Thursday, June 23, 2005

Bill Mears

I was shocked and saddened to hear that our friend Bill Mears passed away suddenly this week of an apparent heart attack.

Bill was a very energetic and enthusiastic iaidoka. He had a genuine passion for iai, and particularly koryu, that was contagious. It was Bill, I believe, who got Kim Taylor and Goyo Ohmi connected with Matsuo Haruna Sensei at an English iaido seminar, thus paving the way for regular instruction in Ontario and helping to build Canadian iaido from a small group to the hundreds of participants we have today.

One of the top iaidoka in Canada, Bill was always ready and willing to help beginners. He was a very large and imposing figure standing at about 6 foot 5, and he had many tips and pointers for me about how to perform what he called "big man's iaido". He had a devilish sense of humour, but he also had an admirable, gentlemanly air about him. "Kigurai" or the dignity of iaido was very important to him and he always conducted himself with great dignity.

After iaido practice last night, I toasted your memory, Bill. You will sadly missed.


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