|Margaret Tobin (1945 - 2014)|
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Margaret Tobin (1945 - 2014)
Co-founder of Spirit's Call
For over three decades Margaret worked as a Social Worker and Associate Professor/Counsellor at the University of Manitoba, pioneering numerous programs supporting single parents, mature students, students with special needs, and members of First Nations communities. She co-created a powerful 8 week program entitled "Explorations of the Self" which she ran 23 times before her retirement in 2005. In honor of her fierce advocacy, dedication, and leadership in the field of Social Work in Manitoba, Margaret received the Distinguished Social Worker Award from the Canadian Association of Social Workers in 2005.
In 2000 Margaret co-founded the Spirit's Call Choir, recently renamed Margaret's Choir. What started in a workshop of a small group of people who had come to believe that they couldn't sing, flourished into a non-audition community choir of 160 plus voices raising money for worthy causes by performing two benefit concerts each year to sold-out houses. While raising over $180,000 (to date) for local and global organizations, for Margaret it was about offering a supportive environment for reclaiming and honoring each person's voice, an opportunity to promote harmony as a group, and an expression of hope for the wider world. For her contribution to the community through Spirit's Call, Margaret was a recipient of the YMCA Women of Distinction Award in 2011.
By her wide and diverse circle of friends, Margaret will be remembered for her boundless energy, her unbridled enthusiasm, and the depths of her loving and generous spirit. She simply lit up the room with a style and flair all her own. A person of many passions, she delighted in world travel while remaining a loyal participant in the local arts scene including live theater, film, concerts, the Folk and Fringe Festivals, art exhibits, and the ballet. A self-proclaimed "foodie", Margaret frequented local restaurants, showing up with equal ardor at the tables of her friends who never entertained a more eager diner. Always up for an adventure, Margaret could be counted on to pack the essentials for providing margaritas on the excursion. The pleasure she took in the physical world was matched only by her devotion to her spiritual path, inspiring her participation in and commitment to workshops and sojourns led by the Way of the Heart. Margaret savored every aspect and season of her life, facing her long struggle with cancer with amazing heart, courage and grace.
Nothing meant more to Margaret than the people she loved: her daughter Minna Louise Tobin Goulet, the light of her life; her brother Stephen Tobin of Vancouver, B.C.; the cherished Basement Girls (you know you are); her fellow choir members; The Way of the Heart community; and her many close friends whom she treated and regarded as family. We will keep Margaret's memory alive by holding her close in spirit, her song remaining forever in our hearts.
Margaret's family and friends wish to express deep gratitude for the wonderful care provided by Cancer Care of Winnipeg, the Riverview Palliative Unit, and the staff of Grace Hospice.
A Celebration of Life will be held at The Gates on Sunday, January 11th, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations made be on-line at umanitoba.ca/giving to the Margaret Tobin Bursary for Single Parents in Social Work (204 474 9195), or to a charity of your choice.