Lou Richards' gratitude for life remembered during State Funeral at St Paul's Cathedral
Collingwood Football Club and footy media great's life commemorated in Cathedral service
By Mark Brolly
May 17 2017A worthy response to the life of Lou Richards was to live lives of gratitude and lives that made others grateful, Bishop Philip Huggins said at the State Funeral for the Collingwood Football Club legend and football media pioneer at St Paul’s Cathedral on 17 May.
Archbishop Philip Freier said at the start of the service that Mr Richards was an outstanding Victorian and Australian who brought joy to many people.
Mr Richards, 94, died on 8 May after almost eight decades in the public eye.
The Australian Football League website described his career thus: “A feisty rover, Richards followed a long line of family members to represent his beloved Magpies, playing 250 games and kicking 423 goals from 1941-55, and captaining the club to the 1953 premiership.
“But it was his ubiquitous presence in the media – on television, radio and in print – that lifted Richards to true superstardom.”
Bishop Huggins framed his sermon around gratitude and continuity, and said the photos in the Order of Service, along with the eulogies and other tributes to Mr Richards, spoke of a man who had a good life and was grateful for it.
“The pictures in our Order of Service tell the story of Lou gratefully making something of all the opportunities life offered him – and creating opportunities for others, too,” Bishop Huggins said.
Bishop Huggins remarked that when choosing the Gospel reading - from St John chapter 21, verses 4-14 (Jesus’ third encounter with the disciples after his Resurrection as they were fishing) – the organisers were unaware that one of the photos in the Order of Service would be of Mr Richards fishing with mates.
He said the Easter paschal candle was sign of the Resurrection faith and of continuity.
“Having lived to be 94, Lou attended many, many funerals – most poignantly, for his beloved wife Edna (who died in 2008).
“He heard many times, the Gospel promise of Jesus to us: 'I go to prepare a place for you …'. A place for you, one that thus reflects our uniqueness, our distinctiveness of character and personality.
“The universal promises are also deeply personal. A place of union and reunion, where those who have passed before us, like Edna, meet us anew in resurrection life in that place of happiness, light and peace, called Heaven…
“As we prepare to make our prayers, we can imagine Lou entering that new resurrection life, embracing, being embraced, running free in a new form, not the same as those days of old, but yet with a continuity.
“There is continuity, mystical and true. It is personal and it’s for all of us. This life and the life into which our forebears have been trusted – as we do now with Lou – confident in the resurrection of the Body and life everlasting.”