nobody would have thought about that except someone who would know what to do with it,” said Jeanne Fahlman, hospice development officer. “So here she was, hauling this big branch up and this is what we’ve got from it.”

The flute has been placed on Hospice House’s memory mantle above the library fireplace as a reminder of the society’s history and will also be played during the society annual Gathering to Remember, an afternoon of music and candlelight  held every December.

Mack is composing a piece of music to be played on the flute during the gatherings.

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