Friday, July 05, 2013

Ray Richards, Godfather NZ publishing industry, farewelled in appropriate style

James Harrray (Ray) Richards
1 February 1921 - 1 July 2013

Several hundred people gathered this afternoon at the Naval Memorial Chapel at the Devenport Naval Base to farewell and honour Ray Richards who died on Monday 1 July.

Celebrant Alistair Harray, (Ray's cousin), presided over a moving and impressive service.

After Alastair's introduction Commander Haggitt spoke of Ray's wartime career with the Fleet Air Arm, then Geoff Walker, (colleague, publishing consultant & friend), and Witi Ihimaera, (author, client & friend), spoke of Ray's career in the book world.

They were followed by Ray's daughters, Bronwyn & Nicola, and his grandsons Andrew & Alistair who spoke with great love about Ray's life as a father, grandfather and mentor. There was hardly a dry eye after their eloquent tributes of love.

Finally Alastair Harray talked about the events that shaped Ray's life and Commander Gilchrist delivered the Ode.
Kerry Robertson, a bugler with the NZ Air Force Band, concluded the service by playing The Last Post & Reveille.

It was a grand occasion in a wonderful location of which I am sure Ray would have approved. The service was a balanced one with attention to all aspects of Ray's full and impressive life being observed.

Farewell Ray, dear friend. R.I.P .

I hope to post to the blog over the weekend the tributes made by Geoff Walker & Witi Ihimaera if I can get hold of their notes.

Photo of Ray above by David White.

Photo below of the front of the Chapel taken by publisher Peter Dowling.

1 comment:

Sharon Holt said...

One of the things I will never forget about Ray was the lovely Christmas cards sent every year which were usually created from Barbara's paintings. Everyone in the team signed them and these were always very happily received. Farewell Ray. You can rest now.