Laurie McConnell has been and continues to be an inspiration to me in many ways; one of the best lessons that I have learned from her is to know what’s in your heart and stay true to what’s in your heart – no matter how hard it gets to do so.
I first met Laurie back in 1999 when we worked together on the newly formed Sunshine Coast Bed and Breakfast, Cottage Owners Association. Then we were 12 members with a common goal – to raise awareness of the growing B&B and cottage industry and work together to bring guests to the Sunshine Coast. Laurie was the internet goddess of the group with a vision ahead of its time. Her website bigpacific.com continues to be the best resource for information on BC’s Sunshine Coast. It wasn’t until years later that I really came to appreciate Laurie and what she stood for. She didn’t make it easy for me to get to know her at first, which now when I look at it, was a good thing because it made our friendship more valuable and richer. I did find a way to work with Laurie and the best part of our working relationship were the ‘walking meetings’ we had most mornings. We walked and discussed business strategies for the day, the week and the future; I found those meetings so energizing. The best workout plan I ever followed. When Laurie made a decision in her life to honor her beliefs and convictions, despite the adversity she was to face, I was there to see how Laurie’s unwavering commitment to those beliefs helped her through it all. I am thankful for having Laurie in my life; she is a constant reminder for me to know what’s in my heart and to stay true to what’s in my heart no matter how hard it is to do so. Laurie once told me if I was ever stuck in a Turkish jail and only had one phone call that I should call her because she would be there to bail me out; you are a true friend Laurie! Thank you for your friendship and continued inspiration to be true…
- ROZ HOOPER
- Roz Hooper – 100 Mile House BC When I was 18 yrs old I moved to 100 Mile House to work at the Red Coach Inn as a evening busgirl and daytime waitress. I moved into Roz’s boarding house with 6 other roomies. Roz made it crystal clear that her house was our home and she gave true meaning to the term “Den mother”. She had frosted grey hair, an aristocatic presence, she enjoyed a glass of wine every night and her jovial laugh made my belly ache. What I remember the most about Roz is her unconditional love for everyone no matter where they came from or what they represented. I remember on many occasions local Johovah Witness’s would come to her door and she would always invite them in to ‘talk’. Roz’s favorite book was the Bible of which she read everynight before sleep; on her nightstand you would always find a well read copy laying next to her empty wine glass. So when Roz would invite her guests in for the talk little did they know how enlightening the discussion would be for them. Roz lived a spiritual life where she believed we are all God‘s children and we are all loved equally, she saw people as beautiful human beings. Roz is no longer with us but I thank her just the same for helping me accept others for who they are no matter where they come from or what they represent. I think about Roz every once in a while and I am reminded of the gift of acceptance that she gave me.