A tribute to Bill Arthurs, the ultimate Rummel Raider
There are important personalities in every organization and school.
Then, there are transcendent figures at those respective institutions.
Archbishop Rummel High School has certainly had its share of significant contributors in its over six-decade history.
Having graduated from the Metairie institution and having remained involved for many years in the school through a brother and son attending the school and through countless game broadcasts, I have an acute, accurate awareness of what Bill Arthurs has done for and has meant to Rummel.
The tenets of “Raider Pride” and the battle cry of “Thank God Almighty, I’m a Raider” are ingrained in the minds and hearts of those who love the school.
No one embodied those words more than Bill Arthurs.
I became aware of Mr. Arthurs when I attended Rummel.
He then taught our son, Travis, who was very fond of Mr. Arthurs and the feeling was mutual.
Bill was an outstanding teacher throughout his amazing tenure at Rummel.
While he was terrific in that role, most will always associate Bill with being the man behind the cameras.
Regardless of the Rummel event, Bill was there, behind the camera, taking pictures.
Being at Raider games in many sports for so many years, Bill was there to tell the story through pictures. He always insisted on taking pictures of me, though I was reluctant at times.
Bill honored me when he took many pictures of my induction into the Archbishop Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013. He was incredibly gracious in congratulating me and making sure I had those pictures for my family collection.
We had a class reunion on July 30, 2022. It was special to see so many of my classmates, friends, several whom I never get to see.
Since that reunion, two of those classmates who were at the reunion passed away.
Joe Burckel was my friend, an outstanding person, quarterback, coach and a man of faith who served his country in our military.
Brian Eichhorn was a friend from youth, from grammar school at St. Louis King of France to Rummel.
Also at the reunion was Bill Arthurs, taking pictures.
Rummel legends Brother Gale Condit and long-time teacher Mike Boudreaux were in attendance, as was former coach Al Pontiff, all wonderful men and great friends.
Bill was always behind the camera.
I insisted that he get in front of it that night. I did the same with Brother Gale and with Mike.
The moment was captured in time, as were so many special moments frozen in time and perpetuated for a lifetime which Bill provided for all of us to enjoy.
We were blessed to launch our website, now known as CrescentCitySports.com, in 2008.
From the start, Bill congratulated me and offered his help, gratis, of course, with any pictures from any sporting event.
When you search the archives of our site from NewOrleans.com Sports to SportsNOLA.com to CrescentCitySports.com, you will find pictures from many, many Rummel athletic events which Bill enthusiastically forwarded to me, often late at night and early in the morning to help us.
Bill’s personality was revealed in those photos.
They were not exclusive to Archbishop Rummel athletes and coaches.
Bill always took pictures of opposing teams, including the biggest rivals of the school from Archbishop Shaw to Brother Martin to Holy Cross to Jesuit to St. Augustine and, most recently John Curtis Christian.
Mr. Arthurs was respective of all educators, of all schools and of all who participated in athletic endeavors for those institutions.
Bill had the respect of all other outstanding schools in the area. He always greeted others warmly and that greeting was reciprocated. As was frequently expressed to me by my many friends from so many schools, all schools liked and respected Bill.
Of course, at the beginning and end, Bill Arthurs loved Rummel.
Michael C. Hebert graduated from Archbishop Rummel in 1978 before graduating from Tulane. Michael has served as the Head of Photography for the New Orleans Saints, doing a superb job as one of the very best in the business.
Hebert’s interest in photography started at Rummel, where Bill Arthurs held court. The influence bestowed on Hebert by Arthurs was huge.
“I think Bill represented everything that Raider Pride stands for,” Hebert said. “He dedicated his life to Archbishop Rummel. He recorded the history of the school from 1965 until now. He documented the lives of all who passed through those halls.”
While Arthurs was a familiar figure and face of the franchise at Raider athletic events, that was not his only legacy in photography for Rummel.
“It was not just about athletes and Genesian players, it was about everybody, everyone associated with Rummel” Hebert said. “We should all be grateful for what he did for us. He is the most special person to ever work for our school.”
Rummel celebrated Bill’s 75th birthday in 2017. We lost Bill Arthurs this morning at the age of 80.
As a blessed member of Archbishop Rummel’s Alumni board of directors, it was a very difficult text to absorb earlier today. I am still processing it.
Bill’s classroom, for many years, was on the second floor in the area we always referred to as “The Senior Wing.”
At the end of the Hall was the Yearbook Office, also for many years housing “The Raiders Digest,” the school newspaper of its time.
The door and office are still there.
Today, a special note was attached to the door.
The school, with the excellent leadership of Marc Milano, sent out notice to all alumni and those associated with Archbishop Rummel on the passing of our legend.
Dear Raider Families:
I write this letter to you today with a heavy heart. Our Rummel community has suffered a great loss with the passing of one of our own beloved faculty members, Mr. Bill Arthurs.
In the world of education, teachers and staff are often referred to as heroes. For the last 58 years, our school has been privileged to have a faculty member who personified a hero to us, and that person was Mr. Arthurs. Currently serving as our school photographer and yearbook moderator, he was the person responsible for capturing many of our school’s most memorable moments.
Mr. Arthurs was the longest tenured faculty member here at Rummel, and as a dedicated member of our staff, he was an integral part of shaping the character and spirit of Raider Pride. The school’s first basketball coach, he was also known for teaching thousands of Raiders to type in keyboarding and business classes. Throughout his years at Rummel, he attended more athletic and school events than anyone in the school’s history, not missing one single graduation ceremony in the last 57 years.
In 2014, our Alumni Association awarded Mr. Arthurs the “Raider Legend” award. He was a true Raider Legend, dedicating his time and life to Rummel and making a positive difference in our school. He was not only a skilled photographer but also a gifted teacher and mentor who inspired many of our alumni to pursue careers in photography.
At this time, we have no information about funeral arrangements, but we will share that information when it becomes available. Our prayers go out to his daughters Carrie, Kate, and Alison, and his grandson Matthew; and we ask that you keep Mr. Arthurs and his family in your prayers as well. John 16:22 says: “Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.”
Mr. Arthurs was a source of integrity and an inspiration to everyone who was fortunate enough to know him. His loss is a great one for our community. While it is impossible to put our appreciation for his work into words, we are immensely grateful that Mr. Arthurs’ legacy will continue at Rummel for generations to come through his photographs.
Live Jesus in Our Hearts Forever,
Marc Milano ‘90
Head of School
Mr. Milano captured the essence of Bill as a person and as a Raider.
It is hard to fathom Mr. Arthurs not being at a Rummel event. It was a rite of passage.
It is hard to fathom anyone not liking Bill. I certainly know none of the sort.
I loved Bill for the blessing he was to my family and to my alma mater. Let us all give thanks and praise for enjoying Bill in our lives for so long.
Bill joins his wife, Diane, who passed away in 2009 in eternity. My heartfelt prayers are sent out in lifting up Carrie, Kate and Alison for the loss of their wonderful father.
I have lost a great friend. So have many others.
On this day, I thank God Almighty for Bill being in my life and in the lives of so many others. All Raiders and for that matter, Eagles, Crusaders, Tigers, Blue Jays, Purple Knights and Patriots are proud to have known you.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…