Tara Bowie was an award-winning Black Press journalist. Photo Facebook

Former Black Press journalist, killed in crash, was living her dream

Tara Bowie was on sabbatical from the news industry, and enjoying life

Just hours before she died on Friday, Nov. 6, Tara Bowie was literally living her dream.

She was kayaking, on a solo trip at a lake near Cawston, posting pictures of the view to her Facebook page and lamenting – as she usually did – that the fish weren’t biting.

This year, she’d repeatedly told her crowd, was the best of her life.

That ended at 8 p.m when she was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Highway 3.

The news shocked and deeply saddened family, friends and former newspaper colleagues across the country.

“Tara’s next big adventure was finding herself and living life to the fullest,” said her sister, Rhonda Carter.

Bowie was a Black Press journalist, editor of the Keremeos Review, and writer for the Similkameen Spotlight and Penticton Western News from 2014 to 2019.

She left the industry on sabbatical and spent that time taking huge, juicy bites out of life.

She travelled extensively, said friend Kim English, across the western provinces and abroad. Sometimes packing up her bags at the last minute and making up the itinerary as she went.

“She was an adventurer,” said English. “She wasn’t daunted by anything. If someone said, ‘Let’s go to the Yukon,’ at the drop of a hat Tara would say, ‘Yes, let’s go to the Yukon.’

“On a dime, she was ready for a road trip.”

English said Bowie fell “passionately and deeply in love” in B.C. after moving here six years ago from Ontario, where she last worked as a reporter for the daily Sentinel-Review in Woodstock.

The village of Keremeos felt her impact enormously.

In an interview on Nov. 9, fire chief Jordy Bosscha struggled for words to express how department volunteers, who were called out to the scene of her death, are trying to cope with the loss.

“She was always there to help us. She was always a supporter.”

Following the Keremeos area wildfires in 2018, Bowie organized an appreciation dinner for the firefighters, raising considerable funds for new equipment for the hall.

“I wanted to write something about Tara, but I’m not a wordsmith,” said Bosscha.

“When it is someone who was that close to us there are just so many emotions.”

Keremeos Mayor Manfred Bauer also had praise for the former editor.

“She was a warmhearted person, as a human being. And as a journalist, she always had an open mind and was fair.”

Her contributions to the community will be felt for years to come, he added, recalling it was Bowie who spearheaded a project to create and place banners along the main street, and who brought innovative, successful ideas to the Chamber of Commerce in her role as a director.

Bauer also spoke warmly of Bowie’s mother Nancy Birtch, whom he met several times when she visited from Ontario. During Birtch’s extended stays, her daughter usually took her along to the office on workdays.

When The Review office closed, Bowie worked from the Penticton Western News office. Her former editor Kristi Patton said she learned much from that opportunity.

“What I learned from Tara is that your value in life is not just defined by what you do as a career. We had many discussions about this after we both left the news business. Discussions about the difficulties that we, and many of our fellow journalists have, covering tragic situations. Discussions about how every accident, fire, court case etc. can leave a scar on you,” Patton wrote in a guest column for Black Press.

“I will forever be in remorse that I didn’t make more time to be around her shining light, the enormous energy and loud voice that was impossible to ignore in our newsroom. I will not forget the smile and the ear she offered even in the most stressful times.”

Hundreds of people have posted on social media, expressing their grief and admiration for Bowie.

They speak about her gift of empathy, and a heart the size of K-Mountain.

“Tara had the ability to genuinely enter people’s lives and circles of the community and form really deep friendships with people from all walks of life,” said English.

“She was super generous and curious, hilarious and thoughtful and incredibly tender-hearted.”

Bowie was a proud member of the LGBT community and made special efforts to connect with young people in that group.

“One of her most precious tokens was her rainbow ring and it was really important for her to wear that. The rainbow is a symbol of pride and she felt it was important, to let young people know that she was an ally,” expressed English.

Despite all the people in Bowie’s life her obituary, written by her sister, identifies her best friend as her dog Heddie.

Memorial services for Bowie are being planned in Ontario, and a private service will be held in the Similkameen Valley in the near future.

READ MORE: Former Black Press journalist killed in crash

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Ultra runner Jerry Hughes circles the track at the Cowichan Sportsplex as he nears the end of his six-day Canadian record attempt and fundraiser in November. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Ultramarathon a few miles short, but many dollars beyond its goal

Six-day run misses record bid, but Help Fill A Dream fundraiser a big success

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. Dr. Henry frequently reminds people that there are those people who cannot wear a mask for legitimate reasons and they don’t have to. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island woman reminds community that not everyone can wear a mask

People enforcing mask rules frequently ignore that possibility

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: City dismantling Wesley Street homeless encampment after fire

Fire broke out at about 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos ran the length of Vancouver Island, with the help of their van Pippi, raising more than $12,000 for 1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Greater Victoria pair finishes running length of Vancouver Island a day early

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos raised more than $12,000 for single parents

An electronic sign at the Tofino-Ucluelet junction notifies travellers heading towards Sutton Pass that closure windows are in effect Thursday morning. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Survey swirls up confusion around Tofino-Ucluelet highway closures

“The Highway 4 Kennedy Hill Project closure times remain the same for now,” ministry says

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

The notice at Port Hardy Secondary School’s athletic track. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
North Island school tracks closed to the public during school hours

To keep P.E. classes safe, the restriction went into effect Nov. 30

Some older Canadian currency will have its legal status removed at the start of the new year. (Pixabay.com)
Bank of Canada puts the boots to old bills

$1 and $2, $25 to $500 and $1,000 lose cash value Jan. 1, 2021

The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus driver shortage cancels routes in Sooke School District

More drivers needed to accomodate expanding bus routes amid pandemic

Most Read