Vale Jack Thomas

Funeral lily

Pharmacy academic and former consulting editor of the AJP Dr Jack Thomas has passed away

Dr Jack Thomas OAM died peacefully surrounded by family on Monday at a high care nursing home in Sydney where he was a resident.

Dr Thomas had been living with Lewy Body dementia – a type of dementia that shares symptoms with both Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease – for a number of years, but did enjoy relatively good health until he had a fall at the nursing home 10 days ago.

He is survived by his wife Barbara, daughters Pam and Karen, grandchildren Mark and Ian and three great grandchildren—Lara, Olivia and Cooper. He was 89 years old.

Former Chairman of the Australian Pharmaceutical Publishing Company (APPco) Board of Directors John Coppock paid tribute to Dr Thomas and his contribution to the profession.

“I met him in his early days, when he started at Sydney University at the Pharmacy School,” said Mr Coppock. “Being an academic and also part of the worldly scene was not an easy thing to do in those days, but Jack did it very well.

“He started the [PSA’s] offshore conferences, of course – that was very innovative and enticed people to continuing education in a very pleasant way, and of course now it’s grown to the big event it is today.

“Jack was a forward thinker, he was always very hard-working, very friendly and very much supported by his wife – they were a good couple.

“He put a lot back into pharmacy. To have the amount of initiative he did, to think of the ideas he did, was great – we need people like that.

“He came from England, of course, and he was a good import to Australia. A very nice man, a good fellow and I couldn’t speak more highly of Jack.”

PSA National President Dr Shane Jackson said Dr Thomas was a “true gentleman” and pioneering pharmacist who was popular among his peers.

“After first qualifying as a pharmacist in 1951, Dr Thomas enjoyed a distinguished career in pharmacy as a leader, forward thinker and hard-working pharmacist,” Dr Jackson said.

“He became a legend in the profession – and helped to start PSA’s Offshore Conferences which was an innovation at the time and a new way of looking at CPD.

“Of course, his legacy lives on with the popular Jack Thomas trophy clinical quiz, which is an annual highlight of the conference and always gets people talking and networking.”

Digital editor at the Australian Journal of Pharmacy Megan Haggan said that Mr Thomas’ contribution to APPco and the journal had been very significant.

“The sheer amount of knowledge he brought to APPCo was an invaluable asset, and he was a tireless worker – he was immensely passionate about pharmacy and it was a privilege to work with him,” she said.

The funeral will be held at Macquarie Park Cemetery, Camellia Chapel, 11 December at 1.30 pm, with a wake to follow at Banksia Functions Rooms.

Flowers and letters of condolence should be sent to: Barbara Thomas, unit 72, Willandra Village, 81 Willandra Road, Cromer, NSW 2099.

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  1. cathy beckhouse

    So sorry to hear this. I remember Jack well from uni & then with his involvement in the PSA Offshore conference. He was a giant in the pharmacy world. I hadn’t realised that he had been unwell. Condolences to Barbara.

  2. William

    Jack was such a nice chap along with some of his colleagues of similar vintage as well as academically. He was always the life of the party in the social situation. Time is catching up with his generation.

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