VALE. RICHARD STONE

 
 
Richard John Stone O.A.M. ; K.S.G. ; K.H.S.   
 
It was with great sadness that at last Tuesday’s meeting President George noted the passing of Richard on Friday 22nd April.
 
Richard was a Charter member of the club, the first Treasurer, and maintained a highly active membership until illness intervened a few months ago, a term of twenty-nine years.   He was a Paul Harris Fellow [1994], plus two Sapphires and was President of the club in its tenth year.  Richard inspired many to join the club, including Elias Lebbos a relatively recent member and Neville John who will be District Governor in 2017-18.
 
Richard will leave an indelible mark on our club through his impacts and communication, being one of the key architects of the club’s Police Leadership Mentoring program and the Community Village both of which are highly rated and effective beyond the borders of our own District.   He was also greatly successful with fund raising for the club and the Rotary Foundation, leveraging his broad business and sporting networks. Some members will remember the “Rotary Wheel” raffle on Sundays at Victoria Market.
 
In addition to Rotary, Richard was equally as involved in community affairs. 
 
His strong faith, effective fund raising for St. Mary of the Cross, being a Board member of Catholic Care Victoria and ongoing energy in many roles were acknowledged in 2007 by his being conferred with a Papal knighthood, The Chivalric Order of Saint Gregory the Great.  He was also a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, Australia.   
 
Richard supported Australian Red Cross Victoria becoming a member of the Executive and Divisional Council in 1997.  In 2001 he became Chairman a position he held until December 2007.  As Chairman he was also a member of the National Board of Red Cross and the National Council. In 2005 he was awarded the prestigious Australian Red Cross Service Award, his citation noting;
 “Richard is one of the most motivated Chairmen that ARCV has been fortunate to have lead them.  He is extremely motivated and inspires members of the general public to join the organisation.  He was the first Chairman to visit every one of the 28 regions within Victoria to encourage and acknowledge the achievements of the membership of ARCV.  The members are fortunate in having such a caring dedicated person to lead them into the next phase of nationalisation.”
 
In 2011 Richard was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia [O.A.M.] for “…service to the community particularly through the Australian Red Cross”
He was also an Honorary Life Member of Australian Red Cross [2007].
 
In his business career Richard was employed by the Bank of New South Wales, later to become Westpac in which he became State Manager Marketing, Victoria and finally General Manager, Melbourne Office.  He is recalled as one who assisted the merger of two banks with equality for staff of both components and being affectionately known as “the Big Fella”. Throughout his career Richard gained much respect for being prepared to ‘rock the boat’ and initiate worthwhile change. His ‘Wales’ life included such remote offices as London and Normanton, the latter leaving such a huge impression on Richard, or maybe it was vice versa, that with one of his sons he visited Normanton last year.
 
After retirement from banking Richard became involved with KPMG, consulting on matters of business governance and board member responsibilities. He often provided pro bono governance advice to ‘not for profit’ organisations including Travellers Aid of which he was a Board member for 6 years. 
 
Richard is survived by his loving wife Veronica, their two children and two grandchildren.
 
A friend of Richard’s said “His enthusiasm and involvement was such that it was difficult to say ‘no’ to him.”  It is apparent that same enthusiasm was also the cause Richard did not say ‘no’ to others.