Vale Richard Fry has sadly reported that life-long phan and philanthropist Richard Fry has suddenly passed away.

Along with fellow phan Antonio Di Dio, Richard created the Lee Falk Memorial Bangalla Explorers Club (LFMBEC), a social group for Phantom phans that held annual events in the Rocks are of Sydney, Australia, since 1999. Originally started to mourn the passing of The Phantom creator Lee Falk and to continue the celebration of his most famous character, the LFMBEC dinners became a celebrated event on the phan calendar. Not long after their inception, the dinners became fundraising events which saw rare and highly prized pieces of Phantom memorabilia auctioned off with all money going to the Westmead Children’s Hospital. Well over a hundred thousand dollars has been raised for this very worthy cause over the years.

I had the pleasure of attending several of the LFMBEC dinners and meeting Richard at each one. He was always a very friendly gentleman who was more than happy to welcome a (then) young upstart member to the club (I’d only just started ChronicleChamber and was considered a “new generation” of phan – not so much anymore). It was always a pleasure to attend the dinners, and I’m very grateful I was able to know Richard even a little.

Despite Richard’s sad passing, it has been confirmed that the LFMBEC dinners will continue, as will the wonderful fundraising that they do. It is quite a fitting epitaph for Richard that the good he started will continue on in the world.

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