A t’ai chi instructor taught her final class in Oamaru this month.
Gai Tangney has been involved in an initiative run by Age Concern Waitaki and Sport Waitaki since its inception about five years ago.
Four instructors specialising in different forms of gentle exercise take turns to lead classes on Tuesday afternoons.
They were held in the Early Settlers Hall at first, but demand was so great that bigger premises were needed. So they moved to the RSA building, which has now become vacant.
The third, and present, location is the Orwell St Church hall, where an adjacent kitchen is a bonus for making the afternoon tea that follows each class.
Mrs Tangney said that the opportunity to socialise over a cuppa was as important as the exercises.
Some 40 to 50 people attended most weeks – a testament to the programme’s popularity. It aimed to help residents improve and retain the use of their muscles for long-term flexibility, mobility and balance.
Her last class was sad to say goodbye to Mrs Tangney, many giving her a hug before she leaves for Canterbury.
A new instructor is being sought to replace her. Anyone interested, or who knows of a suitable candidate, should phone Age Concern Waitaki chairwoman Heather McElroy on 437-2404.