Like most modern celebrities, Flying Phil has a Facebook fan page.
As of Saturday, the growing group dedicated to Phil St. Luke — affectionately named Flying Phil Fanclub — had 323 members.
The group was started in 2006 by Tim Nudd, who was born and raised in Parksville but has since relocated to the Comox Valley.
“I know he’s a well known, I guess you could say, local celebrity,” Nudd told The NEWS, adding he still actively monitors the page.
“I didn’t know how many people actually knew him, but it came to my attention (after making the Facebook page) that even more people know him than I thought, which is cool.”
The page is overwhelmed with photos of St. Luke — standing with a parrot at the Too Crazy Birdy Boutique, giving the classic thumbs up to passerbys, sitting in the back seat of a woman’s car, grinning outside a store with an enormous gorilla stuffed animal draped over his shoulders and hanging out with locals at Parksville events.
Greg Bay commented on the page July 7: “Some of my favourite childhood memories were wrestling with Phil and the neighbourhood kids in Whiskey Creek. In the late ’80s Phil knew everything about every wrestler. Too cool.”
Gary Craig posted: “He will always be Mr. Parksville to me!”
Duffy Michael Senior posted: “It was wonderful to see Phil in the parade beating his drum. Thanks for the memories.”
When Phil strolled into The NEWS a few hours after discovering the page, he said he was “shocked” about his growing online fan base.
“I feel like a senator,” he said. “Or a president.”
Phil admits he doesn’t actually have a personal Facebook account, but he’s flattered by the page made in his honour.
“Oh my god, wonderful times,” he said scrolling through years of memories. “I just love Parksville.”
In 2008, then- city councillor Chris Burger declared March 7 — Phil’s birthday — Flying Phil Day.
“Phil is somebody who touches everybody,” said the fan club creator Nudd, who first met Phil at Parksville’s annual sandcastle event when he was 4 years old. “It’s nice to have somebody in the community who can do that.”