Honoured by Members of Living Fit from the Inside Out Women’s Club
Hariett Madigan is truly an amazing woman of our time who cares passionately about her family, her friends, and the City of North Bay that she calls home. Born in Sudbury in 1947, she is the daughter of Bill and Marie Johnson, twin sister to Herb, and younger sister of Bonnie. At age 13, the Johnson family moved to North Bay where Hariett immediately felt at home, and her love for the city and its environment took root.
While still in high school, Hariett met the love of her life, Lee Madigan. Their relationship continued when Hariett went on to post secondary education at Laurentian University and Lee began his career with the Ontario Provincial Police. The couple was married in 1970 at the Pro Cathedral in North Bay.
Hariett chose teaching as her career, and worked in classrooms at all levels, while at the same time raising the couple’s three children, Sean, Christian and Sheri.
When Lee was posted to Gogama, a remote area in Northern Ontario, Hariett packed up the family and embraced her new community. The nearest grocery store was an hour away so, to ensure the family ate good nutritious meals, Hariett planted her own garden and lovingly tended the vegetables and fruits that grew. While there, she also found the time to start a community newspaper.
Four years later, the family moved back to North Bay and Hariett resumed her teaching career. A testament to their wonderful mother, the Madigan children recall that there was always a healthy cooked breakfast waiting before Hariett left for work and they went off to school. Despite their busy lives, both parents were always there for the children, and Hariett is described as the glue that still holds the family together.
After years of teaching grade school, Hariett chose to make a change and moved on to Adult Education where she taught for another 10 years. During that time, she felt that it was important to integrate fitness into her program, and in 1996, after making the decision to retire from formal teaching, her passion for fitness turned into a new career.
Living Fit from the Inside Out became a full time venture in the fall of 1996 with a membership of 100 women. The group met Monday through Thursday, with an optional weight training session on Fridays. During this time, members would take walks along the waterfront, and Hariett lamented the neglected state of the shrubbery. Never one to back down when something needed to be fixed, Hariett took her ideas to beautify the waterfront to City Hall, and along with Bonnie Cappadocia, Master Gardener, she co-founded The North Bay Heritage Gardeners, co-chaired Communities in Bloom with Wanda Wallace and founded the Community Waterfront Friends organization, which lead to the proposal for Community Waterfront Park on the former rail lands.
Over the years, Living Fit from the Inside Out has expanded to a membership of over two hundred. Hariett believes passionately in providing an environment where women can improve their health, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually also. The group hosts speakers from all walks of life, raises funds for charities, and travels extensively. Holding a passionate belief that everyone has a gift, Hariett has built a wonderful fellowship of women who provide companionship, strength, and support to one another.
During the summer, Hariett and Lee love nothing more than to spend time with their family at the cottage on Hemlock Island. They are now blessed with several grand-children, each one special in their own way.
Congratulations Hariett! You are a true inspiration.