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RIP Tom Howard

One of the great characters of the Phuket boating community, Tom Howard, sadly passed away in April, following a short illness.

April 2018

Tom had been a full time Phuket resident since 2002, following his retirement from the IT business in the UK. During his years here, his passion was classic boats and the beautifully restored Seraph and Marie G (named after his much-loved mother) were familiar sights in the waters around Phuket.

Born in the UK in 1951, Tom was one of seven children. Growing up, he had no interest in school books; all he wanted to do was indulge another of his passions, the game of rugby, together with a long line of girlfriends. Ever the independent fellow, he married none of them, but thirteen nieces and nephews, whose triumphs he followed closely, more than made up for having no heirs of his own.

Tom had fantastic sporting success on the rugby field at school as a very fast winger. He also enjoyed success on the athletics track as a 100 yard sprinter and a long jumper – all quite unbelievable for those who knew Tom only in Phuket!

After substantial success in the UK’s fledgling IT industry, most recently with his own business supplying IT and other office equipment, Tom cashed up and retired to Phuket, where he will be remembered especially by Phuket’s yacht racing community as the prime mover and stalwart of the Classic Class at Phuket Raceweek, presenting the annual ‘Seraph Perpetual Trophy’ to the winner of this stately, but hotly contested, class. Tom was a strong supporter of other local regattas too, making Seraph available as a committee boat on countless occasions.


The quintessential bachelor, Tom was a pub landlord’s dream. If he chose to drink in your pub and felt he was looked after properly, it was jackpot time. You had a fiercely loyal customer on whose patronage you could rely for 365 days a year, except in cases of force majeure and Act of God… But let the standards slip one time too many, and your turnover would plummet as moved on.

Despite the hours spent sitting in his local pub, telling stories and chewing the fat with friends, Tom had finally become semi-domesticated and spent his recent Phuket life with his Thai partner of many years, Pang.
If ever there was an example of a man who lived his life to the full, that man was Tom Howard. He will be sorely missed by his friends – and the landlord of his (most recent) local pub!

RIP Tom Howard