Tributes have been paid to a much-loved Gold Coast strip club security chief with the help of a GoFundMe campaign set up on behalf of his family, which has raised more than $25,000.
Richie Ahsam, who was recognized locally for his work at the infamous Surfer’s Paradise strip club, Hollywood Showgirls, died on Monday afternoon after telling friends he felt unwell and was admitted to hospital. Gold Coast Bulletin reports. When he was discharged, he died soon after.
In texts between Mr Ahsam and ‘Nuz’ Ngatai (who sings with Koi Boys), the security chief wrote: “I’m going to the hospital bro. Sick”, when asked where he was.
In response, Mr Ngatai wrote: “Oh no. Nothing good bro. Get better.”
Hollywood Showgirls owner Craig Duffy described him as “a really funny character, a likable rogue”. Mr. Ahsam worked at the site shortly after it opened in 2003.
Sharing several posts on Facebook, Mr Duffy wrote about his friend and colleague’s love of karaoke, shared snippets of their trips to Las Vegas and posted his favorite photo – a photo of him and Mr Duffy with former professional boxer Mike Tyson.
“A really funny character, a likable crook,” he told the Bulletin.
Mr Duffy announced that as a tribute to Mr Ahsam, his drinks menu would be displayed behind his table, along with a special poster and plaque.
“It will be shown this evening to celebrate and remember our brother,” Mr Duffy wrote.
The family of another local family hotel restaurant, the now-closed Broadbeach bar, Howl at The Moon, also shared their memories of the incredible character.
“Every couple of weeks Rich would come in for a drink before work or come back to us after the surfers were done,” Anthony Serantanio shared in a Facebook group dedicated to Mr. Ahsam’s death.
“I never saw him in a bad mood, he was ALWAYS up – always funny, always joking, always the biggest personality in the room.”
A message from his daughter, Lanny’s rugby club, Renegades 32 Rugby 7s, described him as “a passionate father and great supporter of all his adopted rugby daughters”.
“From his heated ‘criticism’ of the referees from the sideline to his fundraiser for the girls’ BBQ, Richie was there every time and we will truly miss him,” they wrote.
The married father of two is survived by his wife Danielle and children Isaiah and Leilani.
Originally published as Tributes are being paid to Gold Coast strip club bouncer Richie Osama after her sudden death