Cruising Division stalwart and Seattle Exchange organiser, Rhys Thomas, has sadly sailed off into the sunset away from this world at 93 years. He will be missed by his cruising friends as his yacht Ceres was well known. The first yacht was a 22ft which was a bit cramped for Mum, Dad and three kids. Rhys owned two more yachts before Ceres and obtained his coastal and ocean navigation certificates including celestial navigation which helped when he navigated a yacht on the return to NZ from Fiji. In 1993 he became Vice Commodore of RAYC. His widow, Annette, is living on Waiheke Island and surrounded by sons and daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Rhys was a popular civil engineer. His vocation began in Whangarei in the 1950s and he set up the use of pre-stressed concrete for bridges mainly in Northland. With his business partner Peter Fraser he started a consultancy in the 1960s and their clients were in Northland and the Far North. He set up branch offices in Kaikohe and Paihia and was a consultant to many local organisations and the Whangaroa county council. He designed innovative and affordable systems and those systems are still in use today.
Rhys and Annette spent their retirement by starting an olive orchard on Waiheke Island and of course sailing Ceres.
If you would like more information or if you would like to help research past history of RAYC please contact Marian Harkness on 09-431-6332 or email@example.com