Details of Bert Newton’s state funeral have been released, as well as what his son Matthew’s role in the proceedings will be.
He will be farewelled at Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral on Friday November 12, with the service starting at 10 am and doors opening at 8.45am. The funeral will be filmed and livestreamed via the Victorian government website, and is expected to run for an hour and a half.
Seating in the cathedral will be reserved for official guests, family, friends, and colleagues. All attendees must be fully vaccinated.
A statement from the Victorian government read, “A fixture of Australian television, Bert brought his wit and energy into our homes over many decades. He was an entertainer in every sense of the word and this send-off will honour his legacy.
“Family, friends and colleagues will be able to attend the State Funeral Service to celebrate Bert’s life and reflect on his contribution to the entertainment industry, numerous charities and the state of Victoria.”
The family has requested that donations be made to VMCH’s O’Neill House in lieu of flowers.
His son Matthew, an actor who lives in New York, will not attend the service, but will honour his father with a message to be read at the service. Friend of the family and entertainment reporter Peter Ford said on The Morning Show, “Matthew, the son, is not going to be there. He’s not answerable to the media, he’s not answerable to the public – that’s his choice.
“What I can tell you is that there will be a message that will be read, that he will compose himself, that will be read at the funeral as will other messages be read obviously but he will not be attending.
“There was a good connection from Matthew, he didn’t choose to fly back throughout this year even though Bert was clearly seriously ill all year and for the last several weeks gravely ill. He did have a lot of Facetime conversations with him and provided support in that way.”
Bert passed away over the weekend at the age of 83 after having his leg amputated in May. He is survived by wife Patti, children Matthew and Lauren, and six grandchildren.
Image: Chris Hyde/Getty Images
This article first appeared on Over60.