Ian Tait’s last words: beloved Champlain teacher published posthumously

Ocean Francoeur
Staff Writer

"From where I sit The mountain’s shadow Follows the sun." - Ian Tait (1946-2005) Thirteen years after his passing, Ian Tait’s book of poetry, Haiku, will be presented to the public for the first time by his long-time friend Jan Draper. The launch coincides with the opening night of the Haiku Canada Conference, taking place on Friday, May 18 in Bandeen Hall on the Bishop’s University campus. “Ian was born out west in 1946, and he travelled a lot, but he always called the Townships home,” said Draper. “He was a loquacious guy, upbeat even when he was quite ill. He was a practical joker too, and obviously everyone around him kept trying to prank him back.” According to Draper, in the last five years of his life Tait struggled with sickness, and his condition worsened. “We didn’t talk about him dying,” she said. “It was the elephant in the room. He showed me a stack of papers filled with haiku poems and he asked me if I’d publish them when he was gone. I said yes.” Tait practiced tai-chi and Buddhism with his beloved wife, Ginette Bernard. They often took trips together to Asia. Ian’s beliefs and those trips, said Draper, inspired his book. See full story in the Tuesday, May 15th edition of The Record.