New details have emerged for the planned state funeral to honour the late TV legend Bert Newtown, who died on Saturday.
His widow Patti met with representatives from the Victorian Premier’s office on Monday to discuss the arrangements, as she is determined to add a dash of show business.
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.
Bert’s 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 had been battling complications since surgery to have his leg amputated in May and is survived by his wife Patti, children Lauren and Matthew and extended family.
The news was confirmed on Saturday night by Peter Ford on behalf of the grieving family.
I have very sad news ….
Showbiz icon Bert Newton has died at age 83.
It was remarkable career on TV, stage & radio. Sadly he didn’t get the last chapter he deserved. He was a great mentor & friend to me.
Condolences to Patti,Lauren,Matthew & extended family.
— Peter Ford (@mrpford) October 30, 2021
Image credits: Getty Images
This article first appeared on Over60.