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Barrie Rickards' Memorial Service - November 2009

The order of service bore the coat of arms of Emmanuel College Chapel, Cambridge, and as we walked around the quadrangle into the chapel and heard the college chior rehearsing, we knew that this would not be an ordinary farewell to Professor Barrie Rickards, but then, he was no ordinary man.
His death on 5th November 2009 came as a shock. It's true he was terminally ill, but when we met in July 2009 to record Recollections II, he was in remission and planning his next trip to Australia to study the geology and fish for barramundi. Sadly, he didn't make that trip, but during the funeral service those present heard of some of his achievements, and what could have been a sorrowful day was actually a heart-warming celebration of a life that he lived to the full.
The magnificent college building was filled with light, and the congregation were Barrie's peers which largely numbered University dons, close family, friends and some of our finest anglers, who because they could not be seated, stood respectfully in the chapel entrance throughout the entire service.
Addresses were given by Professor Charles Hepworth Holland, Fellow Emeritus, Trinity College, Dublin; Dr. Nigel Woodstock, Senior Lecturer, Department of Earth Sciences, and our very own Des Taylor whose opening words were "I've known Barrie for a long time, but I didn't know he was this posh!" as he cast his eyes up to the ornate ceiling and stained glass windows. The refreshing delivery of his speech, which needed no notes, brought a smile to sombre faces, and his final words in praise of Barrie were "he was a proper bloke". Coming from the Black Country, I knew what he meant; he was a 'proper bloke' indeed who related easily to people in all walks of life, myself included. Not once during his recording with Des in July, was he boastful of his academic achievements which were impressive to say the very least.

Barrie Rickards

BSc (Hull), PhD (Hull), MA (Cantab.), ScD (Cantab.), DSc (Hull)

Fellow 1978-2009
University Lecturer in Earth Sciences 1969-1990
Reader 1991-1999
Professor of Palaeontology and Biostratigraphy 2000-2005
Professor Emeritus 2005-2009
Curator of Sedgwick Museum 1969-2000
honorary Curator of Sedgwick Museum 2000-2009
Junior Proctor 1984-1985

Barrie's funeral was truly a celebration of his life, and instead of feeling morose at the sadness of such an occasion, we left with an overwhelming sense of respect for the man who, though we had only met recently, had graced us with his company and brought an added dimension to our lives. It had been a great privilege to spend a little time with such a man as Barrie (Baz) Rickards.

Sandra Armishaw 2009