In Memory of Joan

Remembering Joan Bennell 

Deceased early hours of Thursday, November 14th 2019

Dear Joan,

You have crossed the threshold after a long struggle with so many health issues and loss of beloved family.  The grief of that alone would have put me under, but you mustered on as if you still had a mission in this life, caring for others, steering Astrology Toronto Inc. and responding to every call for help.

In some ways I feel that I have known you my entire life but in reality I only met you a few years ago when I became active on the ATI Board, first as a member-at-large and then as Treasurer.  We would encounter one another at astrology classes where I saw your passion for the subject and a commitment to supporting and spreading the word of this art/science in the Toronto area. Not only were you active with ATI, but also with CAAE (Canadian Association for Astrological Education) where you played many roles.

When I joined ATI you were President and the meetings were held at your house on Woodville Avenue.  Always the gracious host there was always plenty of food and drink to get us through the monthly time slot.   Joan put systems, order and accountability in the running of ATI that saw it post a healthy bank account and a climbing membership.  One could say she ruled with an iron fist in a velvet glove, but it has been to ATI’s benefit. 

You wore many hats with both organizations but eventually passed on the role of Treasurer to me.  I only mention this because I’m not an accountant, only a lowly bookkeeper.  I discovered that you had fine-tuned the record-keeping for ATI and the finances were in top shape.  It was like stepping into a well-ordered room: everything in its place and a place for everything.  It made the job easy and even enjoyable and you were always available to patiently guide me through the early days.

Not only were you hard-working and very smart, you had a warm heart and generosity that will surely be missed.  I think what I admired most about you is your unfettered love for your and Len’s families, especially your brother and his son.

We will miss you at ATI.  Personally I have already felt your absence.  In the Celtic world there isn’t such a great divide between this world and the “Otherworld” and so I leave you with this Celtic Blessing often given at the time of journeys:

Deep Peace

Deep peace of the running wave to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the gentle night to you
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you
Deep peace to you.

With warmth and love,
Anne-Marie MacDonell
Board Member ATI