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Community Mourns Richard Pratt

29 April 2009

The Victorian Jewish community fareweels Richard Pratt.

“Richard Pratt’s life was a wonderful, quintessentially Australian story”, according to John Searle, president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, the peak body of Victorian Jewry.

“This is a country which has given so many newcomers the chance to make good and of course Dick Pratt had the skills and temperament to make the most of that opportunity.

A boy from a migrant family who settled in the bush, Dick Pratt’s story is well known. Blessed with business acumen, charisma, sporting and artistic ability, he built an empire and great wealth. More importantly than that, he gave so much of his fortune away, leaving behind a good name and a family imbued with his philanthropic principles.

As Stephen Kernahan, his successor as Carlton Football Club president, said, "You don't take over from Dick Pratt. He's a once-in-a-generation person and you can't fill his shoes". Thus we are witnessing a remarkable outpouring of public grief from a whole range of individuals and organisations, including the many employees whom he treated with loyalty and respect, politicians and leaders of industry, the Carlton Football Club, and the innumerable recipients of his renowned generosity including welfare and arts bodies..

Certainly Dick Pratt was a hugely honoured and respected leader of the Victorian and Australian Jewish communities. Hard work, initiative and the giving of charity are traits greatly admired by our community and Dick Pratt had these in great abundance.

At this time, our thoughts turn to his family who have lost a wonderful husband, father, father in law and friend. We extend our condolences to them and hope they may find comfort in the knowledge that Dick Pratt has left behind a wonderful legacy and will be greatly missed by many people from so many diverse backgrounds within Australia and beyond.”

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