Courier Weekend

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Tree planted to honour  man killed by terrorists    By BARB RAYNER

Taking part in Monday's tree planting in memory of the late Thomas Washburn, who was shot by terrorists in Saudi Arabia in May, were Sheila Washburn, with her grandson, Cameron Blair.  Photo by Ken Washburn


set up

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Monday's tree planting was arranged by three members of the St. Andrews Centre for the Arts, Val Bryce, Maureen McIlwain and Chandra Leavitt. 

Mrs. Washburn said that they held the planting that day because her daughter, Nancy, who lives in Toronto, had come back to New Brunswick for the weekend to spend some time with the family who are needing a lot of together time right now.  

Also on hand for the event were her other daughter, Sue Blair and son, Ken.

She said the location was ideal as Centennial Park is a beautiful spot, and whenever she came to St. Andrews with her children when they were younger, they would disappear in the direction of the Blockhouse and the park, as their [grandparents'] house was only a block away. "Thom did love St. Andrews and worked there in the summer.  It was certainly a home for him.  It was an anchor for all of us.  .... [We] all loved the Blockhouse.  When he was a boy I can remember Thom [climbing] on top of the cannons."


(Click here for more information on this living memorial.)

ST. ANDREWS - Friends and relatives of the late Thomas Washburn gathered at Centennial Park Monday to plant a tree in memory of the 40-year-old man who was killed by terrorists in Saudi Arabia in May.

Washburn, who was project manager of the $200 million ethylene plant expansion under construction for Exxon Mobil in Yanbu Saudi Arabia, was shot May 1 when four gunmen, three of whom worked on the site - entered the field office where he was working.

Five people died that day of their injuries, while Washburn was taken to the Royal Commission Medical Centre in Yanbu where he remained conscious but paralyzed.

His parents, Sheila and Owen Washburn, who are well-known to local residents as they have a summer home in St. Andrews, flew out to be at their son's bedside in Saudi Arabia and later flew with him to Texas where he was admitted to the Memorial Herman Hospital.


It was here that it was revealed he had a second bullet lodged in his brain besides the one that had passed through his neck and despite the best medical care possible he died two weeks following the attack.



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A scholarship fund has been set up in her son's memory.  The Thom Washburn Memorial Scholarship will be administered by the Fredericton Community Foundation.  Mrs. Washburn has set up a website in his memory, at


View of tree looking south towards Parks Canada Blockhouse

Page updated on 12/09/2004