Mr Pratt died on Tuesday night in his Kew home after a battle with prostate cancer.


Rabbi Levi Wolff started proceedings by telling mourners of his first meeting with the former president of Carlton Football Club.

Asked which congregation he belonged to, Mr Pratt\’s simple answer was “Carlton”, Rabbi Wolf told the crowd, to laughter.

He then spoke of the admiration and high esteem Mr Pratt was held throughout Australia.

Son Anthony, daughter Heloise and family friend Sam Lipski are expected to make eulogies.

Son Anthony Pratt described his father as a “quintessential Australian success story”.

He was a “giant among men” who did many important things in his life, but was always a father and family man foremost.

“He was a great father, always there when needed, always there to give advice,” Anthony Pratt said. Many words have been used to describe his father, but to him and the rest of the family he will always be their “hero”.

He would rise at dawn to go to work at his Visy factory, Anthony Pratt said, but then come home and be a normal dad, helping the children with their school work and every day problems.

Pratt\’s daughter Heloise Waislitz read from a letter she said her father would never get to read, saying of all the “wonderful childhood memories she cherished”, one was sight, the other sound.

“At your 70th birthday I told you about my abiding visual memory. I said that when I was 10 I thought you looked like Rock Hudson,” Ms Waislitz said, prompting laughter from mourners.

“I know that sounds corny but it\’s true – I remembered how you came into the room ready to go out, wearing your dinner suit, black tie and all. It may be more than 35 years ago, dad, but to me you really did look like a film star and I was starstruck – I guess I still am.

“The other great memory is even stronger: it\’s the sound of you and me singing together. That also began when I was about 10 years old, singing together at parties, at countless Visy events and at family celebrations.

“Since then, hundreds of times singing together.” Ms Waislitz said her father had also taught her how to carry on when times got tough and added, as chairman of the Pratt Foundation, she hoped she could carry his qualities forward. “What a wonderful legacy you\’ve created,” she said.

“It\’s reflected in the millions of lives you have touched, and … as a man who loved his fellow Australians, who was proud of being Jewish, who cared about humanity, who gave generously and who taught me and my family how to give with joy and purpose.

“This letter from me to you is from daughter to father, just to say thank you for being the most caring wonderful father who always wanted the best for his children and who encouraged and drew the best out of all of us and for being a loving grandfather to all your grandchildren and taking such pride in each of them.”

Family friend and chief executive of the Pratt Foundation Sam Lipski said the court cases involving Mr Pratt were plays that “should never have been produced”.

Mr Pratt, the actor, could recite the words of Shakespeare from heart.

“Richard we know played many many parts,” a clearly upset Mr Lipski, who has been friends with Mr Pratt since high school, told mourners.

“The recent dramas in court, unfolding as he was near death and then continuing yesterday after his passing, tells us what those who knew him and worked with him already knew.

“In this last act, Richard was cast in a play that should never have been produced, a mean drama that was unjustly conceived and unjustly produced.

“We all know the mills of history grind slowly but I\’m certain history will vindicate Richard, his achievements, his generosity and his honour.”

The past few days had been incredibly painful for Mr Pratt\’s family and friends, Mr Lipski said.

But they were reminded of why they loved him in the “surreal and empty hours since Tuesday evening”, he said.

“We loved him because of who he was and sometimes despite of who he was.

“A great man and yet every man, a great Australian, wealthy and powerful, he knew how to use his wealth and his power and yet he was every Australian.”

Mr Lipski was comforted by Rabbi Wolff as he ended his eulogy.