Tom Drews: May 5, 1948 to March 27, 2019
Tom was not one for the spotlight, but often times the light would find him anyway. It seems he had this in common with the main character from his favorite movie: The Big Lebowski. And while Tom never wanted to be the center of attention, even in death, he would like to say farewell for now to those he cared about. For this there is no better medium than the Undercurrent, the local newspaper of Bowen Island, his home for more than 40 years.
Islanders may remember his happy, friendly and sometimes goofy face from the early morning ferries, the cross island walks he would share with his wife Claire, out fishing at one of the island’s lakes or golfing with his son Dustin, either at Gleneagles or the Bowen Island Golf Course. Most recently he learned the joys of being a grandparent to Avery, who appears to have inherited her Opa’s happy nature and sense of humour. Born in Germany and raised in Ontario, Tom found his true home on Bowen Island amongst the trees and in his garden.
Despite eventually settling into the quiet island life, Tom was not without his adventures. For example, hitchhiking first to Woodstock and then Hollywood in the ’70s with just $14 in his pocket. Luckily, he made friends with Jethro Tull and was able to board with them at their house, which happened to be an exact replica of the house from the TV show Bonanza. This is just one of many stories Tom had from his earlier “hippy” days.
Often seen at the River Rock Casino playing his favorite slots, Tom was quick to share a laugh or exchange stock advice with some of the casino staff members. Tom had a passion for the stock market that went back decades. As a good friend of Tom’s described, “he was a kind looking face across the gap of the floor in the gallery” back in 1970. Although he had a long career in the mining industry I’m sure Tom considered the market, at the very least, his full-time side gig.
Countless people will miss Tom, but he would not want anyone to focus on the sadness of his passing. Instead go out and hit some golf balls in his honour, play some slots (he would recommend the Buffalo machine) or just tell a joke. Be happy. Laugh. Try to appreciate each day and live it to the fullest.
The Dude in The Big Lebowski philosophizes that life is a series of “strikes and gutters.” In his life, Tom managed to bowl a darned good game.