Merv and I (Robert Sinclair) first met at Coffs Harbour Primary School. From then on I was proud to call Merv one of my very best friends.
Like most school boys we lived for the winters and the joy of playing rugby league. He was a gifted, fearless and inspiring player, always the team's 5/8 and captain.
We also shared a common interest in the great outdoors and in following the NRL competition.
His resilience and bravery came to the fore again in his 12 year long struggle with cancer. In the latter stages he had many difficult setbacks with which his wife Bev admirably contended.
Merv began primary school at Coffs in class 3B and in Coffs High School in class 1C. In Year 3 upon completion of the Intermediate Certificate, Merv was accepted into RAN Naval College at Port Leeuwin,WA. He completed that and further training in the USA. He was assigned to the new missile destroyer HMAS Hobart as a Sonar operator (submarinne detection).
Merv saw action in the Vietnam War when the "Hobart" with the US Naval Fleet, shelled the coast of North Vietnam.
After 10 years service he left the Navy and joined the better paid security industry in Sydney. He met and married Bev and they lived at Milperra. He worked for a few decades.until sadly overcome by illhealth.
When his audible voice was lost to neck surgery, I found out he had an iPad and offered to email him. We were able to email each other regularly. with topics such as his latest health dramas, our old school experiences and the candid anaylsis of the latest sporting events, particularly the NRL competition.
I like to think our emails helped give Merv an outlet from the considerable worry of declining health.
He passed away in Liverpool Hospital on 13 August 2016. As per his wishes, he was cremated in a private service. His ashes are to be scattered into the waters of the Coffs Harbour.
I will miss him. He will always be remembered by us as a great bloke.
Of the many colourful phrases he regulaly used in emails, I particularly liked: "NUFF SED"