738 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2018
back off, so I could get the file back and complete the transaction. No
muss, no fuss.
Eventually, the time came when litigation lost its appeal for Rob and he
moved on to other pursuits, including travelling widely with Shelley.
Despite his relocation to Victoria during his youth, Rob retained a Texan
passion for independence, straight talk and southern rock music. Rob was
an outdoorsman. He loved fishing and hunting and he loved the fact that
Shelley was every bit as good a fisher, and as crack a shot, as he was. He
camped, hiked, canoed and saw the world with his spouse and children. He
encouraged their interest in music, Kris on guitar and Rebecca on harp. Rob
was a frequent workshop music leader at a local Baptist church, and his
country music gospel songs were always heartfelt.
It would take a long and difficult explanation to fully demonstrate Rob’s
commitment as a father. His devotion was both heroic and heartbreaking.
Together, he and Shelley have given everything they have to their children,
and to each other. On the lighter side, Rob learned how expensive children
can be at the end of a cruise with his family. When the Richeys joined the
cruise, each of them was given a “credit card” for use on the ship. Rebecca
and Kris were of the age where they wanted to go off by themselves, which
meant that Rob was not aware of how freely they were using their “credit
cards”. Rob was gobsmacked at the end of the cruise to learn that one of his
children had racked up more than $1,000 in Shirley Temples and other
fancy, non-alcoholic drinks!
In 1994 Rob accepted an invitation to jam with Jerry McLean, Tom
MacLachlan, Q.C., and John Waddell, Q.C. From that offhand beginning
emerged the band known as Blind Elmo. With Rob on lead vocals and
rhythm guitar, Blind Elmo developed its own rough-and-ready musical style
and participated in the Victoria Battle of the Bar Bands from its inception in
2005 to 2017. The band won the competition on three occasions. Rob was
the voice, the presence and the soul of Blind Elmo, and of its successor, The
Deserterz. This musical experience provided Rob and his bandmates with
joy, and to a degree, salvation. They say that you have to live the blues to
sing the blues. There were times when the combination of Rob’s guitar playing
and singing was so intimately powerful that it was a privilege to be present
to hear it.
Rob died a week before the most recent Battle of the Bar Bands held on
April 6, 2018. His passing, and his long involvement with the event, were
acknowledged during the show. It was announced there that, from this
point forward, the trophy awarded to a competing band will be known as
the Robert Richey Memorial Trophy—or, more simply, “The Richey”.