Phuket mourns Mel Purdue

PHUKET: Friends and family are mourning the loss of Briton Mel Purdue, who died at Phuket International Hospital late Sunday night at the age of 55.

Mr Purdue died from organ failure after a year-long battle with Hepatitis C.

He is survived by his wife of over 20 years, Elizabeth Purdue, his girlfriend Rowena ‘Vicky’ Nonez and his brother Michael, who lives in the US.

Mrs Purdue and Miss Nonez have extended their invitations to all those wanting to pay their respects to attend a memorial service in Phuket Town this evening.

Services will be held at Thavornkunaram (Saensuk) Temple on Ong Sim Phai Road, behind Phuket Grocery, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

At 8:30pm friends and relatives will gather at Bohemian Rap Sawasdee Art Cafe in Phuket Town, where Mr Purdue was a joint owner.

Cremation services will take place tomorrow at midday at the temple.

Mrs Purdue, who was separated from her late husband, said she plans to take some of his remains back to Chiang Mai with her. His girlfriend Miss Nonez of the Philippines will keep the remainder here in Phuket.

“He lived a fun-filled life, and will always be remembered for his sense of humor,” Mrs Purdue said.

Born in Basingstoke England, Mr Purdue spent most of his life working in the oil industry in the UK and central Europe.

Moving to Phuket six years ago to retire with his wife, the couple bought a small house close to Nai Harn Beach.

After a stint working in property development on the island, Mr Purdue pursued his love of music by opening the Jammin Bar on Bangkok Road in Phuket City.

The venue was popular with both Phuket’s Thai and expat communities, who flocked to the venue on Saturday nights to see live rock bands take to the stage.

After the venue closed about two years ago, Mr Purdue opened the Vertigo Bar in Patong, and then more recently the Bohemian Rap Sawasdee Art Cafe in Phuket Town with his friend and business partner Dean Noble.

Currently in England, Mr Noble said Mr Purdue was an English gentleman and a father figure for him.

“There was so much people could learn from him, one just had to take time to listen. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to know him,” he said.

“He loved his music with Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb being his favorite track. I will never forget him singing with his hair flying like the classic rockers. I will miss him greatly” he said.

— Fraser Morton

Phuket News

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