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Gail Taylor (nee. MacLeod) was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1943. She completed school there, and started her career on a high-flying note – as a stewardess on Canadian Pacific Airlines. Unfortunately, bouts of motion-sickness cut that particular job short. So, she took a more administrative position in the company’s Vancouver office. In the early 1960’s, family friends introduced Gail to George Taylor, a Bowen resident. They quite liked each other, and were married sometime in 1965-66.
By the late ’60s, Gail moved out to Bowen with George, and started to volunteer with various projects there. George’s family, the Taylors, and their relations, the Dormans, were often involved in community projects. If something needed doing, it was the nature of Bowen at the time that everyone pitched in and helped out. Gail shared those sentiments, and was influential in the planning of the equestrian ring in Crippen Park, the sewer system in Snug Cove, and Bowen’s first preschool. She held positions on the Parks Board, as well as the Advisory Planning Commission.
In 1974, the Islands Trust put a freeze on creating lots smaller than 10 acres to prevent too much development in too short a time. Gail found 10 acres to be a large restriction, often preventing any development at all, and so she ran for Islands Trust representative on the platform of reworking the 10-acre freeze. She was Bowen’s first Islands Trust representative, and then the Greater Vancouver Regional District representative from 1986-1989.
Later in her life, Gail had great success in the real estate business. She was also an avid gardener, and had a garden so prolific that relatives have referred to it as a “jungle.” She was awarded Citizen of the Year in 1994, back when the title was still “Citizen for the Year.”
At the time, there was often controversy about what should be developed, and where, on Bowen. But people were always engaged with what was going on around them. Gail is remembered for always being able to find the right people to help with a job, and always being passionate about her community. We hope her story will inspire future islanders to get engaged with the community around them too.