I first met your Dad at Aston University about 27 years ago…….he greeted me with ‘Hello mate!’ each and every time I saw him from that first time to the last time which was in the security line at Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport on 8th November last year; we laughed like schoolboys, talked about you and my three children, your Dad messed about (in a nice way) with the security staff making little jokes and small talk, and we finally got through the security process leaving smiles on the faces of the staff and other travellers. I was laughing so much I managed to lose my belt and had to buy another one which is not a cheap exercise at T5 – your dad thought this was hilarious. He headed off to the lounge to put together a presentation for his meeting the following day in Johannesberg and guess what – he bumped into another old mate in the lounge and I am sure put a smile on their face too!
Your Dad came golfing with a few of us to Spain a couple of times over the years to enjoy some winter sunshine, very average golf, some laughs as well as catching up on events with everyone, reminiscing over the past, and creating a few more stories while we were there. Your Dad hit an absolute peach of a shot from the fairway to the 7th green but we heard it hit a tree (a shot known as a squirrel) and then couldn’t find it for looking until your Dad spotted it embedded in the tree trunk – see photo! We cried with laughing watching him trying to take his next shot!
I want you to know that your father Chris was an absolute one of a kind. Intelligent, funny, caring, enthusiastic, principled, gregarious, down to earth and would light up any room he walked into. He squeezed more ‘life’ into each month than most people including me can fit into each year. He made a hugely positive impact on each and every person he came across and each encounter with your Dad was always truly memorable.
I am honoured to have known your Dad and to have considered him a mate. Grow up knowing that he was the best of men and make him proud each and every day.
Love from Mike, Claire, Jack, George & Jessica Thomas