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Craig William. THOMAS Obituary
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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

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Preview Entry
Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed. Legacy.com reviews all Guest Book entries to ensure appropriate content. Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling.

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January 3, 2018
Tribute by Paul Buckingham
Sadly, we are all here to farewell Craig Thomas, a man who has left us much too early.
I am proud to call Craig my friend. He was reliable, honest, trustworthy, kind-hearted, generous with his time and a solid friend. My wife describes him as a real gentleman.
There are many things I am thankful to Craig for. I came to Australia in 1979, not knowing anyone. I was involved with Rotaract in Invercargill, and sought out a club that my starter-wife and I could attend. I met Craig initially at the Lindfield club, and then when I moved on to Chatswood. Craig and I quickly became friends. He stood out among the crowd, not only because he was tall, but because he was so welcoming. He made me feel at home.
During these early years in Australia, I stayed at the Thomas home with Craig for around 3 months while Mr and Mrs T were on holidays. Again, I was made to feel welcome almost part of the family.
Most importantly for me, Craig introduced me to my wife Gail, something for which I will be eternally grateful. He was best man at our wedding, as I was at his. I still remember his speech at the reception
I remember the camping trips with Rotaract, one of which (before I met him) resulted in a badly broken ankle that went on to cause him a lot of grief, especially in his latter years. Some of the more memorable camps were at Gerringong, where I met Gail, one in Robertson in the Southern Highlands, a combined club camp at Castle Mountain near Wisemans Ferry, and the canoe trip down the Shoalhaven River with Craig paddling a surf-ski.
In the following years, we had several family holidays with Craig and his daughter, Alana, to whom Craig was devoted and extremely proud. Some of these holidays took us on his late father's boat in Pittwater, to Jindabyne skiing, and to Lake Macquarie. There were some evolutions along the way notably with Craig's sleep apnoea. Those of you who have been camping with Craig may remember his snoring loud enough to rattle windows. The acquisition of a CPAP machine was a godsend to not only his camp-mates, but especially to Craig, who was able to finally get full nights sleep uninterrupted.
Craig could appear intimidating because of his size, but in reality he was a gentle giant. He came to our son Alister's 16th birthday party at our home, when Alister had invited around 400 of his closest friends most of whom turned up. Craig assumed the role of bouncer. I'd have to say that the fact that we managed to get through the night with no problems was due in part to Craig simply putting his hand on the shoulder of any potential trouble-maker and suggesting that he calm down. No arguments.
Craig was involved in Scouting, as a cub-scout leader with the Lindfield group, and then later with the water activities base. While our paths didn't cross much in the scouting world, I know how much effort is required to make the contribution that Craig did.
While we hadn't remained in close contact over the last few years, we did catch up from time to time, Craig visited us last time a few months ago. He was always in our minds, and we had planned to call him to catch up again early in the new year. One message I would like to make in closing please keep in touch with those you are close to. It's too late once they are gone.
Craig, farewell. You have been a good friend and you will be missed.