VALE HERBERT (BERT) THOMPSON
17 March 1934 — 3 March 2023
Gold Coast Table Tennis is saddened to announce the passing of Life Member
Bert Thompson on 3 March 2023 aged 88.
Born in Bolton, Lancashire, England on the 17th March 1934, Bert grew up in Bolton where he
went to technical college and did his apprenticeship as an electrical engineer. His first job
in 1949 at the age of 15, was as an electrical fitter at a local electrical company in Manchester.
At the age of 22, Bert joined the Merchant Navy as an electrical engineer, cruising on several
cargo ships. He remained on the ship until he got married to his late wife Kath. Bert left the
merchant navy in 1960 and returned to Manchester to work at his previous firm as a
Draughtsman until 1966, when Bert and Kath decided to move with their 2 children,
Steven, 6, and Helen, 3, to Christchurch, New Zealand at the age of 32.
In Christchurch, Bert managed to get a job as a Draughtsman at the N.Z. Electricity Department.
He was with the NZ Electricity Dep for almost 28 years, rising in the ranks from
Senior Draughtsman, Senior Designer Draughtsman, to Asst. Chief Draughtsman.
Then he was approached by then Chief Engineer at a local power company, and for almost 10 years was in charge of the drawing office.
Bert retired at the age of 68, and moved to the Gold Coast with Kath in 2002.
From a young age, sport was a big passion for Bert, playing soccer and cricket competitively. His table tennis journey started in his early years in Bolton at Youth Clubs and Y.M.C.A. In N.Z. he started playing fixtures at the age of 35 and played in the Christchurch A-grade for a number of years, representing Canterbury in the age events. Upon moving to the Gold Coast, Bert started playing fixtures in 2002 in A Reserve, and played a few seasons in the A-grade, before finishing in what is now Div 2.
Not long after Bert started playing on the Gold Coast, he joined the Club Committee, where he served for 11 Years, including a stint as Vice-President in 2007, and was awarded GCTTA Life Membership in 2009.
Bert was a great ambassador for the Club. For a long time, he was a one man welcoming committee for new players, particularly on Saturdays when he was on duty. If a new player came in looking for a hit he'd greet them with a smile and then go and hit up with them, often foregoing his own social hit up time - there was never a rush to finish.
He was also one of the stalwarts when it came to helping run fixtures, tournaments, scoring matches, helping with the canteen sales, basically whatever was needed.
Thank you for your contribution to Gold Coast Table Tennis - you (and your sense of humour) will be missed!
GCTTA extends our condolences to Bert’s family.