H Colin Thomas (1947-2007)
Colin joined the Department of Zoology at the University of Wales, College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, as Cardiff University was known then, as a member of technical staff in October 1965. After completing his training he became more involved in practical teaching support and during the 1970s and 1980s he was responsible for supporting a programme of student-led interactive teaching. Far ahead of its time, and extremely challenging to the staff involved, Colin’s steady hand ensured that the enterprise was a total success.
At the formation of the School of Pure and Applied Biology, Colin continued his involvement with practical teaching support and took an active role in building a technical support team needed to service the wide range of School practical classes and field courses. He became Head Technician of teaching support in 1990 and continued in this role until the formation of the School of Biosciences in 1999. The team-work based model of technical support for practical teaching, which he helped to create, was used in the new School to involve all teaching laboratories including, for the first time, the School’s Dissecting Room. He continued to lead the group until his death on Wednesday 21st April 2007, following a short illness.
Colin will be remembered for his quiet style of management, leading by example with confidence backed by a wide range of technical knowledge and skills. Moreover, he was a very approachable individual — for him, no task was too much trouble to perform. It is no exaggeration to say that colleagues and students alike regarded him as a friend.
Colin will be very sadly missed, and our thoughts are with his wife and family.