Vale Fergus Thomson OAM:

Surf Life Saving NSW is saddened at the passing of Life Member and former Eurobodalla Mayor, Fergus Thomson OAM, who lost his battle with cancer last week.

Mr Thomson was a popular and valued member of the wider lifesaving community, but he always reserved a special love for the Far South Coast, and his club Moruya, where he volunteered for decades during his long involvement in Surf Life Saving.

Mr Thomson joined Moruya SLSC in 1961, gaining his Bronze Medallion in 1962. Throughout his years at the club he sat on numerous committees, was a surf sport competitor and a keen patrol member.

He served as Patrol Captain and Vice President among other positions, and was made a life member of Moruya in 1974.

At branch level he was delegate to NSW for 17 years, served as President from 1984-88 and was on the George Bass Surfboat Committee eight times.

He also acted as Branch Team Manager and was made a Branch Life Member in 1989.

Mr Thomson was an advocate for country clubs and cared passionately about Surf Life Saving at both branch and club level. He was elevated to NSW Life Membership in 1994.

Apart from his involvement in Surf Life Saving, Mr Thomson demonstrated what it meant to be community-minded. Throughout his life he wore many hats, but was always interested in serving his community and this was reflected in his public life.

As a farmer and the son of the longest serving Mayor of Eurobodalla Shire, Mr Thomson gained an early lesson in the importance of community.

In 2004 he entered local politics and was elected to council. He served as Mayor for 18 months before he was popularly elected in 2008 and served another four-year term in the top job. Mr Thomson continued to serve on the council throughout his illness.

He cited his father as a major influence in his life during a wide-ranging interview he gave to local media in January this year after receiving the Order of Australia Medal.

“I love the community and I think that is the only reason you could ever go into local government. If you didn't enjoy it and you don't enjoy working with people you wouldn't do it - you couldn't do it,” he reflected earlier in 2015.

“There's nothing better than to walk down the street in Moruya or Batemans Bay or somewhere and seeing all my friends, and people you've actually been able to help - that's the reward”.

Surf Life Saving NSW offers our deep condolences to the Thomson family, colleagues, friends, club mates and the Eurobodalla community at this difficult time.

Photograph: Councillor Fergus Thomson in an official portrait

Source: Eurobodalla Council

Tue 28 Jul 2015