Richmond lost a community pillar in late December with the passing of Morri-Lynn Buchanan following a short fight with cancer.
A dance instructor of great repute, she taught hundreds if not thousands of children over the last 25 years.
“I have never met anyone like her, and I know that she has touched the lives of so many people throughout Richmond and the Lower Mainland,” said Wendy Leung, whose daughter was one of Buchanan’s students for more than a decade at Thompson Community Centre.
“I cannot put into words how much of an impact she has had and what a special person she was,” Leung said. “My daughter was having challenges and dance brought her confidence and helped with mobility. I will be forever grateful to have known Morri-Lynn.”
Buchanan, who was nominated for an Ethel Tibbits Women of Distinction Award in the arts category in 2004 (at the same time her daughter Fiona was nominated for an award in the youth category), epitomized humility.
“She did most of her work quietly,” said longtime Thompson Community Centre board member Julie Halfnights.
Buchanan worked for most of Richmond’s community associations as well as for the Richmond Society of Community Living and other groups. But, said Halfnights, she did much more than simply teach dance.
“Dance instructor doesn’t even come close to summing up her impact. She was a tireless advocate for, learner about, and translator of dance for people of all abilities. She had a love of dance that was contagious and dedicated her life to teaching, mentoring, adapting and supporting performances by her students.”
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Dec. 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at South Arm United Church, 11051 No. 3 Rd. (at Steveston Highway).