On August 3rd Thomas Hickenbottom lost his 6 year battle with cancer. He was a surfing icon and one of the first members of the O’Neill surf team. One of his favorite surf spots was Mitchells. He served two tours in Vietnam as a medic. Thomas’ memorial was held on the lawn in front of the Lighthouse Surf Museum. The lawn was full of flowers, a woody and tons of people who’s lives Thomas had touched. The people who spoke told stories of adventures, antic, courage, leadership, poetry, surfing, humor, inspiration and love. There was music, laughter and tears. Stickers were in stacks for anyone who wanted them, ‘What would Thomas do?’ and ‘Never forget Hicko’. Thomas’ wife and children welcomed hugs and kind words. After the memorial, many people paddled out to Cowells. The craft assist vessel brought some of the family and friends to the Phoenix sail boat to watch. Everyone formed a circle of longboards. Tristan Hickenbottom gave a short speech and then they all threw flowers into the air and splashed water. Lots of people cheered from the cliffs. It was a touching day to remember a great man who inspired so many in this community.
Photos- Yvonne Falk