Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mike Richey rip

Mike Richey the trans-Atlantic sailor has died, he was one of our parishioners, he was a gentle contemplative man, devout without any showiness, quietly confident in God. In his youth he had tried his vocation at Caldey, then joined the Ditchling community as one of Eric Gill's apprentices.
I like these two little extracts from his Times obituary.

He did not consider himself brave: just an expert, purposeful navigator. He once observed that he took care at sea because if he fell overboard people in yacht clubs would say: “It’s the way he’d have wanted to go.” “Bloody well isn’t! I want clean sheets, a whisky and a priest.”
Religion, understated, lay at the core of his life. When his battered 2CV broke down and he was quoted £65 for a callout he related that “I sat by the road, said a prayer, and the thing started again”. When he had the ’flu, he cured himself by sleeping on the floor, monastic on bare boards. His characteristic expressions were an amused “Well, I’ll be damned!” at some weird modern development, an emphatic “No fear!” when asked whether he ever went to wartime reunions.

Keep him in your prayers. I am a little fearful, he wanted to be burried at sea!


gemoftheocean said...

Sounds like a great guy! [The little tidbits from his obit. remind me of that aristo priest you posted about some time ago, who'd once hear a lady's confession while holding up a tennis racket between them to preserve the grill! They seem cut from the same cloth!]

shadowlands said...

My father and mother were familiar with Sir Alec Rose,and what he accomplished was always set as a precedent in our family.I love men who dream of adventures on the sea, the elements etc. Will pray for the soul of the man you mention. God bless and protect you Father.

nickbris said...

I did know him quite well 40 yrs ago but lost touch and it was only a few months ago that I recognised him again.
I arranged a Sea Burial for an ex Navy friend,they have to be cremated and the casket is placed in a lead lined box which the Royal Navy on that occasion took out with several others into Plymouth Sound.

Ben said...

He was a friend of the Catholic poet & painter David Jones, another veteran of the Ditchling community. I understand that a lot of the nautical lore in Jones's poetry (not to mention the rigging in his ship paintings) is as accurate as it is because of Mike Richey's advice.

Jack Edmunds said...

Richey's sister (Mother Winifrede) was one of the founding sisters of Dolgellau Carmel in North Wales. I remember him visiting - such a graceful man. May he rest in peace!