Sadly the lights have gone out for longtime steward Tommy Chalmers – the man whose company, Chalmers Electrical, installed the lights for the first night meeting at Newmarket in 1996.
Chalmers – a popular figure in sporting circles and an active member of Wanderers Club – passed away at his home in Benoni on Saturday.
The sad news was relayed to me by his daughter, Karen, who knew we had been close friends for over 40 years.
A vivacious character who loved his racing and was a longserving steward in Gauteng (then Transvaal), Chalmers spent his latter years commuting between South Africa and Tampa in the USA where his two sons had continued the family’s electrical business.
The excellent Johannesburg trainer, Roy Howe, trained a number of horses for a partnership which consisted of Chalmers, Bob Metcalf and myself. We won a total of 35 races mainly with horses leased from top KZN breeder, Robin Scott.
Nico Kritsiotis and I had hoped to go to Benoni before Xmas to take Tommy out to lunch but he had said he didn’t feel well enough. This was a cause of concern for us.
Tommy Chalmers will be fondly remembered by many people not only for his contribution to racing but his wonderfully friendly approach to everyone he met. He is survived by his wife, Anita, and three children.