Tom passed away after a short battle with cancer on the night of November 5, 2021 with his dear family and close friends at his side.
Tom applied to join the Abbotsford Flying Club in February 2006. He had most of the usual reasons for wanting to join. Having recently obtained his private license, he had a continuing desire to learn from others, attend meetings, socialize with like-minded aviation enthusiasts etc., but he did not need to fly club aircraft because he already owned a half-share in a Beechcraft Musketeer hangered in Langley.
However, his particular skills as an accountant are what led him into accepting nomination as Treasurer, just a year and a half after being accepted as a member. The club needed his expertise. The Club’s finances were not in good shape, the bookkeeping and accounting had fallen far behind, annual reports and tax returns had not been filed, and in 2007 the airport took away ownership of both the clubhouse and hangar building. Tom worked hard to get things back on track. His efforts were central to making the hangars into a revenue generator for the club, and expanding from one to three buildings. This is what enabled the refurbishment of IUK, and set the Club up financially for further aircraft purchases. Later, Tom helped negotiate the long-term leases with Abbotsford Airport that the club now enjoys.
Tom was elected as Treasurer of the AFC seven times, and Board Director once. He also served a two-year term as Treasurer for the Abbotsford International Airshow Society. He continued to serve on the YXX Hangar Rentals Ltd. board, right up to the present.
Tom was rigorous in his approach to governance and finance, and very concerned that things be done correctly. He was also generous with his time, his expertise, and his money. He put huge amounts of time and effort into getting the AFC finances in order, and re-organizing the hangar operation. Tom had generously paid for bookkeeping services for the AFC for two years from his own pocket to ensure that financial matters were attended to correctly. He also donated filing cabinets for the flight room, chairs and the piano for the lounge. He personally recruited a number of other great members to the club. He twice played Santa Claus for the kids, arriving once by helicopter and once by motorcycle sidecar.
Tom was a fantastic asset to this club, and a great person. Tom was severely dedicated to the long-term health and future financial viability of the club. The club and its members will miss all the talents he brought to the club over the years.
Tom will be dearly missed by all who knew him.