Tony Benoun remembered by Gallifrey One
Throughout the year 1988, following the Doctor Who Traveling Exhibition’s visit to Los Angeles the prior October, scarcely a month went by at the meetings of our local Doctor Who club, the Time Meddlers of Los Angeles, without someone giving voice to the idea that we should run a convention of our own. Tony Benoun was one of those loud and frequent voices in 1988, clamoring for us to step up to the plate and run our own event. He’d been part of Los Angeles Doctor Who fandom since the early 1980s, as part of the Chancellory Guard fan group; had participated in phone banking at KCET during Doctor Who pledge breaks; and had worked many other events, including as security for Creation Conventions. Tony was right with us in early 1989 when our club at large decided to move forward with the dream that would become Gallifrey One; he was with us in 1990, when that dream became reality; and he was with us ever since, as Gallifrey One persists through to this day.
As one of the longest-serving members of the Gallifrey One staff –and one of the few of us still left from those early days — Tony had been co-lead of what we’ve always called our Special Projects division: working on (and selling) our convention merchandise, T-shirts, tote bags, playing cards, stickers and more; supervising the moving and maintenance of our homegrown TARDIS for many years (he was part of a small group that created it, a group we’ve always referred to with a wink as the TARDIS Movers Union Local 42); and contributing such iconic Gallifrey One imagery from our past and present, such as our Jack Daniels T-shirt emblem in 1995, our Buckaroo Banzai headbands from 1997, and so much more. It was almost impossible to experience Gallifrey One over the years and not come into contact with him.
Tony Benoun passed away yesterday after a long illness, leaving behind his loving wife Sherri (also a beloved member of the Gallifrey One team for all these many years, to whom we send our love) and the many friends he had made over the years. We are grateful for everything Tony gave to Gallifrey One over the past 35 years and beyond, especially his kindness, and he won’t be forgotten. Rest in peace.