LESLIE GARTH THOMAS June 8, 1935 – August 29, 2012
Garth Thomas arrived in Huntsville on July 1st, 1958 responding to the call of Norris MacKenzie who had just recently opened the airwaves of Muskoka-Parry Sound with the sounds of CKAR radio. Garth (The Toms, or Shotsie) became the voice of radio in Huntsville for the next fifty years, acting as station manager, sports director and for over thirty years as a close associate of Santa Claus. The unique voice of Garth Thomas became the most familiar voice in the community as he made sure every young child in the community who had a successful moment on the sports field heard their name on the radio the next day. Garth carried this same care and concern for our young athletes to the Huntsville Forester where he became sports editor and later overall editor of Huntsville's community newspaper for approximately 15 years.. Through his efforts at both CKAR and the Huntsville Forester, Garth was a tireless promoter of Huntsville and the Districts of Muskoka and Parry Sound. It was only natural that he be appointed general manager of the Muskoka tourism office in Gravenhurst. In 1988, Garth Thomas was appointed Returning Officer with Elections Canada for the federal riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka, a position he held until 1995, overseeing two successful federal elections and one national referendum. Socially Garth Thomas was a presence in the community, serving as President of the Huntsville Rotary Club for a term and was a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellowship Award, one of Rotary's highest honors. Garth Thomas could also be found playing key roles in all of the communities' major Rotary Club Broadway shows and Rotary reviews as well as in local plays directed & written by Stina Nyquist. Garth Thomas was also a long time member of the Royal Canadian Legion Brach 232, Huntsville. In recent years Garth Thomas has been inducted into the Huntsville Sports Hall of Fame as a builder, the Town of Huntsville Parks & recreation committee recently named the sound booth in the Jack Bionda Arena "the Garth Thomas Booth" in recognition of his many hockey and lacrosse broadcasts, and with the arrival of the Winter Games Olympic Torch, Garth Thomas was one of twenty five Huntsville citizens' honored by the Town of Huntsville. With his arrival in 1958, Huntsville not only became home to Garth Thomas but Huntsville and Muskoka/Parry Sound became his family as well. Garth Thomas leaves behind all his friends and listeners as his immediate family, he loved them all so very much.
The following short biography was writen by Garth's long-time friend Michael Greaves.