Jan Sunday 29 2006
Mike Thomason a valued team member retired from the team today in preparation to start a career almost immediately with the British Army.
Mike joined the team as a seventeen year old in April 1994, and has given steadfast support to the team as an operational member ever since, taking on the Team council role of Fundraising Officer for a number of years before going “back to the ranks.”
As Fundraising Officer Mike introduced to the team our Toner Cartridge recycling appeal, which continues to be a big money raiser for us as well as consolidating and building upon existing team fundraising initiatives.
Whilst with the team Mike became a Minister of the Church following many years at Theology College, taking up a Church Ministers position in the local Horwich and Adlington areas.
Throughout his long and dedicated service within the team, Mike acquired a number of nicknames, early on it was “Buttons” after his habit of constantly pressing buttons and switches whenever we were daft enough to let him into the front passenger seat of a team Landrover !
“Sonic” came next, after he took a tumbling fall down a hillside on a team exercise, and somebody commented that he looked like the cartoon character “Sonic the Hedgehog” as he rolled headlong out of control down the hillside ! “Rescue Reverend” his third nickname needs no explanation ! Having said that we had to explain to a number of casualties that Mike was not present to read them their Last Rites at incidents, he’d merely responded direct from his Church duties to the Call Out still wearing his Vicar’s collar.
Mike’s ministerial background came in very useful at times in the team both sad and good. He’s conducted many a prayer for us on incidents when we’ve been dealing with deceased persons, which always helped enormously with coming to terms with what we had to deal with. He’s also led many a Dedication Service for items of team kit, including blessing our Landrovers, Team Base at Ladybridge Hall and our Control Trailer, (and next year he’s due to marry Team member Craig Lamb to Team Support Group member Johanne Bentley) as well as offering words of comfort and prayers to team members whenever they have had reason to need such.
Mike is off to join the British Army as a Chaplain in the Royal Army Chaplains Department, with his training due to take place at the Army’s Chaplaincy Centre and at Sandhurst, following which he is then due to be posted to Paderborn in Germany. Mike arranged for a farewell drink on Sunday evening 29th January at the Jolly Crofters Public House in Horwich, he turned up expecting just that, and so was very surprised when the great many Call Out list and Support Group members attending suddenly went quiet as Team chairman Tony McNally first gave out a short farewell speech, and then on behalf of the team presented Mike with a leaving card from all his colleagues in the team and a beautiful engraved glass tankard, inscribed with thanks for his service to Bolton MRT and a short line about accepting the Queen’s Shilling ! There was another presentation that shall not be mentioned, but we hope it sees him through his postings to come !
Team members & Support Group Members bid a fond farewell to Mike.
The whole team wishes Mike and his wife Susan all the very best in his future career as an Army Chaplain, may all his postings be safe ones and may his God look after him. Good Luck Mike from all your friends at Bolton MRT.