Thomas L. Gary Gibson
Obituary For Thomas L. Gary Gibson
Well known musician, interior decorator, furniture appraiser and restorer, Thomas L. Gary Gibson died on September 22, 2021 at Northwood Manor, Halifax, after a prolonged illness.
He was predeceased by his mother and father, Marcia and Gary, sister, Sally and is survived by his niece, Tina Bristow and children.
Born on April 15, 1944 in Exeter, Devon, England, he apprenticed at a young age with the National Trust in London in furniture restoration where he specialized in 18th century classic furniture by Adam, Sheraton and Hepplewhite. He also played as a percussionist in several large Latin orchestras which toured Europe. He immigrated to Canada in the early 1970s and resided in Halifax and Lunenburg.
As an Interior Decorator, Tom was unrivalled in the Maritimes for his knowledge of Queen Ann, Georgian and Regency period interiors. As a musician he played in several local bands and in particular, Basin Street, with an engagement at the Privateers Warehouse on the Halifax waterfront lasting several years. Throughout his life he was an active musician and was recorded on several albums and television productions. His musical skills were exceptional as a Latin Percussionist and jazz and swing drummer. He was a lifetime member of the Atlantic Federation of Musicians and was a member of its Board of Directors for several years.
As an antique furniture restorer and interior designer, he opened Gibson’s in the late seventies as a high-end retail, consulting and antique restoration shop. He was a member of the International Society of Appraisers. He restored many of the furnishings, both at Province House and Government House in Halifax and in particular, The Red Chamber. His biggest and best-known job was the restoration, furnishing and decoration of the Benjamin Wier House, a Provincial Heritage property at 1459 Hollis Street, Halifax in 1983 and his continued consultancy with its owners for the next 35 years. Another job of which he was very proud was the radically re-designed lobby of the Lord Beaverbrook Hotel in Fredericton, New Brunswick – a statement its owners were equally proud of.
There will be no funeral, cremation has taken place and he will be interred in Hillcrest Cemetery in Lunenburg where his mother is buried. Subject to Covid Restrictions, a commemorative celebration of his life will be held at a place and date to be advised.
Special thanks to his friends, Carl Holm, Paul Doane and Ian Muncaster for all the help and support they provided to Tom throughout his illness.
Tom was of strong character, a generous and amusing fellow who loved animals and could regale friends with many stories of the interesting people he had met throughout his long musical and restoration career. Donations in his memory can be made to the SPCA, the Alzheimer Society or a charity of your choice.
On a recording of the Basin Street Band, Tom sang the last song “Basin Street” with the final verse “Aren’t you glad you came with me”. And yes Tom, your many friends and colleagues certainly are!!
Sad to hear that Tom has past.Paul C
Very sorry to read this today. Tom was such an interesting fun person to work with, and so generous with his time. Enjoyed learning all about his work in the English National Trust Houses. Good memories. Cynthia Street
A true gentleman. Tom played with The Musical Friends back in the day. Sharon and I send our condolences. Clary Croft
Very sorry to see this ! Tom was a lovely person. Brings back memories of the "Middle Deck" days. RIP
Tom was family. He was there at every holiday, most of my childhood and adult events, graduation from University and was my biggest supporter in my early dancing career when I deluded myself into thinking I might make it into the National Ballet of Canada. He thought I was great! I still have his mother's ballet books which he gifted me when I was a little girl. They are some of my most treasured books. I will always fondly remember the incessant tapping on the kitchen table with his French polished fingers, particularly during the 'impromptu' visits around supper time along with Sheva, who also had an uncanny knack for finding her way to our house everyday. I will miss being called Tiger, and having my hair ruffled...even into my 40's. Nobody will ever be as dapper to an event like Tom! His place may have looked like chaos but he always looked sharp! Every time I look at the beautiful things he gave me over the years, including the furniture he repaired and restored, I will remember him fondly. Like the chair with no seat he gave me for Christmas one year. I had that chair for 10 years before it got a seat hahaha! He finally put one in before I moved 😂 His last gift to me was such a wonderful surprise. He assembled his friends to play for our wedding before we left Canada in 2007. This is how I'll remember him, playing his drums and doing what he loved. Generous and kind, stubborn and disorganized. Talented to a fault. From one artist to another, he was always happy to see me and always upbeat. Our last visit two years ago was soul destroying to watch our beloved Tom, as a fraction of himself. Every time we go to see a jazz or big band concert I will think of you Tom. Rest easy, and say hi to shev's and Sir Percy ❤️I miss you very much and am sad that I couldn't be in Canada to visit you one last time. Love one of your Tigers -Kristina Metcalf
I didn't know what it was called at the time, but Tom could "swing" as a drummer. He had a certain feel that was unique to only a few. As a bassist, it just felt great to play with him. The band he played in with Bucky, Gordie, and Terry (later Ernie) could swing like no other. Miss you, Tom.
Sending condolences, we met Tom in the 80's through our mutual friend Ted Sutcliffe. He was always enjoyable and entertaining at every occasion. We also enjoyed many evenings listening to the band at the lower deck.
So very sorry to hear of Tom's passing. It was always a pleasure to type appraisals for him and to hear the many stories he had to go with them...he was a wonderful person. RIP, Tom.
Continue to "hit da notes in da centre" wherever you are! Rest peace - but don't play in the rests. John Bird, the inept keyboardist.
Goodbye Tom. Your music and restorations have left a legacy to be appreciated by many for decades to come. Swing on!
So sorry to hear of his passing, always a gentleman and a good friend. May he rest in peace. Jon Denman
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