dame-elisabeth-carousel

WILL WE SEE HER LIKE AGAIN?

Australia has lost one of its greatest exemplars of a life well lived: the beloved Dame Elisabeth Murdoch has died peacefully in her home, aged 103.

The Murdoch family matriarch led life according to a noble moral code – how can I best serve others? – and she did so with great humility, believing it to be “her great good fortune to help.”

 

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch. Photo via The Herald Sun.
 

“One’s chief obligation is to think about other people and how one can help,” she once told an interviewer, and accordingly she contributed her time and money to over 110 charities, serving on the ...

Want to continue reading?

  • THE DAY PASS -

    $0.99 the-day-pass

    Want to try The Hoopla but not sure what to commit to? How about the clever little Day pass which means you can just pay as you go!

    • Full Online Access
    • Read on Phone, Tablet & PC
    • Zero ongoing commitment
    • Expires after 24 hrs

    Subscribe Now
  • THE MONTHLY -

    $9.99 the-monthly

    Only $0.33 per day with the flexibility of automated month-to-month payments.

    • Full Online Access
    • Read on Phone, Tablet & PC
    • Automatically Billed Monthly
    • Cancel Anytime

    Subscribe Now
  • THE QUARTERLY -

    $29.99 the-quarterly

    Subscribe to The Hoopla quarterly and you’ll get all the benefits of a Hoopla subscription with the added simplicity of only paying every three months.
    • Full Online Access
    • Read on Phone, Tablet & PC
    • Automated Payments every quarter
    • Cancel Anytime

    Subscribe Now
  • THE ANNUAL -

    $75 the-annual

    Get a year's worth of The Hoopla at a discount with our special launch package.

    • Full Online Access
    • Read on Phone, Tablet & PC
    • Easy Yearly Payment
    • Save 37% - was $120 now only $75

    Subscribe Now
Or login to your account

54 Comments

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Jack Richards

    After an extraordinarily long life, she has died. Well, so what? It just goes to show that fabulous wealth cannot buy you immortality. Maybe she was a philanthropist; but it’s easy to appear generous when you have hundreds of millions of dollars. I wonder, as a percentage of her wealth, how much she actually gave away. I’d say that a person earning average wages who gives $50 to The Smith Family or some other charity is, on a percentage basis, a greater philanthropist than was she.

    No doubt the News Ltd press around the world will be writing up fictions about her only marginally less overblown than the eulogies the North Korean press wrote about Kim IL Sung and Kim Jong IL.

    In the last 24 hours many people died in Australia who were just as good, just as caring, just as decent – but they won’t get a pixel of column space to mourn their passing because they weren’t rich, or the wife of an intriguer and political interferer par excellence, or the mother of a man who has managed to turn the profession of journalism into a bastion of sleaze, under-handedness and political manipulation with the morals of sewer rat. Thanks to Rupert, journalism is now held in the same esteem as shonky travelling-tradies, loan sharks, and used-car salesmen.

    I can hardly wait for the funeral. Perhaps Rupert will spring for a gold casket a la Carl Williams – after all, their businesses were very different but their ethics were identical.

    • Reply December 6, 2012

      Debra Atkinson

      Charming is is quite distressing to see that we as a community have devolved to such an extent – You have a total lack of respect

    • Reply December 6, 2012

      JOAN

      Jack I Pity You. For your bitter words, Yes There are a lot of People in this World that have Served the Community Including My Husband. And we are not well off either,But never ever would we Detract what a Wonderful Lady has Done. I agree with others. Other Rich and Famous have done Jack Squat and wouldn’t even care about ANYONE other than Themselves. What Have You Contributed ??

    • Reply December 9, 2012

      anne louise

      I’m with you Jack.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Sharon T

    I like many, admired Dame Elisabeth. I can’t add anything new or different to the many tributes she is so riching deserving of, however, even though I didn’t meet her, I felt her warmth and dignity, and hope her memory inspires many of us to emulate her achievements.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Rhoda

    @ Jack Richards. Why be spiteful? She harmed no one and did much that was good and with a generous and kind spirit.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    ro.watson

    What a beautiful woman.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Dale Torrance

    What a vile human being you are Jack Richards.
    Vale Dame Elisabeth, the world and Australia is definitely a poorer place for your passing. May you rest in peace.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Sharon T

    @ Jack – bah HUMBUG. You are misguided when you assume that just because someone is wealthy, they are in some way less honourable, or less worthy of respect, Of course there are good people, just as caring just as decent ….. however, here is a lady from a loftier fiscal plateau than most of can ever dream of, yet she never gave anyone the idea she was better than them, or her own ideals and goals were any more important. The good she did will certainly be live after her, notwithstanding the evils or others ….

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    MoniqueN

    And in the article it quoted her as saying that it wasn’t enough to merely give money, she liked to be involved in her causes not just write them a cheque and forget them.

    She was a wonderful woman, and no, we will probably not see her like again. Vale Dame Elisabeth Murdoch RIP.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    florally

    poor old Jack is obviously having a bad day – bex and a lay down needed.
    Personally i have always found the work of Dame Elisabeth quite remarkable, Granted that many of us do not have a personal fortune to be generous with, but we all equally have 24 hours in a day and can chose to spend our time as we wish. I just love the sentiment that giving your energy, time and commitment to a cause matters too.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Sue Ingleton

    The mother of Rupert. What was her influence on his life? I have a certain sympathy with Jack’s comments. So many die unheralded deaths, so many give their all for humanity. What did it cost Dame Elizabeth to be generous? Its not a spiteful thought at all but we will all have to experience the accolades. Where’s the balance? We are easily led

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Caroline B

    I also understand where Jack’s coming from. I’m sure she was a great philanthropist but it’s not that hard to be generous when you have so much wealth & opportunity.

    Nice lady – probably. Was she so much more saintly than people struggling on a low or average income who still find ways to help others & give to charity? Not in my opinion.

    RIP & well done for having some compassion & a social conscience & acting on it, but let’s not get carried away here.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    TMS

    I think recognising the achievements of Dame Elisabeth does not take away from the sacrifices and charity of others. Praise is due to all who help others in whatever way they can. This is the moment to acknowledge a woman who lived a fortunate life and used her good fortune to help others.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Sally

    The rent we pay on earth is by the good we do for others.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Babs

    Now there’s a role model! She may have had tons of $ but she got out there and did some good for the world. And from whAt I understand she was active in her philanthropy almost to the end.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Jack Richards

    I wonder if, instead of being born into wealth and marrying a rich man, she had been born the illegitimate daughter of a migrant girl with a 5th grade education, would she now be lauded around the world. I doubt it.

    That illegitimate girl born in 1926 was my mother. She grew up in a rented room at the back of green-grocer’s store in a less than salubrious suburb. Until she was 15, she and her mother shared the same bed. Mum became an apprentice hair-dresser after 2nd Year at High School i.e. at 14 and saved enough money in her first few months of work to buy her own 2nd-hand single bed and an AWA radio – which I still have.

    Over the years, my mother joined all sorts of organisations and invariably rose to be President. She was a Commissioner of Girl Guides and founded the first Women’s Refuge in Penrith. She started numerous businesses from scratch, mainly in ladies’ fashion and maternity and baby wear. Later in life, she founded both a VIEW Club and a Probus Club in a large country town, as well as being President of a Hospice Auxiliary and the local Red Cross. There was hardly a week when she wasn’t working for one charity or another. Every weekend she was selling jams, cake, and clothing at a stall in the street, in all weather, to raise money for the Smith Family or the Hospital or the Spastic Centre.

    In 2000 my mother received the Order of Australia for her charitable works that started when in 1944, at the age of 18, she created an organisation to help the wives and children of POWs and those listed as “missing in action”.

    Mum is now 86, has advanced dementia, and barely knows who she is, let alone recognising me or other relatives. When she dies, which is likely to be soon, there won’t be a word in the press that I don’t write and pay for. MY mother never had millions to give away; she only had time and dedication and not once did she ever get a free lunch on those street stalls. Oh no, she packed her own cheese sandwich, and it never occurred to her that she derive fame and fortune for her efforts.

    Do any of you who accuse me of being spiteful think for one moment that Dame Elisabeth Murdoch ever packed her own cheese sandwich and walked in the rain to a street stall to sell home-made jam, toffees and cakes for a penny here and a shilling there? Not bloody likely.

    Dame Elisabeth was a great patron of the Arts, apparently. Think about that for a moment. Just how much hardship and self-denial did that exact from her? For much of my mother’s life, she didn’t have the price of a pot of paint, much less swanning about galleries, delicately breaking wind after a good free feed of hors d’oeuvres, imported cheeses and champagne.

    Plenty of decent people died yesterday and the great world accepted the tiny burden of their deaths with nary a sigh.

    As I said above, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch died yesterday at 103, well… so what!

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Brenden

    Will we see the likes of Dame Elisabeth again?
    Gina Rhinhart, Clive Palmer, Tinkler, Twiggie you name any of the wealthy Australians of today and you can bet your last $$ you have seen the last of her style.
    She had plenty but boy did she do plenty, more than any detractors will ever bother to find out.
    Thank you Dame Elisabeth, Thank You.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Anne L

    Vale to a beautiful and noble woman. She was a humble and caring soul, kind to all who knew her ‘rich’ or ‘poor’ or inbetween. Extremely generous with her money, and with her heart … she cared about people, she worked hard for her causes, she didn’t just fling money around … she took things to heart.
    Hearing people talk about her her knew her on radio, she was a very very kind and modest human. She trod lightly on the earth during her long life of service. If any of us do likewisewhether we are rich or poor, it will have been a beautiful life. Honouring her life and legacy in no way diminishes the greatness of others. xxx

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    SallyE

    @jack richards, thank you for telling us about your wonderful mother. You are quite right there are many wonderful people who are extremely generous of their time and compassion who we never hear about, just as there are many people in paid positions who every day work miracles for individuals and the community who are not the “go to” faces that the media use. The critical thing about people like Dame Elizabeth is that because of their prominence they can draw attention to what needs to be done far more effectively than the rest of us. We need both types of people. I do hope you are going to write your mother’s biography and lodge it with your local library/historical society as she has clearly impacted many people’s lives and deserves not to be forgotten. She is lucky to have a son like you who is so fiercely proud of her

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    ro.watson

    Jack~ moved by your Mum’s contributions. Glad she was recognised in her lifetime.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    sully of hay

    i agree with jack richards.
    the rich and idle who give a pittance of their fortune to charity, make sure everybody knows about it and claim it back through their private accountants are lorded as saints when they pass on.
    give me a break. where were her parenting skills on the monster she unleashed on the world in son rupert.
    the man who stands for greed and undermining democracy and privacy through his filthy media empire.
    a non stop tirade by his minions in his gutter press here and fox news in the states, not to mention the terrible invasions of privacy and corruption in his uk press.
    more time being a strong mum may have been a virtue.
    so she was on a few charity committees, most in name only.
    she certainly did not give till it hurt.
    leave the false praise and sorrow to akerman and the rest of murdoch’s toadies.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Katie

    Try comparing Dame Elisabeith Murdoch to Gina Rinehart for personality! Gina has advice for both rich and poor – but is she gracious and does she help anyone?

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    JoanneH

    I always admired Dame Elizabeth, and thought she was more ‘down-to-earth’ than most of the other rich society ladies who get so much publicity. So many of them think they deserve our praise for paying a few hundred dollars to attend an event where they can show off their new outfits and hairdos, catch up with their chums, and get their photos in the society pages.

    While hearing the many glowing tributes to Dame Elizabeth’s contribution of time and money to help others less privileged than herself, I wonder what people will be saying when Rupert dies?

    At least the Liberal Party will have a lot to thank him for!

    • Reply December 6, 2012

      Jack Richards

      JoanneH, I’d say Rupert will get much the same as did Sir Frank Packer when he died, only on a much greater and grander global scale. I remember buying the “Daily Worker” (or was it “Socialist Worker”?) back in May 1974 and the headline read “SIR FRANK PACKER IS DEAD – GOOD!”

      It then went on to list his achievements in life; how he made his fortune from, of all things, The Australian Women’s Weekly and “The Telegraph” (after inheriting his father’s newspaper, of course); how he’d send the bullies around to beat up competitors and smash their presses – and he even did it personally once backed up by only two professional heavies; how he intimidated Bob Menzies and took credit for getting him elected in 1949 and at every subsequent election until he retired; how Bob would ring him to get Frank’s approval for new policies; how Bob paid him off by giving him the first commercial TV licence in 1956, for little or no cost at all, of course i.e. what became the Nine Network – a licence to print money in those days; and then, like all the thugs, crooks, spivs and frauds of the time, he was Knighted in 1959 for his “services to journalism”. He was later joined in that esteemed bunyip aristocracy by the likes of Sir Robin Askin, Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen and Sir Terrence Lewis.

      I’d say Rupert can look forward to even greater accolades; particularly from the victims of his phone-hacking in Britain and the people who lives have been ruined by the lies and mud-slinging of his scandal sheets. Indeed, his eulogy will be a very long litany of sleaze, bullying and corruption enabling stretching across four continents.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    ro.watson

    Mmm~ sick children….No fault.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Joan

    Australia has Lost One of the Most Beautiful Lady’s I am sure the World has ever Known Of .There are none in your Financial Position Today that could Hold a Candle to You.And You Did so much without Anybody even Knowing about it. R.I.P. Dame Elisabeth. The Angels Will Look after You.!!

    • Reply December 7, 2012

      Jack Richards

      For God’s sake, get your hand off it, Joan.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Rhoda

    Jack, with respect, your mother was not in competition with Dame Elizabeth. Each of us is measured by those who know us. We cannot know everybody.

    Dame Elizabeth’s life was not just about her husband and the Murdock empire just as your mother’s life wasn’t just about her family and what you and your siblings did with your lives.

    Both were wonderful people in their own right. Don’t diminish their light.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    mudhouse jane

    Strange – I was thinking of Dame Elisabeth yesterday morning when I was looking at the festering disaster that my garden is rapidly becoming. I wondered if she was back home with her beloved gardener, doing her daily rounds.

    Dame Elisabeth chose to use her money wisely. She could have holed up and said bugger off to the rest of the world, but she didn’t. She was in the enviable position of being able to help in big, lasting ways, organisationally as well as financially. How lucky was she.

    Yes, Jack Richards ,there are many unsung and unselfish heroes like your dear Mum. Life can be inherently unfair. But that doesn’t give you the right to denigrate a person that, despite her privilege, still managed to make a great impact.

    I have spent the last few weeks, going through my parents’ effects; plus revisiting some of my great aunt’s that had been carefully kept. My Dad was unselfish – he did a lot at local, state and national levels in a couple of volunteer organisations. And he was awarded an OAM. My Mum was kind to people. My Great Aunt did loads for charity. None of them expected any reward, other than the love of their family and friends.

    I don’t begrudge any of the accolades shown to Dame Elisabeth: there are special people out there who just do things because they care enough, and thank God that they do.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    ro.watson

    …”the daily rounds, the common tasks” as my Dad used to say…

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Melissa

    Thanks for veering from the crowdspeak Jack. Surely, if she was such an ardent philanthropist, she would have preferred the cost of the state funeral be spent on helping people.

    • Reply December 7, 2012

      paul of hay

      so true melissa,
      at least the gardiner wont get into strife for not having pruned the roses properly at crude farm before the lady held a garden party in aid of some poor unfortunates.
      off couse those unfortunates never made it to crud farm, just a self satisfied smug set off fellow socialites who always wanted a fancy feed for their donations.
      any family would be horrified by their 18 year old daughter marrying a 43 year old, these days it is called borderline pedofillia.

  • Reply December 6, 2012

    Jack Richards

    @Melissa, a State Funeral? I didn’t know about that; but I’m not surprised. The very wealthy mother of one of the richest men on earth even gets her bloody funeral paid for by the plebs, hey. A five-star ride all her life and even in death the crawlers are still kissing her arse.

    What’s the bet every Liberal politician, every wannabe, every stuck-up social climber in the country is there – and the whole Cathedral will echo to faux-English-private-school-accents. Every bloated old matriarch in the country with a double-barrelled name, like Ogilvy-Fotheringham and Beauchamp-Cholmondley, or Smyth-Spencer-Mainwaring will turn up in some ridiculous designer outfit that would look more at home in a circus in the hope they’ll get photographed by the tabloids or, even better, interviewed on TV. I can just hear them now, in their high-pitched best Royal accents, explaining how they once sat only two tables away from Dame Elisabeth at a $10,000-a-seat benefit for a home for aged and retired fox-hunting hounds.

    Why is it that the rich always manage to shift their personal costs onto the public purse? Even their bloody funerals. Who’s going to pay for the funerals of those two young women murdered in SA yesterday? Maybe Rupert will follow his mother’s example of “philanthropy” and offer to pay for that. But we all know that that sort of selfless graciousness suits him like a saddle suits a cow. Oh no, they’ll get nothing from the public purse; but they will get the undertaker’s bill, which Rupert will not.

    If she’d been a Catholic there’d be some bloody idiot claiming they’d been cured of varicose veins or irritable bowel syndrome after praying to a tissue she’d once boogered into and demanding George Pell immediately beatify her.

    Maybe my tepid bolshevism is starting to show, but this reminds me a bit of when Tsar Alexander Romanov died and a tax was levied on the poorest in Russia to pay for his funeral and monuments – and of course, a good piss-up for his 10,000 closest relatives.

    This whole “have” and “have not” divide has gotten far too wide and it’s near time the tumbrils started rolling again.

    • Reply December 7, 2012

      paul of hay

      jack, don’t forget spiv-worthy.

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    ro.watson

    oh, jack. It must be hard and ugly seeing your strong,capable mum who gave so much, losing who she was, to herself, and everyone else,including you.

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    Jack Richards

    In memory of Dame Elisabeth, I have just thought of James Shirley’s poem, ‘Death the Leveller’ the first stanza of which goes thus:

    THE glories of our blood and state
    Are shadows, not substantial things;
    There is no armour against Fate;
    Death lays his icy hand on kings:
    Sceptre and Crown
    Must tumble down,
    And in the dust be equal made
    With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

    The only satisfaction I get out of this disgraceful exhibition of national poltroonery and sycophancy is the knowledge that, at this very moment, Dame Elisabeth is just another stiff of a slab in a morgue. She’s been “levelled” – and I just don’t care!

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    ro.watson

    Poltroonery~ I am going to have to look that one up. I am not sure about the displacement of anger for despair, hurt, and loss. But Jack~as you have said,your mum has done a lot of good. I am so sorry for what she and you are suffering.

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    ro.watson

    Poltroonery~ means lazy.

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    Jack Richards

    Actually it means: coward, dastard, chicken-hearted, spineless, jelly-backed, yellow, gutless

    • Reply December 7, 2012

      Yasmina No2

      poltroonery, is the perfect word to describe you Jack!

      How is it possible that a wonderfull woman such as your mum,could give birth to an arsehole such as yourself?

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    Megan

    Jack Richards – you must be one bitter sad person, I feel sorry for you.

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    mags

    Being spiteful does no honour to your mother, Jack Richards. I’m sure if she had all her faculties she would be ashamed of you for your petty ranting. There’s a lot of difference between generosity with money and being generous with spirit. Many people give of their time, energy and money to help those less fortunate. Would they begrudge the praise for this remarkable woman? I doubt it. When you think of some of the charities that would never get funding or volunteers until their plight was brought to the public’s attention by someone with the clout to do so, there would be many. No doubt those who benefit from their participation would not begrudge a word of praise for them. Your mother was acknowledged for her contribution. Be proud.

    Parents can only try to influence their children. It doesn’t always succeed and they shouldn’t be blamed for their actions. I bet your mother didn’t raise you to be envious and spiteful, but you are. It says more about you than her.

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    sue

    Jack, we heard you. You’ve said enough. To use Dame Elisabeth as a vehicle from which to express your extreme bitterness is most inappropriate.

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    verushcke

    I wonder if Jack Richards mother would have voiced such scathing comments about Dame Elisabeth, I don’t think so, if she was such a charitable worker herself I feel she would have thought of Dame Elisabeth as a like minded charitable person.. As for the criticism of Rupert – the same applies to you – where did your vitriolic comments come from, not your wonderful mother I’m sure.

  • Reply December 7, 2012

    Melissa

    I’m puzzled why Jack is being attacked as an “arsehole”
    ( I thought the moderator may intervene here) because he is not fawning over a woman who he never knew, who lived a charmed life has died peacefully. Personally, I do’t find him bitter at all: refreshing more like it!

    Why has no- one expressed sorrow about the 2 young women murdered in SA?

  • Reply December 8, 2012

    Jack Richards

    The reason no-one is expressing any public sorrow about those two young women, or offering their families a State Funeral, is because they were neither rich nor powerful enough to pull political ropes on three continents, or make and break leaders as the Murdochs have done for a century.

    I have written to Ted Bailleu expressing my utter dismay and outrage over this State Funeral business and this is part of the letter:

    “Here’s the truth, when she was 18 she married a bloke who was 25 years her senior and already a very rich man with a long history of interfering in politics and mercilessly pursuing and denigrating anyone he saw as politically unsound. He set out to, and did, destroy the Prime Ministerships of both Billy Hughes and Stanley Bruce with constant attacks in his mud-raking and lying scandal sheets – much like his son is doing, and has done, here, in the UK and the USA for the past 60 years.

    Dame Elisabeth had no education to speak of, no skills, no training, and never held a paying job. Not once in her long, pampered and aristocratic life did she raise a finger to earn so much as a penny. There are no fields she ploughed, no crops she planted, no manufacture her hands ever touched, and no cash-register she ever operated. In fact, over her one hundred and three years she contributed sweet f**k all to the economy of this nation. She was, on any yardstick, the worst sort of rent-seeker, drone and bludger. She was a parasite who lived off the earnings of others. In other circumstances she’d be rightly described as a “pimp”.

    All this breast-beating about her charitable works overlooks the fact that she employed a gaggle of flunkies to actually do the work, write the letters, and come up with the ideas. She just turned up to be photographed by Rupert’s “social editors”, collect the accolades for the work of others, and stick her snout in the trough.

    All her life politicians, potentates and tuppenny-ha’penny snobs with faux-English accents have been sniffing after her farts and calling them sweet in the hope that they could crawl-by-proxy to Keith and then to Rupert in the hope that they wouldn’t be smeared in the gutter press and would, instead, get a few favourable mentions in an editorial.

    Being the direct descendant of five convicts transported to this country between 1788 and 1794, and of a 29 year-old woman hanged for burglary in Somerset in 1786, of men and women who pioneered this country, of men who fought at Gallipoli, on the Western Front and the islands of the Pacific, many of whom still lie there, I see no reason why that desiccated, lazy old crone who never in her life knew the meaning of the word “hardship” should get a cent from the tax-payer’s purse. How many Murdochs gave their lives for this country? I know the answer, it was NONE. While my grand-father was in the trenches on the Somme with his hands wrapped around a Lee-Enfield .303 rifle, Keith Murdoch was in a five-star London Hotel with his hands wrapped around the cutlery and a fountain pen.”

    There are another few paragraphs following roughly the same theme. I have asked Mr Bailleu to provide an estimate of the costs to the tax-payer and to explain the rationale for such a hand-out. As yet, he has not replied.

  • Reply December 8, 2012

    Sarah Bruce

    Thank you for the very entertaining reading above. Whilst I wait for the rest of my family to awake this Saturday morning. I live only a short distance from Cruden Farm and used to see Dame Elisabeth shopping at the local shops many years ago when she was more mobile and yes she has achieved much in her lifetime (and yes through privelege), but Jack yes it is easy to forget the many many people who have also done just as much pounding the pavement in terms of charity work also are entitled to such plaudits from the wider community. We’ve all got a story to tell of some family member who has done this and done that in their lifetimes but the most important thing to remember, state memorial and funeral services will always occur whether we like them or not. It might be a small sign that us as plebs (in Jack’s words) need to do more hands on rather than just put our hands in our purses when the charities knock on our door.

  • Reply December 9, 2012

    anne louise

    I’m still with you Jack.
    Anyone like to list the contributions of this woman which justify the accolades and state funeral? Yep, she was nice and lady like. But…… I would like to pay homage to your Mum, Jack.

  • Reply December 9, 2012

    vanessay

    This reminds me of when Elizabeth Taylor died. There was similar bitterness and vilification at that time as to why we were mourning an actress, homewrecker, drug addict etc. Because she was one of the first to recognise the need to do something about AIDS and her foundation has raised 12 million dollars for AIDS research, that’s why.
    A quick glance at Wikipedia will tell you about Dame Elisabeth’s contributions. It is appalling that people are saying that just because she was wealthy she does not deserve recognition for her charity work. People are so bitter and angry these days, it is scary.
    One person’s actions or suffering do not negate another person’s actions or suffering, Jack Richards.
    I cannot agree with Dame Elisabeth’s support of the Australian Family Association, but can we acknowledge her work in animal welfare (RSPCA) medical research, deafness, disability, the Royal Women’s Hospital and move on.
    Please do not forget that women in the public eye are still mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties and friends and their families do not deserve this bitter crap from those of us who did not know them.
    Would you go down to the local funeral parlor and say “so what” to the mourners gathered there for an old lady’s funeral?
    There is an eerie “Westbro Baptist Church” feel about some of these comments, but haters are going to hate, I suppose.

  • Reply December 10, 2012

    Doone

    Seems to me that both Dame Murdoch and Mrs Richards were women devoted to public service who were probably disappointed in their sons.
    Politically and personally I have no love for the Murdock men. (Family story is that Keith Murdoch ruined my Walkley award winning grandfather’s career because of his communist sympathies.) However I applaud Dame Murdoch’s contributions to society. Given her gender, class and generation her opportunities to participate in society were limited, she did much with what she could.
    I’d like to see more made of women’s contribution, but I’ll take the praise for Dame Elisabeth as a start.

  • Reply December 10, 2012

    anne louise

    No doubt about it – she gave a lot of money away and sat on a lot of committees.
    No one’s saying that she’s less of a person or suggesting that one should visit deceased old ladies in funeral parlours with a view to upsetting their mourners.

  • Reply December 12, 2012

    ro.watson

    Oh~ I did not know Elizabeth Taylor had died,Vanessay. There is something grand about your anger Jack. Everyone who has not been celebrated. Everyone who has been forgotton.

  • [...] Elsewhere in the arts, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor was the driving force behind the newly revamped Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, while Julianne Schultz was appointed chair of the group steering the development of the National Cultural Policy. The arts world bade farewell to one of its most generous benefactors, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch. [...]

Leave a Reply