We are pleased to announce the launch of the re-styled Official Michael Hutchence Memorial Site.
We hope you approve of the lighter appearance, the new articles and media files. There is more to come! Much credit must go to Mario and Jacqui Ferrari who are always so willing and diligent in keeping Michael’s Site running in more ways than most people realise. We are also celebrating this month, five years since our team, led by our dearly departed Kelland Hutchence, banded together to launch www.michaelhutchence.org.
It was in the immensely difficult months following Michael’s death that Kell commenced communicating with Michael’s friends and fans around the world. To enable him to do this, it was necessary to help him set up on the Internet, to assist him with the learning curve and with all that that entailed. Kell never gave up on the task, as it was so important to him that he help others who were also grieving, and to ensure that his son’s legacy would live on. It was during all the computer “tech support” calls from Kell that I suggested we work on a virtual perpetual memorial site for Michael. Kell was very encouraged by the prospect, and so over the coming months we commenced writing and collecting content from Michael’s family and friends. Kelland, Tina and Rhett Hutchence, Andrew Farriss, Bono, Jimmy Barnes, Jenny Morris, Richard Lowenstein, Helena Christensen, Greg Perano and many others helped by contributing heartfelt thoughts. Sadly Paula never managed to contribute and her passing was a sorrow upon a sorrow.
During those early days Kell also conducted a number of online talks with Michael’s fans as well as meeting with those that would travel from around the world to visit him in Sydney. He gained much comfort through comforting others. It was around this time that I introduced Kell to Mario and Jackie Ferrari, two devotees of Michael and INXS, who had build an INXS fan site from their professional digital publishing office in Switzerland. Mario and Jacqui from day one were committed to seeing Michael’s Memorial Site completed, and thus played a vital role with us in the layout, design and realisation of Michael’s Site. I have many fond memories of Kell, Susie, Mario, Jackie and I in project meetings around cups of coffee at Dee Bee’s restaurant in Double Bay. It is partly due to the latter’s Web professionalism that this site has won numerous awards and has been archived by the Australian National Library in Canberra as an Australian cultural treasure.
I must admit I was devoted to seeing Kell heal from terrible grief and the Memorial Website seemed a very worthwhile project for him to divert his attentions into. At the same time we set about organising the first Memorial Service for Michael which took place in November, 1998. We continued those services every year while Kell was alive. He saw the last service in November, 2002 via video from his hospital bed. He hoped that fans would continue to gather to celebrate Michael’s birthday every 22nd January. We are in debt to Ange Perou for her ongoing support as Fan Club President in coordinating these gatherings. It was also Kell’s wish that we all carry on with our work in maintaining and expanding Michael’s Memorial Site. Susie Hutchence is faithfully realising her husband’s vision with her support and leadership at www.michaelhutchence.org
I sometimes wonder what Michael would have thought of all this, given that he was not particularly fond of the Internet. But Memorials are more for those left behind and it is a natural and healthy way of coping with such great loss. It is a joy to us that these pages are open to the whole world to see, and hundreds of thousands have visited this site since it’s inception. Thousand have encouraged us with heart-warming stories of momentary encounters with Michael, or with edifying stories of how Michael’s music and that of INXS have stirred their spirit in times of discouragement. It is also a delight to welcome, in very increasing numbers, younger audiences who are discovering the music of INXS and Hutch the Legend for the very first time. Sometimes it is by way of their parents, other times it is through the media or stumbling upon this site.
There is one Beautiful Girl yet to grow into Michael’s Memorial Site, and when she arrives it will be a rich legacy for her to enjoy. And if she so chooses, she may well fulfil her Grandaddio’s vision by taking leadship here… and thereby illuminating her Daddy’s Shining Star for many years to come.
For Susie Hutchence, Mario and Jacqui Ferrari