Obituary: Charles Elwin, stalwart of Pattaya Players

Charles Elwin 1954-2021, Requiescat in Pace.

Charles Elwin, who has died in Pattaya aged 67, made Thailand his retirement home after a successful teaching career in UK and Singapore. Born in Yorkshire, he attended Keble College, Oxford, where he gained his degree in geography. After initially joining the Atomic Energy Authority’s management training scheme, he switched careers in the late 1970s to train as a teacher.

He spent 18 years at Felsted School in Essex, eventually becoming head of humanities, before accepting a post at a sixth form college in Singapore. He travelled widely, both in Asia and around the world, and annually took groups of Singaporean students on educational tours to Western Europe. In retirement, he maintained a love of travel and particularly enjoyed South America in one of his last vacations.

He retired in 2014 to live in Pattaya where he became a regular actor and occasional director in the productions of the expat-based theatre group, Pattaya Players. He also renewed an old interest in bridge and joined one of the resort’s international clubs. He quipped that he was glad not to have chosen the one where 30 members were temporarily arrested on spurious gambling charges in 2016 before being released without charge.

In his fifties, Charles was diagnosed with prostate cancer which was held in check for many years. However, the disease eventually spread and, by early 2021, was causing acute distress and frequent hospitalizations. He knew he was dying and welcomed the prospect, telling friends, “It’s the quality of life and not the length which is important.”

Charles leaves a long-time carer, Zee, who devoted himself to looking after him at home in the final months, whilst rarely leaving his side during hospitalizations. The cremation is scheduled at Wat Nong Yai, Pattaya, known as the Enigma Temple Complex and famous for its 20-metres tall giant Buddha.