I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Mervyn Moore. He was 80. I first encountered Moore, former principal of Fatima College, when I entered as a student. Extremely early on, I realised his love for sports.
Mervyn, who died on May 20 after he suffered a stroke, was small in stature, not a big, imposing figure but if he was an animal he would have been a lion. He was resilient in his beliefs and never one to back down from a challenge. Due to his passion for sports and I, at the time, being a decent school cricketer and footballer, as a teacher, he would always look out for me. At times, I felt I could have done certain things and he would turn a blind eye to them. He would follow the first XI games, both in football and cricket, with keen interest and would always be able to let me know if I had a bad game or what I should or shouldn't have done.
After a few years at the college, he was appointed dean of Form five. I distinctly remember being called into his office, along with one of my classmates and we were fearful of the cane. Both of us refused to be flogged as we indicated we were wrongly accused of the particular incident. Of course, the look on Mervyn's face was one of astonishment but in his usual calm demeanour, he just sent us to the Principal's office who at the time was Clive Pantin. After we relayed our story, we were spared from the rod and after that, Mervyn said to me, “you get away!” in his usual jolly and sarcastic manner.
Once it was a game on the field cricket or football, the first man on the ground was Mervyn. Unlike Clive, he wasn't a cricketer but he loved the lime and so when we had interclass games and Form five played teachers, he was the biggest talker and he appealed from just about anywhere he was standing on the field once the ball struck the opposing batsman's pads.
After leaving school and pursuing my education abroad, I returned to Fatima to teach and coach. At the time, he was Vice-Principal and he greeted me very warmly. But only then was I permitted to laugh with Mervyn, drink a few beers and become his friend.
He was an exceptional handyman and when he became Principal in 1981, there was never a day you entered his office and he would not be trying to fix a gadget and while you were upset and angry about some incident and explaining the situation to him, he would suddenly say, “boy this thing giving me real trouble I'm trying to fix it for over an hour now”. At that time, you realised it was time to leave his office.
It is difficult to find a tougher individual than Mervyn Moore. He once survived a fall from his roof apparently landing on his head. How? You guessed it - as usual, fixing something and the talk was even though he was in the hospital, the pavement was damaged. He enjoyed a good laugh and a good party with one of his favourite singers - Baron.
But it was on the football field where he was a tyrant and his philosophy was that either the ball or the man would pass, not both. He was serious with that comment. It perfectly summed up Mervyn Moore - a true warrior and Fatima College to the bone. May he Rest In Peace.
Former Fatima College student