Thomas William Gallot

11/17/02

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Thomas William Gallot & Ann Marie Guinness

Thomas, known to his family during his childhood as ĎTommyí, was born on January 30 1933.  (Named, perhaps after his grandmothers 'friend' Tommy Chaffers).

Following the death of his father, James, in 1936 and the family home burning to the ground in 38, Vera could not manage all 5 children.  Len, Bob and Tom were all sent to an orphanage in Killarney St, Takapuna, North Auckland, and Jean was sent to another orphanage elsewhere. In 1943, Vera and her new husband, Alec Grey, retrieved Tom and Jean, now 9 and 12 years old.  The two older boys were now at an age that they could fend for themselves.

 Life was still not easy for Alec and Vera.  Alecís brother was also living with them during this time and the brothers would frequent the local drinking establishments.  Alec soon accumulated many debts, and the family would often relocate at a moments notice to escape collection of these debts.

As soon as he was able Thomas moved out and joined the army, as well as a few other general labourer-type vocations.  The first few years that Thomas was in the workforce he would purchase things for Vera, for around the house.

 Tom became involved with a local cycling club and won many road races.  We can now only speculate that he may have made New Zealand selection if he had continued.  But at this stage in life he had other priorities.

 At age 18 Thomas headed south.  Working in Rotorua for a short time and then working in a number of different roles in Canterbury, such as British Pavements, Davis Gelatine and a sawmill, before settling in Golden Downs and beginning a career with the NZ Forest Service.

 Thomas later met and married Ann Marie Guinness, the daughter of Jack Cecil Guinness, a career Railways worker and 6th generation descendant of Arthur Guinness who founded the Guinness Brewery at St James Gate in Dublin, in 1759.  Ann was staying with friends from Dunedin, who were now running a local Hotel, which frequented by all the locals of the area, including Tom.

 They married and went on to have 4 children, Kathleen, Noel, Wayne and Gavin.

 Tom worked for the Forest Service until the late 80ís, when the government, under Prime Minister David Lange, privatised the service and he was made redundant.  At that time Tom began working as caretaker of the Area School at Tapawera until all the children had left home.  Ann and Tom moved to Nelson to be closer to Annís work at Berrymans stationary and office supplies, and Tom began work as caretaker of Manuka St private hospital.

 In the early 90ís Tom was diagnosed with fatal lung cancer and after a few years of illness he died on 21 June 1994.

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This site was last updated 11/17/02