On Friday, June 10, at 5 am, retired Captain Rob Tomlinson, Calgary Fire Department, lost his battle with cancer.
Captains Rob Tomlinson and Brian Freney (both CFD retired) during the Lives, Legacies & Legends tour, 2015.
At first I hesitated in writing this post. This one hurt. The loss was private. I didn’t want to share it with anyone. Then I realized how important it was to tell others about the amazing impact this man had on me and the museum in the last five years.
Right from the first time I met this man, I knew he was some kind of wonderful. A strong supporter and friend to the museum without hesitation. Without question. Unconditionally.
He attended the Museum’s First Tuesdays or Coffee at the Museums when they first started and encouraged others when they hesitated to try something new. Robbie and I sipped tea while the others drank their coffee.
A collection of fave friends at First Tuesdays (Coffee at the Museum), 2012
Knowing that the Museum needed more attendance, he invited the Pioneer Auto Club, to hold a mini-rally at the museum. Our staff and antique fire trucks certainly appreciated the company!
Pioneer Auto Club Meet 2012
He served up delicious CFD bits of information during impromptu tours whenever he visited and could tell a story like no other.
Robbie the Museum Guy, 2012
Rob & Brian – best friends for more than 40 years. And still laughing!
Robbie connected with everyone he met. He would always ask how you were doing and was genuinely interested in the answer. He epitomized kindness – just ask someone who knows him!
Whenever he thought I needed back up or show of support, he’d round up the 3 Musketeers (Art and Brian) and they’d be there – from the Museum’s AGM to Night at the Museum.
“Rebecca needs our support.” he’d say.
He was right. I did and still do.
His contagious smile and laughter lit up the museum and filled our hearts. I never dreamt I would have my heart broken by a firefighter – and not this way.
Robbie – my friend – the kettle is always on and the museum doors forever open – should you decide to visit.