A former Kaikoura Meteorologic Office staffer who always considered Kaikoura home is to be remembered with a fitting tribute and service on July 1.
Tom Plane lived in Kaikoura from 1963 through until the mid 1980s, working as officer in charge at the Kaikoura MET office.
Together with his wife Zita and their three children they lived all those years in Torquay St.
Tom was always deeply involved in community activities, a firm believer in the rightness of good citizenship.
He always felt everyone was obligated to contribute something for the betterment of the wider community modelled this during his time in Kaikoura.
Serving on school committees including the Kaikoura District High School PTA for many years, Tom always made himself readily available to speak to various community organisations about the complexities and challenges of weather forecasting.
But it was perhaps his dedication to the drama club where he made his greatest and most enduring contribution. Tom loved the drama club and he can certainly be credited with enabling it to flourish markedly during the years of his leadership of it.
Tom and Zita left Kaikoura with very mixed feelings. Although they went on to settle for varying periods of time in other parts of New Zealand and in Australia, neither ever forgot their deep and abiding love for Kaikoura.
Tom remained a regular subscriber of the Kaikoura Star up until his passing in July 2011. Over the years he was in touch with Kaikoura friends from time to time and he was always enthralled by stories or news of old friends from "his" Kaikoura.
Tom passed away in Brisbane at his home of the past 25 years on July 31, 2011, after a short illness. His last wishes were for his ashes to be returned to his beloved Kaikoura.
Out of respect for his wishes and a desire to create a lasting memorial to Tom, his family have also gifted a beautiful named memorial seat dedicated to his memory to the people of Kaikoura.
With support from Mayor Winston Gray the seat will be installed in a site befitting his memory and in keeping with the beautification plans of the council.
On July 1, almost on the anniversary of Tom's passing, his memorial seat will be blessed by longstanding family friend the Bishop of Nelson, Rt Reverend Richard Ellena, during a short memorial service for Tom to be held at St Peter's Church at 2pm.
His old friends and acquaintances are warmly invited to attend and to meet up with his former wife Zita and others of Tom's family.
- © Fairfax NZ News