Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre Woodham: Sir Paul Holmes' family did him proud

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Family and friends were Paul's pall-bearers. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Family and friends were Paul's pall-bearers. Photo / Brett Phibbs

For a while there, listening to the witty and eloquent speeches, you could imagine that this was just another milestone in the career of an extraordinary broadcaster.

I'd enjoyed listening to tributes before and so along with the rest of the thousand-strong crowd at Parnell's Holy Trinity Cathedral, I laughed along to the speeches delivered by Sir Paul Holmes' friends and family.

It was only when Dame Malvina Major sang the moving Oh My Beloved Papa that the reality hit home - we were there to bury Sir Paul, not to praise him.

Music has a way of connecting with your heart and soul that mere words are often unable to do - and so it was listening to Dame Malvina's beautiful voice that I understood that this time was the last time we would all be gathered together in honour of our friend and colleague.

The service was beautiful and his family did him proud.

It's not easy to bury your dad and your husband.

Our family had to nearly 14 years ago and we didn't have to do it in front of cameras.

The wake held at TriBeCa afterwards was a wonderful afternoon of sharing stories and memories and - in a delightfully, typically Holmesian way - Sir Paul had arranged before his death that the restaurant owners serve up a very, very special red wine solely for John Hawkesby. It was payback for demanding that John open one of his most prized wines for the two of them to enjoy a couple of years ago.

I've written about Sir Paul many times over the years and now it's time for one final word: Goodbye.

- Herald on Sunday

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