SCHOOL TRIBUTE: Family and friends gather to unveil a plaque dedicated to Thomas Walker at North Bundaberg High School.
SCHOOL TRIBUTE: Family and friends gather to unveil a plaque dedicated to Thomas Walker at North Bundaberg High School. Paul Donaldson BUN270217TOM5

Ceremony held to remember Thomas Walker

"SIX-FOOT two and 100% natural”.

"That's how Tom described himself and that quote lives on in his sporting teams today who are wearing that proudly on their shirts,” Tom's rowing coach, Teressa Gibson said.

Taken too soon and missed by all, Thomas Riley Walker, 14, was commemorated by some of his closest friends and his school today.

Bundaberg North State High School held a ceremony where Tom's rowing coach, Teressa Gibson and school principal Ross Robertson highlighted not only the academic and sporting superstar he was but his spirit and infectious character.

A new award and plaque were revelled today in memory of Thomas.

Ross Robertson said Tom's strength of spirit is what set him apart, "it was a spirit of giving it a go no matter your level of success”.

"It's this spirit that was encouraging others to join in and it is the spirit that is an inspiration to all us,” Mr Robertson said.

"In other words, in fact in Tom's words, 'leave nothing in the tank'.

"In honour of this spirit, Tom's contribution to our school and in response to suggestions from his close friends, staff and students - a new Junior School Award sponsored by Tom's family, called the Thomas Walker Spirit Award will be established and presented on a n annual basis in October at the school's annual presentation night.”

Thomas passed away on December 17, last year after he was hit by a car on Moore Park Rd.

Thomas' parents, Roland and Anita Walker and his sister's Chloe, Brittany and Chelsea attended the ceremony and were given a book full of memories and photos created by the students at North.

"Tom was the sort of kid who had the golden touch,” Mrs Gibson said.

"He would try something new, like rowing, and after a few goes he would get it.

"He would push the limits in making it fun by putting on funny costumes, making people laugh and enjoying himself - that's what made him so likeable and is what made other people want to join in.”

Thomas was involved in rowing, surf league, swimming, football, athletics and the LEAP program for his strong academic results.

"Tom has contributed significantly to our school and has influenced us all, leaving us an inspirational legacy for us to honour and respect.



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