Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Richard Neville Farewelled

It was at the book launch in 2011 for the late film-maker Albie Thoms at the Paddington Town Hall that Whispers last spoke to Richard Neville  (pictured left at the launch)

A close friend confided that Richard had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia. He seemed fine and in good spirits but sadly this terrible scourge carried Neville off earlier this month at age 74.

It's a shame we couldn't make the memorial last Saturday morning for Richard at The Wharf  but Sydney's chronicler of personalities, photographer William Yang was there:

Richard Walsh & Julie Clarke Neville
"RICHARD NEVILLE'S memorial event was, appropriately, something of a talk fest. The speakers, each in their way excellent, created a diverse and rich tribute to Richard. Julie Neville welcomed the guests and Richard Walsh began the avalanche of memories. Louise Ferrier, once girlfriend to Richard, spoke of the time in London. George Gittoes read a message from Julian Assange. Charlie Waterstreet, Jenny Kee, Morris Gleitzman gave tributes. Bryan Brown read Richard's adaptation of Ginsberg's poem "Howl" set in a more modern corporate world. Hellen Rose and Reg Mombassa each sang songs. Richard's daughters, Angelica and Lucy. stole the show. They painted Richard as a father conflicted by his alternative, libertine past and a persona they called "The Colonel", (his father was a colonel), who had extremely conservative views when it came to raising his daughters, and who terrorised their boyfriends. The singalong of Dylan's "Mr Tambourine Man" as the finale almost worked.
The event at the Wharf was a true TRIBAL GATHERING, touched with sadness and celebration, and memorable because of the speeches.

                                             Words & Photos by WILLIAM YANG
Jenny Kee & William Yang *    Tony & Amanda Bilson *        Jill Wran & David Malouf *   Mick Glasheen