Tumbling Bill Panton, RIP

Bill Panton, aka Tumbling Bill, passed earlier this week. Bill was an Englishman, a long-time Hash House Harrier who lived and hashed in Malaysia and the United States. He started hashing in the mid-1950s with Kuala Lumpur H3. He later founded the Washington DC H3 (1972) and Bangkok H3 (1977). All the original hash founders are gone; Bill was one of the very few surviving veterans of the second generation, those who started hashing in post-war Malaysia, back in the days when KLH3 was the only hashing club in the world.

I was fortunate to have met Bill and even more fortunate to have hashed with him: once in DC with the club he founded, and once in Tucson when he visited the club I founded (to which Bill gave his blessing and pronounced good … one of the proudest moments in my hashing life).

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Bill is fourth from the left in this photo, taken on a Monday evening several years ago in Tucson, Arizona, at the weekly running of the Pima County Traditional Hash House Harriers.

In the hashing world, Bill will be remembered as the father of the Hash House Harriers Genealogy Project*, which traces the origins of every known club and chapter back to “mother,” the Kuala Lumpur H3, founded in 1938. A considerable part of hashing’s history might have gone down the memory hole without the inspiration and hard work of Bill Panton, and we owe him a debt of gratitude for preserving it.

On On, Tumbling Bill, and here’s to a life well-lived!


*The Genealogy of the Hash House Harriers is currently maintained by the Hash Heritage Foundation, another of Bill Panton’s projects, an organization run by a board of trustees (all hashers) dedicated to the preservation of hash heritage and the rebuilding of the original “hash house,” the Royal Selangor Club in Kuala Lumpur.

© 2019, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.


2 comments to Tumbling Bill Panton, RIP

  • Gopher

    Always a gentlemen I remember Bill fondly. We hashed together for many years and seemed to pick up exactly where we left off. His hash genealogy was a labor of love, it was always fun to look up kennels we’d run with and see the connections. He’ll be missed.

    On-On Bill!

  • Howard McKay

    I met Bill a number of times. When the Interhash was in Kuala Lumpur he kindly invited me for lunch at the Selangor Chambers (Hash House). Also in attendance was the late John Duncan, also a very well know hash personality and long time member of Mother Hash. On On in the sky, Bill.

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