(deceased Feb 10-2015)
A Memory by Graham Hoskins

'Zoonie' Howarth was a delightful man for whom I had huge respect and whose comradeship I valued greatly. Courageous, loyal and full of fun. He was the epitome of what a shipmate should be and I was fortunate enough to have him in two of my bands. To my certain knowledge his Admirals thought as much of him as his mess mates and that makes him almost unique in my book. His infectious laughter will echo through my mind whenever I think of this dear man who didn't have a hint of selfishness in his makeup. His performance of 'Lucy Long' on the stage of Portsmouth Guildhall while dressed as a Father Christmas at a concert in the late 1970s was hilarious. Having not rehearsed it wearing the false beard he was unaware of the difficulty he would have in doing so. Singing into the microphone and then getting the bassoon reed through the hair into his mouth in time for the interplay of notes to come became the stuff of legend. The audience and orchestra were in fits of laughter especially when, in total despair and frustration he swore loudly in the midst of carrying on regardless. He had forgotten that they performance was being recorded by BBC Radio Solent for later use. When it was transmitted on Boxing Day of that particular year the muffled curse hangs in the air like a charm - as indeed 'Zoonie's' memory always will for me now that he is gone.

Graham Hoskins.


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