Barry Albin-Dyer, the funeral director who helped and comforted thousands of people through his long career and charitable work, has passed away, it was announced today.
The Bermondsey figurehead, who built up and expanded F.A. Albin & Sons, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family. He had been battling brain cancer for well over a year, and as reported in last week’s News, took a turn for the worse and had returned home from hospital two weeks ago.
Barry’s doting sons, Simon and Jon, stated on the Albins website that he had ‘fought to the end’. “We are so proud of him and we offer our sincere thanks for all the many prayers and messages of support that we have received,” they added.
Among a wide array of business interests and charitable work that he headed up, Barry also singlehandedly saved the Southwark News from going under back in the 1990s, keeping it going ‘for the people of Bermondsey, Rotherhithe and Southwark’ and ensuring its viability before arranging for it to be taken on by its current owners. In a joint statement, managing directors Chris Mullany and Kevin Quinn said: “We are so deeply saddened to learn of Barry’s death. He was a real mentor – an unwavering and loyal friend to us and the paper – there simply would not be a Southwark News without him. Throughout our time at the paper, we have always relied on him for advice and support and he was never too busy to help. We join with the many thousands of local people in mourning the passing of a truly wonderful man, and send our deepest condolences to Simon, Jon and all the family at this sad time.”
Long-time family friend and former Bermondsey MP, Simon Hughes, who was with Barry and his family this morning before his death, commented: “If anybody represented the best of Bermondsey, that person was Barry Albin. He loved and cared for thousands, probably tens of thousands of people and families and they and we all loved him back. His whole family have been just wonderful in his final days and have watched over him like angels in the difficult last hours before his death today. They have our love and prayers and support and that will continue always, because nothing can undo what Barry has done and given and meant to Bermondsey for so many years.”
Southwark Council Leader, Cllr Peter John, commented: “I am so sorry to hear of Barry’s death. He was a genuinely kind and generous man who offered strength, comfort and support to so many at their times of greatest need. He was the best of Bermondsey and Southwark and was a great ambassador for our area. Together with so many whose lives he touched, I will truly miss his friendship, advice and support.”
A full tribute to Barry will feature in next Thursday’s Southwark News. Please send any personal tributes to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org