Saturday, August 22, 2009

Johnny Baker signs off

It was a send-off Johnny Baker would have loved-particularly as he planned most of it before he passed away, nipping in the bud a small funeral followed by a large memorial weeks later on the quite reasonable grounds he wouldn't be around to attend it. Held at St Joseph's in Sydney where Baker had attended mass every morning he was in town.

A billionaire or 2, plenty from the big end of town , football players and a touch of Hollywood. The perfect 'Bakes' get-together that included many of the ladies Johnny had accompanied to endless shindigs with Ros Packer, Jane Ferguson , Ainslie Gotto, Lady Arwill, film producer Rebel Penfold Russell and Lady Sonia McMahon who was accompanied by her actor son, 'Nip Tuck' star Julian McMahon.
Lady Sonia & Julian McMahon (copyright the Shuttle)
Penne Peacock (copyright the Shuttle)

Former Texas beauty queen Penne Peacock , best pal of Laura Bush flew in for the funeral. The Duchess of Cornwall sent flowers. Tears were followed by laughter when the mega-rich Paul Ramsay told a series of anecdotes of he and Bake's world tours that started off with a chance meeting 30 years ago when Johnny said-"you've got the cash, I've got the friends, we should holiday together". And so they did 2 or 3 times a year for the next 3 decades.

It can't be said much better than Mark McGinness's excellent obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald : Discreet charms of a man about town