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Eric Thompson (1930 – 2022)

Nov 14, 2022 | Obituaries

By Rodney Winwood

Eric lived and loved his rifle shooting, but as a young man one of his ambitions was to play VFL football with St Kilda, but a knee injury ended that dream.

His grandfather and his father were all keen shooters with Eric’s father being a top shooter in the Royal Australian Navy. It didn’t take long for Eric to show his skills as a top smallbore and fullbore shooter climbing up the grades in short time. Eric shot with the VDC rifle club from start to finish and loved the friendship and competition.

As most know, ET never drank alcohol, some tried to trick him but he was far too smart for that. As a boy he did try it once, his father home brewed, one day Eric took the empty bottles out to be washed and decided to have a sip of the left-overs at the bottom of the bottles. When he went inside his father said “you don’t look too well Eric”. Eric said “no dad, feeling a bit sick at the moment, might go back to bed” he could hear his dad having a giggle in the background. Last time ET drank alcohol. Always a story to tell you over a cup of tea and a Tim Tam.

ET loved team shooting as a coach and a shooter, he was an Australian Team member and a Tasmanian state member shooting all around the world. He also coached the Australian Army Team, which he had great success, some of our finest shooters came from the Army Teams – top lady shooters and some top male shooters. (Hope I said that the right way). He loved it – the friendship and the great ranges to shoot on and see.

ET won 10 Queen’s Prizes with well over 100 Queen’s badges, some of us have seen ET bring out shoe box after shoe box just filled with them. He won so many Open PM’s in Tasi and the mainland, you could lose count.

In 2010 Eric lost his wife Betty and always talked openly about her with a touch of sadness in his voice. We have so many great memories and stories to remember about ET, but he will be remembered as a stunning shooter and coach and a joy to be with, one of the best has passed on, RIP Eric, ET.

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