Deryck Ian Archer Thomson passed away peacefully on May 14 in Sidney, BC at age 92.
He leaves behind his wife Patricia; children Malcolm, Hilary and Christopher; grandchildren Daniel, Nicole, Allegra, Jesse and Justin; his sister Diana and her children Michael, Robin and Stephen.
Deryck was warm and gregarious, an interested listener, tireless worker, responsible provider and lover of a good laugh. With true Canadian spirit and a huge appetite for news, Deryck was an avid supporter of CBC radio. He took the pulse of Canada every day and loved a spirited debate on current events.
A sometimes gruff exterior belied a sensitivity and compassion for those less fortunate. A proud social worker, he was dedicated to achieving social justice, building strong communities, and meeting the needs of children and families.
Deryck grew up in Ontario. Born and raised in Fort William, he attended St. Andrew's College in Aurora where he excelled at sports and participated in a wide range of extracurricular activities.
During the Second World War, Deryck was seconded to the RAF where he served as a radar mechanic. He met Patricia on a radar station in England and they were married in Ireland in 1948. Returning to Canada that year, Deryck graduated with honours from the University of Western Ontario and in 1950 completed a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto. His career included executive directorships of the Family Services Bureau of London, Ontario; Family Services of Greater Vancouver; and the George R. Pearkes Centre for Children in Victoria, retiring in 1985.
Deryck's career accomplishments are many and he has received numerous awards and honours. He was instrumental in forming the BC Association of Social Workers and was its first president. He was especially proud of the Deryck Thomson Award presented annually by the Social Planning and Research Council of BC. As a volunteer, he supervised graduate students and contributed significantly to a variety of community projects.
Deryck was driven to realize change, guided by his personal motto, Nil Illegitimo Carborundum. His long and rich life has given us much to learn from and he will be fondly remembered by family, friends and colleagues.
At his request, there will be no memorial service. Those wishing to commemorate his life are encouraged to support Beacon Community Services.