Thomas Cross “TC” son of Cross Point Farm

Deep in a valley in the rainforest leading to Sheringham Point, as water heated on the big cookstove in the kitchen of the pioneer cottage, Grandma Cross was offering soothing comfort to her daughter-in-law. It was 1924, and young Lydia Cross gave birth that September day to her second child, named Thomas Charles for his father and grandfather. Eighty-six years later, Tom Charles came back to the old homestead to spend his remaining few months enjoying gazing out at the peaceful scenes of Cross Point Farm, on Sunnybrae Road.

Thomas Cross “TC” son of Cross Point Farm

Deep in a valley in the rainforest leading to Sheringham Point, as water heated on the big cookstove in the kitchen of the pioneer cottage, Grandma Cross was offering soothing comfort to her daughter-in-law. It was 1924, and young Lydia Cross gave birth that September day to her second child, named Thomas Charles for his father and grandfather. Eighty-six years later, Tom Charles came back to the old homestead to spend his remaining few months enjoying gazing out at the peaceful scenes of Cross Point Farm, on Sunnybrae Road.

TC grew up on the farm with his siblings, Margaret, Gilbert, Lorna and Janey. Their dad Tom Sr. worked at local sawmills when work was available, and was a renowned outdoorsman, bringing home venison, grouse and fish in the custom of the day.

Lydia became an accomplished homemaker, her green thumb producing an array of vegetables and fruits in her kitchen garden, and provided legendary preserving and baking. Milk cows, sheep, pigs and chickens kept the family well-fed. There wasn’t much bought at the store in those days – if you couldn’t produce it you did without.

As soon as the children could walk they became a part of the farm team that kept food on the table, and a part of the community team of pioneer families that each reached a hand out to their neighbours whenever help was needed. TC and his siblings had relatives in the district as well, as their dad’s older sister Frances Cross was married to Jeremiah Sullivan, another well-known Shirley pioneer family name.

The depression years hit when TC was six-years-old, and he quickly learned to work alongside his dad, getting firewood and clearing land on their own farm and also hiring out to the neighbours.

TC recalled that at age 10, he worked filling and carrying one hundred pound gunny sacks of potatoes, and being paid only after he had carried 10 sacks. Overalls and bare feet were the usual garb. Sometimes he accompanied his dad on the trapline, set for mink and raccoon and frequently enroute, the two would sight cougars and bears.

Along with his siblings TC walked up the graveled Sheringham Point Road to classes at Shirley School, which ran to grade eight. After his school days, T C, now a tall, well-built young fellow, joined the workforce, but the depression years still held the economy in its grip. World War II hit, and TC was quick to enlist. He recalled borrowing shoes from a cousin and heading off to Victoria and the recruitment office.

Returning from the Second World War, TC worked a stint as keeper at Sheringham Point lighthouse, then returned to the Armed Forces to serve in the Korean conflict. He continued in the military for some time, but always treasured the time he spent where his heart remained, back in Shirley. Initiated into community activities as a youngster, he continued his dedicated volunteerism for many years. As a parent with children, he coached youth sports and was a Scout leader. During the 1960s and 70s he worked hard for the Shirley Community Association, and served as president.

Proud of his military service, TC was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #54, and a leader in the Remembrance Day services at the Cenotaph at Shirley. Active in the Shirley Volunteer Fire Protection Society as well, he was a founding member, and had served as both a firefighter and dispatcher.

While TC had been married and raised a family, in recent years he had lived with his granddaughter Patryce Minten in the Sooke village, where visits to the seniors’ centre brightened his days as well.

His Shirley roots called him home, and the last weeks were spent with his daughter Colleen and her husband Chuck Minten at Cross Point Farm.

While TC was predeceased by his son Rocky, he is survived by sons Alan and Danny and by daughters Linda and Tracy in addition to Colleen, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The service will be held at Knox Presbyterian Church, Saturday, Feb. 5, at 2 p.m., followed by a 3 p.m. reception at the Legion.

Elida Peers

Historian, Sooke Region Museum

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

NEW CUTLINE Payphone use is declining dramatically. (Black Press Files)

One of the last remaining street payphones in Kelowna. (Photo: Mackenzie Britton/Capital News)
Last call approaches for payphones?

Mobile phones diminishing need

Victoria police said Wednesday that they continue to look for Belinda Ann Cameron, who was last seen on May 5, 2005. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police still looking for Belinda Cameron who was last seen 16 years ago

Cameron was reported missing on June 4, 2005, and her case is deemed suspicious

This sign, visible from Highway 17 and suggesting dissatisfaction with the public health measures responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, disappeared from this location after having stood on a private North Saanich property for several days. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sign in North Saanich warning of police state gone

The sign stood for several days on a private property and was visible from Highway 17

Harmony Project Sooke students recently performed at the B.C. legislature. Harmony Project Sooke runs a stings program for viola, violin, and cello for students in Grade 2 and up and a drum line program for grades six and up. (Contributed – Harmony Project Sooke)
Gift and program support young Sooke musicians

Harmony Project Sooke students shine

West Shore RCMP is requesting the public’s assistance in locating a missing Langford resident, Nevaeh Hansell. (West Shore RCMP)
MISSING: Police seek 13-year-old Langford girl last seen May 3

Police are asking for help to locate the teen

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue members, before descending into a gorge near Nile Creek to rescue an injured woman on Sunday, May 2, 2021. (ASAR Twitter photo)
SAR crews help rescue hiker who plunged 10 metres onto rocks near Qualicum

Helicopter with winch system required for technical operation in remote location

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Most Read