The details of the funeral of Australian entertainment legend Bert Newton have today been released by the Victorian government, after he died on Saturday, October 30, at age 83.
The service will be held on Friday, November 12, at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne, however, due to lingering restrictions following Victoria’s lockdowns, only friends, family and colleagues will be allowed to attend.
Bert’s widow Patti Newton, 76, shared on Monday that Bert, her husband of 47 years “just couldn’t do it anymore”, after battling a toe infection that became a leg amputation. This amputation then led to Bert’s admission to a private palliative care clinic, where he passed away, breaking the hearts of millions of Aussie fans, who had grown up watching the television star on their small screens.
The service will be live-streamed on Friday, for those unable to attend.
It is likely that Bert’s son Matthew Newton, 44, will also watch the live-streamed service, as he is unable to fly out to Melbourne from New York, where he lives, due to travel complications caused by Covid-19.
Patti addressed the rumours and speculation surrounding Matthew not returning for his father’s funeral, saying on Monday, “It’s just the logistics of it all, and with Covid and with everything else. There was no rift. He’s had many long conversations with Bert in the hospital and that was all fine.”
On Sunday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that Patti had accepted his offer to hold a state funeral to celebrate the life of her late husband Bert. “Above all his achievements, he was a family man and his greatest partnership was with his wife of almost 50 years, Patti. Our thoughts and prayers are with her, their children and their grandchildren,” Andrews said in a statement.
Since this announcement by Andrews, Patti has shared that she is thrilled that Bert will be honoured by way of a state funeral. “I said yes to a state funeral because, as I said, [he was] a little boy from North Fitzroy, and having [that] success in show business and having all these wonderful accolades go his way,’’ Patti said on Sunday, October 31, when speaking to reporters outside the home she shared with Bert.
“And then a state funeral – Bert would love it. His mum and his sister, they would be so thrilled — and I’m thrilled for him. It’ll be very nice and it’s a wonderful gesture because he’s very Melbourne, Bert. Even though he’s worked in all different states, Melbourne was his state and his love so that was a very nice thing.”
Those wishing to pay tribute to Bert are urged to consider making a donation to Villa Maria Catholic Homes, in lieu of floral tributes.