I first met Tom when I was about 13 years of age… I don’t really remember the moment, but it would have been about that time. Tom was older than me but about 3 years and had a car! He had an AMC Gremlin – remember them? I didn’t know much about Tom or his family but I knew my Dad had taken an interest in Tom and was working behind the scenes to support him and encourage him in his faith.
In those days Scarborough Citadel had a great number of teenagers and I was on the younger side to most, in fact too many times I felt intimidated. I was still short, had a small build and felt like a little kid next to some of those guys. But Tom was about my height and he was fun to be around. The corps started a floor hockey team -the Scarborough Red Devils. Why we had that name I’m not sure, but my Dad was a big fan and made sure we had the equipment we needed. And he came to lots of the games which were just held in the basement of the corps building.
Our goalie for floor hockey was always Tom – and he had a reputation – don’t get too near the net if you want to keep your legs I was told. He was competitive too!
Because Tom was a severe diabetic there were doubts about his ability to manage the demands of being a Salvation Army officer but Dad went to bat for him and the next thing I knew he was off to CFOT to be trained. I still remember Tom showing up in his cadet’s uniform and we all wondered, was he AWOL? He was jovial and good-natured but he took his faith seriously.
Tom and I did not cross paths much in the years between then and when we came to THQ, but over the past ten years we’ve had time to reconnect and I’ve been pleased to see him work hard to make a difference in the lives of many.
Tonight we received word that he had been Promoted to Glory. After a brief battle in the hospital, he succumbed and went to be with the Lord. We are sad for Pat and the family but we rejoice in his life and are sure he heard this evening “well done, good and faithful servant, enter into your eternal reward”.