Monday, 27 September 2021

Service held for Henley Rowing Club vice-president

DOZENS of people attended a candlelight thanksgiving service for former Henley Rowing Club vice-president Duncan Thomas

DOZENS of people attended a candlelight thanksgiving service for former Henley Rowing Club vice-president Duncan Thomas.

Friends, relatives and club officials filled the pews at St James? Church in Bix and many had to stand in the aisles or at the back.

The hour-long service was conducted by the Rev Brendan Bailey, vicar of St James?.

Mr Thomas? brother Julian told the congregation: ?Duncan was a wonderful brother and a friend. He was a wonderful father and, dare I say, a wonderful husband.

?He had a strong Christian spirit and would never pass by on the other side if work was needed or people needed help. He will be greatly missed and your attendance today indicates that this is a fact.?

Family friend Danny Hall said: ?What qualities did Duncan possess? He was thoughtful, engaging, thorough, conscientious, steadfast and, of course, fun ? great fun.

?He took his roles in life very seriously and gave everything a great deal of thought, whether as a son, father, husband, uncle, grandfather or as a loving friend. He was a great contributor to the community.?

The service included the hymns Praise, My Soul, The King Of Heaven and The Lord?s My Shepherd and concluded with Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer.

It was followed by a reception at Bix Manor.

Mr Thomas, who moved to Henley in 1969 and served the rowing club for more than 30 years, died, aged 75, on November 11.

He coached junior rowers and linked the club with Project Oarsome, a nationwide scheme to promote youth rowing, more than a decade ago. He would go to the Piggott School in Wargrave and teach pupils how to use an ergo, which inspired many to join the club.

He later moved to Middle Assendon and oversaw the £245,000 restoration of St James?, which was completed last year.

He is survived by his wife Cherry, children Nancy, Rachel and Ben and six grandchildren.

Donations in Mr Thomas?memory can be made to the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed, which cared for him in his final weeks, or St James? Church via funeral directors Tomalin & Son in Reading Road, Henley.

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