Beloved couple mourned
The family and friends of Thomas Evans and Jenna Craig are gathering together at Balclutha on Monday to say goodbye to a beloved couple.
A combined service for Jenna and Thomas, who were killed when their plane crashed on a farm property near Kaka Point on Sunday, will be held at 11.30am at the Balclutha War Memorial Hall.
Grieving mum Julia Evans of Kaka Point takes comfort that the son she called Tom, 30, was doing what he loved, with the love of his life.
Julia was at Cannibal Bay, between Kaka Point and Owaka on Sunday morning, when she believes she saw his plane fly over, headed towards Owaka.
‘‘I waved. I’m sure it was Tom. I could see TJE [aeroplane] on the tail.’’
Minutes later his plane crashed. Aviation was in Tom’s his blood, she said.
‘‘My brother, Mark, visited us in New Zealand a few weeks ago and said how proud he was that Tom is flying, as he himself is a qualified pilot.
‘‘My father was a pilot in the [British Royal Navy] Fleet Air Arm during the war. He too would have been thrilled that Tom is flying.’’
Julia said a letter from Tom’s grandmother after his grandfather’s funeral in April 2001, summed up Tom’s kind nature.
‘‘Thomas, if you can continue to show the kindness and thought- fulness towards women – as you did me, then you will be admired always. Remember that.’’
He would have celebrated his birthday on Easter Monday. He is the much loved son of Derek Evans, and brother of Victoria Drummond.
His partner Jenna, 26, shared his spirit. In her death notice, her parents Anne and Gary said she was ‘‘adventurous, driven, courageous and passionate in every aspect of life’’.
They said she was best friend and soulmate of the late Tom.
Fonterra head of Farm Source for Otago/Southland Mark Robinson said Jenna was a technical sales representative for the company and had worked with them for nearly three years.
‘‘Jenna was young and dynamic and really talented.’’ The crash sent ‘‘shockwaves’’ through Balclutha, he said.
Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Mike Richards said the cause of the crash was yet to be identified.
Young Thomas Evans, in the pilot’s seat. He shared a proud aviation history with his English family. Insets: Evans and partner Jenna Craig were killed in a plane crash near Kaka Point on Sunday.