Remembering Alf Tharby

EW is saddened to hear of the passing of Alf Tharby, stalwart of the international exhibition industry for many years. Former friend and colleague Trevor Punt, director of p2mo strategies, who worked with Alf in Riyadh and Bahrain in the Montgomery days, shares this short obituary:


Alfred Charles Tharby was born on 2 December 1935 and died on 10 January 2021 in Northallerton, England, with the cause of death attributed to Covid-19.

Prior to his retirement in 2007, Alf was a leading professional and pioneer for the Middle East exhibition logistics industry. Alf grew up as a war child in England where he developed an interest in travel and began a career in freight forwarding which shaped his keenness to embrace different cultures. This resulted in a large proportion of his working life being spent in Saudi Arabia with the P&O Shipping Group, and then in United Arab Emirates with the Kanoo Group.

Passionate about the exhibition industry, his cup was always full, Alf was a genuinely warm hearted humble man accustomed to problem solving and getting the job done.

It was not an unusual sight to see Alf in a Mohair suit pushing a pallet truck around an exhibition hall. In a crowded room he would arrive and although small in height, his personality was huge. He’d laugh and rub his hands together but getting the job done was his speciality. Gaining respect of all nationalities was no mean feat, but Alf had that charm in abundance. His retirement years in Harwich were devoted to caring for his beloved wife Pam, who sadly passed away in October 2019.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Rest In Peace Alf.