Beloved cou­ple mourned

Clutha Leader - - FRONT PAGE - MARY-JO TOHILL

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.

SUP­PLIED

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.

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