Dr David Thom


As a kid I once asked my dad what was the highest smartest qualification a person could gain. He told me that it was a PhD. Then he casually revealed that he had one on the study of Sea Weed I thought sea weed was pretty silly, not to mention slimy, but I was still impressed. MY DAD WAS THE SMARTEST. He brought me up short by telling me HIS dad was smarter still, because he solved the Rubik cube using a scrap of paper and a pencil.

 He was a dreamer. But not only did he dream, he fought with buckets full of determination, his own flair, bloody hard work, and wry sense of humour. He achieved much more than he ever imagined he would. This working class boy from Perth moved on from playing football on the North Inch to the top of his chosen profession. He travelled the world and got to America just like he always wanted. I am curious about every corner of the globe because of his tales about sitting on his knees at a Japanese restaurant, climbing Aztec ruins in Mexico, or being soaked at Niagara Falls. He gave me my love for baseball, kept his promise to take me to Broadway and so much more besides.

He truly tried to do his best to make things right. I remember one time coming across a huge bunch of flowers on the side in his kitchen. He told me it was from “some guys at work he had to let go” … let me get this straight, you took their jobs and they sent you flowers. Huh? Turns out he’d worked for two weeks to find new positions for the whole team with a rival company.

 He was so proud. Not only of himself, and of me and my brother. He was proud of his brother E, his wife C and of My cousins G and L . He missed his parents so much. His grief was a burden he carried for the rest of his life. I hope he’s found them up there and he has peace.

Dad was a worrier. He used to worry all the time. And when there was nothing to worry about, he would worry that he’d missed something. … We still love you Dad, so stop worrying.

The last time my Dad was able to give me a proper hug, he held me oh so tight and so very quietly whispered “You are amazing.” He believed we were all capable of achieving whatever we set our minds to. He smiled at this four year old who said she was going to be an actress, and he was still smiling at this fourteen year old who said she’d win an Oscar too. He never said the words impossible/wouldn’t/shouldn’t/couldn‘t… I have a different dream now, but I still have a dream, and that’s what’s important to him.

There are plenty of things I could say about a man who somehow lost his way. There are many lessons his life can teach us but each of us here can figure those out without any help from me. I hope I reminded you of the man he was before all that. Underneath all that, because I know he cared deeply about the people in this room. And I bet, up there, always the businessman, he’s already putting in a good word and doing some wheeler dealering on all our behalves.

 My dad was always the speech giver; I’ve seen him do it at work, I’ve heard the stories about him stepping up as best man. He seemed to know just how to hit the nail on the head, to say what needed to be said and still have everyone chuckling with him OR at him. I don’t think he minded. I can just see his cheeky smile and the glint in his eye as he delivered his punch line. I never imagined that the first time my dad would watch me give a speech it would be here like this… I’m sorry dad there’s no punch line.