It is always sobering to sit and reflect on areas of the past. At times joy fills our hearts with pleasant memories that flow from our thoughts. Notwithstanding the fact that sad moments normally overshadow the good times and you end up remembering the disregarded and trying to include the excluded.
A couple weeks ago two ex-pupils of Fatima College, Justice Stanley John and Master Harry Ramdass and I were chatting about the passing of an ex-principal of the College, Mr Mervyn Moore and his sterling contribution of 41 years to the prestigious institute. Mr John and Mr Ramdass expressed their insights profoundly as it pertained to Mr. Moore.
Mr Ramdass was able to give a brief account of his knowledge of Mr Moore’s history at the college which I thought was applicable and very suitable for this conspicuous occasion.
I’ve known Mervyn Moore for over 50 years as a student, colleague, mentor, friend and foe on the football field. He was a teacher in the true sense of the word: he was patient, kind, caring, could impart knowledge; he looked after the welfare of his charges in and out of the classroom; he would listen to their problems (although at times he would seem to be in another world, he would mull over every word you told him, seeking an appropriate answer for the situation.
His easygoing nature belied his seriousness and stern demeanour and those who tried to take advantage of this trait were soon brought back down to earth by a thunderous roar of disapproval.
Many are the instances where he helped students with finances, casual advice, a stern warning, with instructions on how the game should be played and in every instance he would give a solid explanation.
Mervyn, in his acceptance speech, taking over the reins front Clive Pantin, acknowledged that this would be a hard act to follow, yet he did it admirably in his own calm, unassuming way without fear or favour, the action of a man who believed in his own convictions.
His detractors kept comparing him to his predecessor and did not give him a fair chance, yet he proved them all wrong. The records speak for themselves.
The inherent goodness of Mervyn was apparent in all that he did simply because he was genuine—it came from the heart.
Looking back, the humaneness of the man was incredible as evidenced in mind, manner and deed, and went far beyond anyone I know,
Mervyn could be stubborn: his colleagues could vouch for this; opposing footballers would do well to give him room. Yet it was difficult to get annoyed with him—that was the nature of the man.
It was interesting to see Mervyn conduct staff interviews. Applicants were immediately set at ease. His interviews were quite informal. Some questions had little bearing on the subject matter, “You could cook curry duck?” From your response he would know if you were suitable material.
At Mayfair he would come wandering around, “Anything for me to do?” or “You are my boss today.” You would not know how comforting and inclusive these words were to his staff,
He quietly supported you behind closed doors, out of school, yet you hardly knew. Sometimes you would only learn of this support as it came out in casual conversation. He was never one to brag.
There are human beings who pass through our lives everyday but there are few who leave a lasting imprint: Mervyn, you enriched our lives, touched our hearts as friend, teacher, counsellor, mentor, coach when you walked amongst us. Now you walk with the angels.
I was fortunate to have been taught by Mr Moore and I can safely say he was a very good teacher and what Mr Ramdass expressed is comforting and true.
To me, Mr Moore’s facial contours never conveyed anger, except on the football field. He was a serious football player. I remember Masters playing the first eleven team in an end-of-season game. Quite a number of us would pass the word not to mess with Mr Moore as he is a hard tackler.
To describe Mr Moore in my own words: Mr Moore was humble full of compassion and quick to shower blessings upon you. He was a good example for all to emulate.
In concluding, Mr Mervyn Moore, peace remain with you and may the angels welcome you on your journey home. Thank you for everything you have done for us.
It would be remiss of me if I did not extend condolences to Mr Moore’s family. May the blessings of the Lord be with you in this time of bereavement.
Keep the faith.