The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 12 No. 43 - August 8, 2012


Arthur Rowe celebrates 100th birthday

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Sylvia Harris with her father, Arthur Rowe, at a dinner
at the Church of the Annunciation.

HOLMES BEACH– The family of Arthur Rowe plans to celebrate his 100th birthday with ice cream and cake on Thursday, Aug. 9, at the home of his daughter, Sylvia Harris.

Rowe was born in Tarpon Springs in 1912 and his parents, who worked in Sarasota, would travel to Tampa on the steamers that docked at the Anna Maria City Pier and then drive to Tarpon Springs. Harris said Rowe recalls walking the pier when Belle Haven and the Lotus Cottage were still there.

“His father, who was John Ringling’s boat captain, occasionally piloted one of the steamers, The Favorite,” Harris said.

She said Rowe followed in his father’s footsteps, first as a mate on the yacht Ripple in the 1920s. She recalled, “It was a palatial diesel powered yacht that traveled all over the Caribbean and to South and Central America.”

Rowe then became captain for the E. E. Bishop family, of Bradenton, on the Lady Patty from 1933 to 1940. In 1941 he joined the war effort as a ship rigger in Tampa, which built cargo ships for the war.

“After the war, dad did yacht refinishing in Sarasota and Bradenton,” Harris said. “He was one of the original members of the Church of the Annunciation in 1950. He retired in 2001 and moved in with me.”

Harris is hosting an open house for family and friends for Rowe on Saturday, Aug. 11, from 1 p.m. on at her home at 7602 Marina Drive in Holmes Beach.

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