Tributes pour in for former mayor Sid Thomas
SID Thomas, a man who has enriched many different aspects of West Cornwall life, has died following a long illness, at the age of 68.
A former mayor of Marazion, commodore of Mount's Bay Sailing Club, Marazion School governor, refectory manager at Penwith College, football referee and, latterly, a great supporter of the Cornish Pirates and Penzance-Newlyn RFC, Sid's passing has drawn tributes from a wide spectrum of former colleagues and friends.
Educated at Penzance Boys' Grammar School, he joined the Light Infantry before returning to Cornwall to help with the family hotel in Marazion.
He then completed a catering course at Camborne Technical College before teaching catering there; later, he moved to Penwith College, taking overall charge of the refectory before retiring in 2010.
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Married to Clare, with whom he had three children – Nicola and twins Brett and Steven – as well as six grandchildren, Sid had many interests outside his work.
He served as a Marazion town councillor from 1995, being elected mayor in 2001. Current mayor Derek Laity said: "Councillor Thomas was a man who had strong opinions, who wasn't afraid to speak his mind and stood up for what he believed in.
"He was a hardworking and dedicated councillor, who always had the best interests of Marazion in his heart and worked tirelessly to make the town a better place to live.
"He will be greatly missed by all of his fellow councillors and he is a great loss to the council and the community as a whole."
In his younger days he played football for Marazion before becoming football referee, earning widespread respect and affection from local players for the sympathetic way he ran the game.
Although not a sailor, he was a long-time member of Mount's Bay Sailing Club, helping out on the safety boat, serving on the committee and acting as the club commodore for three years at the start of the millennium.
In later years he was very much involved with the Cornish Pirates and Penzance and Newlyn Rugby Club, serving respectively as a director and chairman.
Phil Westren, the club's media liaison officer, said: "Sid will be remembered as having a welcoming and bubbly personality, and he also liked doing things for others to enjoy, as on occasions when he happily ran pre-season barbecues for Cornish Pirates players."
Several former Cornish Pirates, who have moved on to other clubs, have posted tributes – London Irish's Blair Cowan said he was a 'top guy' while hooker Dave Ward, now at Harlequins, said: "Sid was such a generous and loyal fan."
Clare, his wife of 46 years, said she would remember a busy life together but one that was full of friendship and variety.
"Things were always pretty hectic but we have made some great friends who have been brilliant to us," she said.
"He will be greatly missed by all his family and friends – nearly every one of the many condolence cards I've received has a personal memory about Sid written inside it."
The funeral will take place at Marazion Chapel at 11am on Saturday, October 5.