Geoffrey Bennun (2)

For all those friends of Geoffrey who read this blog, please leave a reply post.  I would like to think that together we may be able to contact all those that would like to come together somewhere and remember our friend, with a party suitable for Geoff.


50 thoughts on “Geoffrey Bennun (2)

  1. Geoffrey was my dearest friend of forty years. I miss him and weep for him. How is it possible that we will never see him again. And he was so afraid of dying of cancer!

  2. Geoffrey was the brother I never had – and I am devastated by the news of his death. He & I shared an apartment together when he first came to Toronto and we were both working at the Inn on the Park. What a blast we had! I know he was also close to the many friends that will read this and I like you all am so, so sorry that I will never see this rascal again.

    • Hey Colin,

      I just learned about Geoffrey’s tragic end and I’m in shock. He and I had a passionate, crazy, love/hate relationship. I loved him so much and I was finally able to close the door on our relationship about 5 years ago. This news hurts me deeply, what memories I have. I hope you are well. Joy

      • Hi Joy. I am so glad you wrote in as I knew you would want to be part of this but I did not have your contact info. I know you cared for Geoffrey very deeply and I am sorry that we get to talk again under these terrible circumstances. If you are so inclined please contact me at so that we can talk in more detail. Rgds Colin

  3. I am a former work associate of Geoffrey’s and though I only knew him for a short time he made a big impression on me. This is the most crushing news and I too weep for him.

  4. Geoffrey was the Uncle I never had. The most intelligent & considered hotelier I ever met. Taught me so much & yet was humble enough to allow me to teach him a thing or too. He brought me into Asia. It was in coming to see him in Samui that I met my wife. He has touched our lives more than words can say. Lynn & I will forever remember our Uncle Geoffrey! (Thanks Paul!)

  5. Geoffrey was my step brother. Sadly, we had a falling out a few years ago over issues relating to his father (my step father). Prior to that we got on well. He would always extend us offers of amazing accommodation at the various properties that he managed. He was passionate and he was “different”. ˆ really liked that about him. He was also far more generous to friends than he was to himself. My heartfelt condolences go to Trevor, his brother and to his niece and nephew, Gypsy and Jai.

  6. My name is Carol Greaves and I have been a close friend of Geoffrey’s for over 30 years. I live in Victoria, BC and met Geoffrey here while he worked at the Empress Hotel. I am saddened and shocked by how brutally Geoffrey’s life ended. Certainly not befitting the peace-loving gentleman he was.

    I would love to raise a glass in Geoffrey’s honour with as many of his friends as possible.

  7. Geoffrey, was for the past 14 years a very close friend , and the great Memories I have of those 14 years will stay with me for ever ,I was infact going to see him in 3 weeks time …all was planned . but now never going to happen !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Geoffrey has been a dear friend and a guiding hand since I had the pleasure of meeting him some 7 years ago. Geoffrey has taught me lessons in life, love and profession which I will take with me always. It is hard to believe that he will no longer be there to debate the small things over a bowl of Khao Soi, a cold beer or a plate of sushi. It saddens me deeply that someone who has seen so much and influenced so many has been taken from us in such a way.

    GAB, your friendship and counsel will be treasured and respected always!

  9. ironic he should pay the ultimate price for a female…doesn’t seem proper…we had a lot of good times around the world together…he was unique…he made me laugh…he forced me and others to have fun…i have only good memories of geoffrey…god rest his soul…

  10. I still cannot believe that he is really gone. He has been (and will always be) a huge inspiration and teacher to me. His deep insights and yearning to question everything in life has taught me not to take things for granted, but think about everything we do, no matter how small. To just pick up the phone and call somebody spontaneously when thinking about them. I will certainly miss his “quarterly update” over a khao soi and to hear him passionately explaining his latest life experiences and the lessons that he learned….as he passed them on to me… His famous lines always started with “so…now tell me….”
    His laughter, sarcasm, joy, care and views on life were truly unique and can never be replaced!
    He truly is a great man and will be missed by many many people – around the world. I am forever grateful to have met him and to got to know him….My condolences to all his friends, those that were close to him and of course Trevor….

  11. Hey Remon! Great words. Maybe you’ve started something – Famous Quotes & Geoffrey-isms!! My personal favourite…’Did I ever tell you the story about…’ Of course, the line always finished with such a broad topic that you could not possibly know if he was about to tell you the story you thought. ‘Did I ever tell you about what happened at Empress’?????? God I miss him!

  12. Geoff was my step-brother, but much like a brother than anything else. He and I hit it off from the moment we met when I was in my late teens. I travelled accross Canada with him acting as his driver while he tried to create a Canadia Prize for Peace. It was during that stint I met many of Geoff’s friends and what a great buch they are. Geoff visited me in Israel, got me into hospitality. I have never had such a touch boss – those days at Dolphin Heads in Mackay were crazy. Geoff was my dear friend, alsways very honest and interested. He was genuinly curious. Lots of fantastic memories and wonderful discussions, in particular listening to his stories. He certainly could tell them. This is so not right. We would often skpye and chit chat about the silly things…

    There were definite “geoffrisims” that I am sure are worth noting or colating . Do you remember the one “who owns the problem?” that sign he would have behind his desk and would look at it each time I approached with a guest related issue. Then those of you in Sydney, his fetish to some foods, like “matabak”(!?!?!). When the restaurant closed down he was devestated, he took it quite personally. I will miss him ever so much.

    • Hi Tim, long time no speak. I have managed to thankfully stay in contact with GAB over the years who has provided my life with many highlights. My thoughts go out to you and the family. I will miss him.

    • Hi Tim,
      It’s Tracey from Toronto, from the Dove for Peace days.
      I’m a year late on the news, and wanted to say hello, and pass along hugs. I hope you receive this, as my iPhone is acting up in this text box.
      It would be great to catch up. I’m in Vancouver, married with 2 daughters ages 6 and 3.
      I hope you and your family are well.
      I look forward to hearing from you.

      • Hi Tracey,

        Great to hear from you. Its almost to the day that this terrible thing occured. Please contact me via e-mail it would be great to catch up.

  13. Geoffrey and my husband Tim were raised by the same father, although many years apart. They were not just (step) brothers – they were bonded by deep friendship and mutual love and respect. I was terrified of Geoffrey when I first came to Australia and worked for him in Mackay. Later when he came to stay with us in Sydney, he wasn’t the easiest guest – he was so undomesticated, everything had to be done for him…. You could either hate him or love him, and I chose love. He was so interesting, opinionated, amusing and so totally open and honest about all his weaknesses and ‘issues’. There was always ‘too much information’ which only endeared him to me and I’m sure to many of his friends. We are devastated.

  14. Geoffrey was a true individual and I still cannot believe that his life has been taken in this way. We worked together on and off for the past 15 years and he always took time to call and on his last visit to Australia came to stay with our family. We shared an apartment in Sydney when I worked for him at the Media Village and he helped me immensely with a personal issue I will always be thankful for his support. He always took time to call and check how I was regularly. His stories and “Geoffreyisms” will always be remembered by those who knew him. Geoffrey, may god bless your soul and we will miss you. I still can’t believe that the phone won’t ring and hear the words “So, how are you doing?” or him arguing with me to take the leftover cheese and crackers home because it would be a terrible waste to thow them away. I will miss you.

  15. Geoffrey will be so sadly missed by us all. I first met Geoff when he was working for SOCOG during the Sydney Olympics back in 1998. We were thrown together as he was to be the manager of the Media Village and I had the job of leading security at the Media Village. We came from different worlds, his being the hotel business and me being a policeman, but luckily for me that proved to be no barrier to our friendship. During this time I met so many of his friends he brought along to the Olympics. There were so many funny experiences in the two years leading up to the opening of the Olympics, but through it all we became close friends. There are many stories to share but one that typifies Geoff was his idea of building a mini zoo at the media village, something unique with native Australian animals and birds. It was a great idea until he ran into the beauracracy that goes with these sorts of things. And you know how he loved beauracracy! I can still hear him complaining but not to be deterred he got his Zoo and took great delight in showing it off to anyone he could! Geoff had an incredibly interesting life and he took my wife Joanne, my son Luke and I into it. We remained close buddies and that is the gift he gave us, his friendship. Like everyone here, I have so many stories to tell but hope we can all get together one day soon and celebrate Geoffrey’s life in the way he insisted us to do.

    Geoffrey wherever you are we miss you.

    PS: Geoffrey was fascinated with my work as a Homicide Detective and I promise all his buddies that through my network of friends in the Australian Federal Police I will do all I can to make sure the low life that took our friend is found.

  16. Geoffrey was my step-brother. I am shocked, stunned by the news. Although he and I had our differences regarding my mother and his father, I knew him to be well meaning, very caring and had a crazy, wonderful sense of humor. I acturally dreamt about him and my mother, out of the blue, for the first time last week. I meant to get in touch with him and just say “hello”. I somehow think he knew that. He will surely be missed.

  17. Geoffrey was my stepbrother, .(.through his father.)..and when I was in my 20’s ,we shared alot more time together then later on in our lives.
    I am shocked that his life was taken in this way, and my heart felt wishes go to Trevor and Jai and Gypsy,who have to now deal with this reality.
    It is good to know that he had such good friends…
    My thoughts are with Tim, my brother…cos I know that they had an iffinity, and he will miss him.

  18. I first met Geoffrey when I assisted with the opening of the Sila Evason Hideaway in Ko Samui..first thing he told me when I met him..”Howard,I don’t believe in Training” and I was the Learning and Development Director of Six Senses at the time..he went on..”I believe in short 10 minute training sessions on the job” was a lot of fun working closely with him and having a cold Heineken with him at the end of the day..I think Geoffrey will now be in Hotel Heaven running the place as the new GM..such shocking news…May Geoffrey rest in peace and I will see you again one day…

  19. Geoffrey, thank you so much for all you shared with me and the many others you struck an intimate bond throughout the world. You were a truly unique person, unforgettable. I love you and will miss you forever . You were more of a brother to me than my own blood brother. Your rapier like wit , your charm and your humor served you well. I’m sorry our paths will never cross again. Thank you and thank you again for shaking me loose and introducing me to the rest of the world.. I too wish to meet somewhere, sometime with your friends throughout the world to remember you with love in our hearts, just the way you would have liked to be remembered! Like so many, I’m stunned by the shocking news of your passing. Geoffrey may you find peace even though it was the last thing you sought for yourself. My thoughts and heart felt wishes go to your brother Trevor, Tim and Jai and Gypsy.
    Paul, thank you for the this opportunity to express our thoughts. I’m certain we will meet again to celebrate Geoffrey Bennuns’ life and times. I look forward to it.

  20. Like alot of people I have had the pleasure of knowing Geoffrey for what seems a lifetime, the news of his death was just about the most devasting thing I have ever encountered. I can only count myself lucky that I had the opportunity to share a few days here at Fillingham with him. We went shopping for ice cream, duck and all the other things that his life couldn’t work without! I found that he had continued with his cycling and was looking fitter than I had seen him for years. I can still see his face now, as we debated endless subjects, always ready to listen and always with an opinion. Reading all our comments. Geoffrey was a man who attracted love. So kind. I am proud to have known him and to have him as my friend. Geoffrey, I hope we shall meet again, I shall miss you more than I ever realised. With Love , William

  21. I met and worked with Geoffrey at the Olympics and have known him for 12 years. I have always looked up to Geoffrey, admired the accomplishments in his life and his creative mind, appreciated his advice, but most of all appreciated the friendship we had. I looked forward to seeing him each year when he came back to Sydney and looked forward to the times stayed at my place when in town. I looked forward to hearing stories about all of you and the adventures he would go on throughout the world visiting his friends. The thing I admired most about Geoffrey was that he cherished his friends. I believe he lived for his friends and could not see enough of them. He even wanted to find ways to make us comfortable when traveling even if he wasn’t there….like the time he wanted to buy a mercedes and park it in the UK for any and all of us to use when we travelled. I admired his deep beliefs about the world and how it should be in the eyes of GAB. I am humbled by Geoffrey that he chose me to be one of his friends. I can only hope that I get the opportunity to meet some of you in the future, share an excellent glass of Red wine and toast our friend Geoffrey Bennun. Geoffrey, thank you for being my friend, I love you and I will miss you, Brian

  22. Goeffrey was my step brother. He always felt like a real brother to me as we argued away our time in my teenage years. He organised an unbelievable holiday for me and my children in Thailand. Since I have been in Sydney we enjoyed eachothers company like brother and sister with a lot of laughter every time he visited. I will miss him. My heart felt condollences to Jai and Gypsy and Trevor and Tim and Dana.

  23. Dear Trevor
    My heart felt condolences to you haven’t you had enough to contend with.You are always welcome with the Kletzs wherever you are unfortunately we never really got to know Geoff ,by the sounds of things quite dynamic so sad!
    Phone me Trev and when you can get on the next plane
    Lots of love

  24. Strong yet Vunerable, Funny yet Serious, a complex man that was so good at sharing his thoughts & dreams. Yes Dana, sometimes with too much information. Fiesty & Opinionated, yet lovable all the same. So in touch with his feelings & willing to share. He would be genuinely suprised but pleased at the outpouring of grief & sorrow at his passing. Will so miss those shocking unPC email jokes.
    Geoffrey may you light up the Heavens with your brilliant smile, hold on tight to Pera, Ruve & Yogesha. We will take great care of Trevor.
    Tim & Dana, Gypsy & Jai – sending you Big Strong Hugs.

  25. Geoffrey & I met through the All Seasons dynasty and hit it off immediately. True he was a person you either loved or hated – his fixed ideas and outspoken manner did not ride well with everybody. But for those who chose to embrace him, he was warm, funny, affectionate and very caring. I was numb when I learned of his demise – I dispair that his life ended in such a brutal way. We didn’t see each other often but when we did, he always made my day that bit brighter. My thoughts are with his family. I’ll continue to carry fond memoroes of Geoffrey. Wayne

  26. I am Geoffrey’s “big”, first cousin. I have not had the oppurtunity to meet the “grown-up” Geoffrey but I remember him as Ponky (as he was known), the cutest and most appealing little blue-eyed boy with spikey hair, living in Port Elizabeth. I will carry that image forever.

    My thoughts are with my dearest cousin, Trevor, who bears such a great loss. I shall always be there for him.

  27. Only met Geoffery twice – Both times he made feel like he thought me a complete idiot – holding both a ridiculous idealistic viewpoint, and a sage – holding an intelligent balanced perspective at the same time. From reading others comments on this blog I see most experinced this side of Geoffery, the duality of the man. Annoying and opinionated or caring and sharing, all valid perspectives, this duality exists in all people, making us identify, with strong characters, in some its bigger and not hidden away, they make the world damn interesting – Cheers Geoffrey – Love and thoughts to our good friend Trevor at this time.

  28. Geoffrey was a mentor, a manager, but more than anything else he was a great man and friend. I will truly miss him. He was a joy to work with and for and taught me things only Geoffrey could teach. He added the spice to our lives in Thailand. Cheers GAB you will be missed by all of us.

  29. Geoffery was an irrepressible force that will be dearly missed. I will miss his laugh, I will miss his joke emails, I will miss the constant story telling and the smile I always carried when I left his presence.


  31. I was the anonoymous message earlier. Goeffrey, my stepbrother! You are on my mind. Will miss you. More of what ever it takes to move through this difficult one. For Trevor Jai Gypsey Tim Dana, and all those people by whom he was dearly loved, myself included.

  32. I met Geoffrey exactly 7.5 years ago, as a Management Trainee in Thailand. I was lucky to have had the chance to work for him and learn from him, as everyone who did would agree.. such a special personality, a true mentor and motivator, I will always remember him as the Boss who made sure to set the highest standards, while beeing the first to live by these standards. I later had the chance to meet him few times in Australia, wandering around the streets of Sydney for hours. We kept in touch, once in a while I got his latest news and adventures or the funny Jewish jokes he would sent out. My sincere condolences to Tim and Dana and the rest of his family and loved ones.

  33. my hairy potter i will miss you!! thats how i called him! Is his remain still in philippines? i would like to see him for the very last moment!! i will miss the laugh moments we had, our conversation.. God why him?!!

  34. We are the darling and darling mentioned in a couple of the posts above, aka Graham & Margaret Lockwood. It’s been a very difficult couple of weeks getting our heads around the devastating news from Angeles, but today we’ve heard that the killer has been found and, tragically, there have been (at least) 7 other victims. What a shame the death penalty was abolished in the Philippines.
    I first met Geoffrey at Hendon College in the late 60’s, where we studied hotel management together for 4 years. Oh what fun we had! – sex, drugs and rock n roll and countless hours playing bridge. If any other Hendon graduates get to read this, please make contact. Donald, Angie, Peter, Hayden, Mickey, Lawrence, Gail, et al. They were good years for us all.
    On leaving Hendon we went our own ways, but then by chance Margaret & I stayed in Geoffrey’s hotel in Saigon in the early 90’s; the friendship was rekindled and grew closer with each passing year. We’ve stayed with him in Hua Hin and later Pattaya, Margaret worked with him at the Sydney Olympics, he’s stayed with us in Perth and we’ve holidayed together several times – most recently the barge trip in Holland where we celebrated our 60th birthdays together, barely a month before that horrific night in Angeles.
    What wonderful memories come flooding back…Geoffrey’s favourite Greek taverna in Sydney, his penchant for martabak, the crispy skin duck in Soho, the lamb shanks that Margaret cooked for him, and the ox tail (didn’t like that – it comes from far too close to the animals arse!) The long evening discussions on miriad topics over numerous bottles of red. Some of these got quite heated, Margaret & Geoffrey had many a screaming match, but fortunately got to tell each other how much they loved each other. The frequent skype conversations with him from Thailand or the Philippines. It is so unbelievable that these joys can only be memories from now on.
    Thank you Paul for this blog, which shows how many lives were touched and changed by Geoffrey in so many parts of the world. His ideas, his humour, his kindness and the love he had for his family and friends – these were the core of our beautiful friend.
    The words are so banal – but Geoffrey, we will miss you terribly.

  35. No! My name is Joy – Geoffrey and I lived together and were engaged 29 years ago! We lived together in New Brunswick and Banff then spent a year and a half travelling through SE Asia and Austrailia. He was a huge influence in my life and I have many memories…I just learned of this from my sister in Victoria. I live in Texas now and haven’t had contact with Geoffrey for about 4 years. I am devastated. I loved him more than words can express.

  36. Geofferey was one of the coolest dudes around entering his brother, Trevor’s life periodically to drive him nuts. My good friend Trevor resorted to leaving town when Geoff was around at which times I guided him through the best places to buy the best food stuffs of his roots – Chopped liver , chopped herring &, dry wors( South African dried sausage) and biltong ( Dried meat, similar to jerky but better)
    Trevor, I know his passing leaves a huge void. Wishing you a long life.

  37. Geoffrey hired me over a great dinner ,fabulous wine and a interesting discussion over the invasion of Irak…A true mentor, a great manager with a unique sense of humor but more than anything else he was a great man and friend. I will truly miss him.
    As French we had our difference but we enjoy to work together and he taught me things only Geoffrey could teach. He was great gentlemen and added spice to the hotelier life . Cheers GAB you will be missed by all of us.

  38. My dear friend Geoffrey,what a brash and cocky young man you were back in June of 1978. You had just been promoted to Food & Beverage Manager at the Empress Hotel and I just arrived from the Royal York to take over as Front Office Manager. I recall the exact first words you said to me .Remember Fred “The Department Heads run this hotel” I recall the tempestuous Tuesday morning HD meetings,to the detriment of our departed friend and GM Ted Balderson. Geoffrey you have lived the life of twenty men,you truly are the quintessential free spirit .I’am going to miss you my friend!!! I will miss your unannaunced visits to Victoria,our heated Backgammin games, the wild parties,your big and generous heart,the political debates and most of all your stance on human rights. .Happy trails my friend !

  39. I send you Trevor, Gypsy and Jai (Jordan and Courtney) and all Geoffrey’s friends lots of love and strength at this most difficult time. I was so saddened and shocked to hear about this tragedy and am so sorry. I am one of Yogesha’s closest friends and met Geoff on 5 or 6 of his visits to Vancouver and Salt Spring over the last 25 years. One of my favorite memories was at Gypsy and Jordan’s wedding when I had the chance to spend some time with Geoff and sat next to him at dinner. I enjoyed his wild sarcastic humour and his many stories. Yogesha always was excited when either Geoff or Trevor was coming to visit or she was going to meet up with them in some exotic place and would talk of both her brothers as ‘the boys’ and would love to tell me what they were both up to. The last years of her life living in Thailand part of the year one of the bonuses was she got to see Geoff more often. I know how much Geoff was loved by Gypsy and Jai and how important he was to them. It is such a great loss… Although I didn’t know him as well as all of you I wanted to write something to honour his memory. Trevor I send you my love and a big hug and dear Gypsy and Jai who I love so dearly I will come visit you this fall. Take good care of yourselves and as is evident in all these posts Geoff was so loved. Love Premyoga

  40. Having just found out this truly sad, sad news, I was stunned and in disbelief. I haven’t spoken with Geoffrey for a couple of years, but you never truly forget someone like him. Reading through all the posts it’s obvious he will be missed by many many people who love him.
    My sincerest condolences to his family and all his friends…..

  41. Geoffrey was a human province, with mountains and valleys, as an Austrian, I will miss him now, like I miss the mountains and the valleys……

    Rest in peace, fellow traveller….


  42. Pingback: 2010 in review « Paul Draskovich | My Daily Dump

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