John A. Rickard
25.6.1929 – 9.3.2019
John A. Rickard was a father, journalist, writer and poet. Born in London in 1929 he had an eventful life that could at moments be described as extraordinary.
Posts included reporter, sub-editor, columnist, editor, publisher, and newspaper owner. Among the many publications for whom he wrote were the Chicago Tribune, London Daily Mail, Melbourne Herald, South China Morning Post, Singapore Strait Times and Oman Daily Observer.
He lived through the blitz and evacuations of World War II, was academically gifted despite a late start before leaving school at 14 to help support his family through a variety of different jobs. His first newspaper job was with the ‘New York Times’ at its wartime Fleet Street bureau – as a messenger boy in the photographic department.
He joined the army young (lying about his age in order to do so) and was subsequently sent to Korea where he worked with Commonwealth Public Relations Unit and the US Armed Forces Radio Service (Tokyo).
After leaving the army he stayed in the far east moving to Japan, a country that became his second home and a place he loved dearly – a place where part of his soul still resides. This is where his career as a journalist and writer began in earnest. He lived there for 15 years and had a bevy of adventures that many would envy.
He was with Reuters News Agency for three years, including time as a war correspondent. During his time in Japan he interviewed some incredibly well known people, including: Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune (the famed Japanese actor) and William Holden. He was also one of the first people to ride on the bullet train, part of a small group of journalists on the first public run of the original prototype.
He mixed with a whole range of people – millionaires, paupers, diplomats and even wrestlers. He was always interested in knowing people for who they were not what they were.
Sometimes he would sing with great aplomb for his beer - something he learned from busking with his father. He had dogs whom he loved dearly to the point of spending money on them which he probably should have spent on himself.
Most of all though he wrote; from simple bylines and editorial work, from the mundane to the deadly serious. He even risked his life writing about and facing up to Yakuza gangs who extorted money from dockyard workers which was so extreme that they were selling blood to put food on the table. This work is something he was immensely proud of.
On returning returning to the UK he eventually found the love of his life – Sue. They were married in 1969 and had three sons. He continued working in journalism, including editorship of The Liverpool Journal of Commerce and setting up his own local newspaper (The Wirral Star). He taught journalism, until he retired in 1998 to concentrate on writing fiction.
His sense of justice and fair play was unequivocal – to the point where he lost many a golden opportunity (both career wise and financially) to his uncompromising ethics and honesty. As a journalist he had no time for being someone’s patsy.
He published three books and still had so much more to say but time and ill health spoke in a louder voice in the last decade of his life.
He truly was a great raconteur and storyteller and there will never be another like him. He had many a flaw like anyone, but in his heart he was truly beautiful.
After a hard, short battle with lung cancer he passed away at the family home on the 9th of March 2019. His passing leaves a hole in our lives that is hard to take.
He will forever be in our hearts.
The Rickard Family
On this website we will continue to publish and promote his work so that his voice may carry on being heard.
Below is the original introduction to the website as originaly written.
The www.rickpress.com site is dedicated to promoting the work of writer John A. Rickard – novels, short stories, plays and poetry.
Visitors can read excerpts from my three books and other work.
‘The Golgotha Gate’ is described by some readers as beginning where Mel Gibson’s ‘Passion of the Christ’ ends.
For a free read, two chapters can be downloaded here (Prologue), here (Chapter Two) and here (Chapter Twenty One).
‘Beyond Pride and Prejudice : Lydia’s
Lives’ – is a tale of the ups and downs, so to speak, in the turbulent life of Lydia Bennet, Jane Austen’s wild but not so wicked anti-heroine. Men are her passion and her partners in the pursuit of pleasure range from the young and unworldly, to mature gentlemen with bank balances; from political radicals to royalty. Lydia loves them all.
For a free read there are snippets here and two chapters can be downloaded here (Chapter One) and here (Chapter Seven).
'The Little Buddha's Big Miracle In Lai Shan Road' is a book of 16 short stories, all with a variety of people, mood, time and locale – including India, China, Malaysia, Japan, London and Liverpool. Covering drama, humour, sci fi and fantasy, The Little Buddha's Big Miracle In Lai Shan Road touches on them all.
For a free read the author's foreword (explaining a bit about the book) can be downloaded here and the title story can be read here.
For more information click onto BOOKS.
Also there is a BLOG titled As I Was Saying to Joe and Saigo. All of the content on the site is free to read.
I hope you will drop in regularly and browse as we add more new content.