Four years ago, we were in need of a new apprentice. The gang at Auto Check is a close knit, smooth working team. We were very fortunate to find and hire Thomas into our fold. At the time we met, he was a 1st year heavy duty apprentice working in a camp in Alberta. His heart was on the Island and his passion was cars, so it did not take much to convince him to work with us in Nanaimo. Our “Bacon Friday” tradition was the icing on the cake for him. With no hesitation, he accepted the job and jumped in his truck to dash to Alberta to collect his tools and be back to start work ASAP.
It was the beginning of a mutually enjoyable relationship. Thomas was a little gangly, a little goofy but eager to learn and tackle any task. Perpetually cheerful and helpful, he was never out of sorts or unhappy. Outside of the regular 8 to 5 he took on mechanical challenges not just for necessity but for fun. He truly loved what he did, and it showed in his ever growing expertise. Over the years we have had many apprentices but none had ever displayed the promise and potential like Thomas. The invitation to compete at Skills Canada and how well he did was validation in our belief in his brilliant expertise. Losing him was a tragedy for the industry, but as a personal loss, it has been devastating.
With his family and the bulk of his friends in Courtenay, his work mates created much of his social life in Nanaimo. Together with the guys from work, he enjoyed fun going fishing, motorcycle riding, running RC cars or just hanging out.
His sudden death February 3rd, 2019 feels so tragically wasteful. Our hearts will forever have a place for Thomas. We are grateful for the time we had together, but he will long be mourned and missed.