On the 6th of September, 2013, Tom (Terry) Sawyer joined all his shipmates who crossed the bar before him. For fifty years, the Royal Canadian Navy was his life and he passed through the ranks to Chief Petty Officer. In his years of service, he was a chief electrician, communicator, ship's diver, submariner, rifle team instructor, and Bisley shot. On 'civvie' street, he continued his submarine service as captain of the Auguste Piccard, a deep submergence vehicle operating as a survey vessel and geophysical exploration tool for Horton Maritime Explorations, Ltd. of North Vancouver, BC.
Born in 1926, Tom joined the RCAF in 1941 and transferred to the RCNVR in 1942. He was honourably discharged in 1947 and enlisted in the RCNR in 1949 at HMCS Donnacona in Montreal. One year later, he volunteered for service in Korea before transferring to the RCN in 1951. During his years of naval service, he served on HMC Ships WARRIOR, SWANSEA, SIOUX, LA HULLOISE, MAGNIFICENT, PRESTONIAN, NOOTKA, NEW WATERFORD, and ASSINIBOINE; HM Submarines ANDREW, ALCIDE, and AENEAS; and HMC Submarine OJIBWA.
Tom released from the RCN in 1972, transferring to the Supplementary Reserve. Post-retirement, he worked on the restoration of a Swordfish aircraft at CFB Downsview and the restoration of electrical systems on HMCS HAIDA. He also volunteered at the Oakville Humane Society and held life memberships in CANSUBRONONE C&PO's Mess, CFB Halifax WO & Sgt's Mess, and HMCS Discovery's C&PO's Mess. He is survived by his wife, Laine Ruus, and four children.
Tom certainly led a remarkable life, and capped it off nicely by writing his own epitaph: