Merv spent a total of 36 years in the Australian Defence Force. He served 24 years in the Regular Army (RAAMC), rising to the rank of Major and then 12 years in the Army Reserve. His overseas service included Papua New Guinea and South Vietnam (1RAR – 1968-69). In his civilian career, Merv worked as a Brisbane City Council Environmental Health Officer performing the roles of Team Leader and Regional Manager.
Merv joined the Gaythorne RSL in 1979 and has held a wide variety of positions within the Sub-Branch and the wider League. He was elected President of the Gaythorne Sub-Branch in 2007 and has held that position since then. He was elected Vice-President of the Brisbane North District RSL in 2008 and has been Deputy President since 2009.
Merv has had wide exposure to the many activities of the League, having served on RSL Queensland’s War Veterans’ Homes Committee, the Welfare Art Union Committee and the Queensland Veterans’ Advisory Council. He is also a trained Department of Veterans’ Affairs Advocate and Welfare Officer with many years’ experience assisting the veteran and war widow community with claims and advice. Merv has also conducted many RSL Poppy Services at funerals for veterans.
Over the years, Merv has consistently promoted the Gaythorne RSL and the League in general to the serving soldiers at Gallipoli Barracks, many of whom now very much appreciate and understand the work of the RSL. The Gaythorne Sub-Branch also enjoys a very strong relationship with the local community, and, in particular, the local schools where he has encouraged the students through writing competitions, awards and donations to school projects to appreciate Australia’s military heritage and the vital work the RSL does in supporting the serving and ex-serving members of the Defence Force and their families.
Merv was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2013 for services to the veteran community.