Creative hands now at rest

MERV Flavel, a renowned local artist, self-made businessman and craftsman, aged 69 years, lost his battle with melanoma cancer on Easter Saturday, April 23, 2011, after a short illness.

Merv's family lived in the Maryborough area for generations.

His great-grandfather, Fritz Kinne, was a Maryborough pioneer and built many of the city's heritage buildings, serving as an Alderman and Mayor of the city, he is listed in the Maryborough Walk Of Achievers.

Merv was proud of his family's heritage in this city and also more broadly of the Flavel ancestry dating back to William the Conqueror.

As a young person, Merv enjoyed gem stone hunting, calligraphy, woodwork, motorbike riding, pistol shooting, archery and spear fishing.

He was in the Army Reserve for many years as a signaller.

Merv enjoyed the Scouting movement, beginning with a train journey from Maryborough to Victoria for the 1955-1956 Australian Scout Jamboree.

Merv was a Scout Leader for many years with the 4th Maryborough Scouts. Proudly both his sons became Queen Scouts.

For 20 years Merv worked at the Post Masters General Dept as a telephonist.

Merv and wife Sue developed their own business, Ferry Lane Enterprises, for several years before starting Equipment Hire Service, Maryborough, in Ferry St which they successfully operated for 25 years.

Merv bought acreage on Central Rd, Tinana, where he spent the past 30 years developing his home and property with water features etc, to become a peaceful haven, with art studios and workshops.

He had a life-long yearning to learn, and a great thirst for knowledge, following many TAFE courses as they became available in the surrounding districts.

For 20-plus years Merv attended the McGregor summer and winter art schools in Toowoomba, the Grafton Spring Artsfest and numerous art, craft, music, computer, language, permaculture and taxidermy courses both in Maryborough and Hervey Bay.

Merv's creativity included painting, drawing, picture framing, print-making, wood and metal work, jewellery making, pottery and blacksmithing.

Above all, he was a professional artist and craftsman who loved to learn and create in many art mediums including charcoals, watercolours, oils and pastels.

He enjoyed sharing his love of art with others including the Merry River People and the Maryborough Art Society.

An exhibition, tribute to his gifted hands, showcasing his painting, printmaking and exquisite jewellery, was recently on display at the Art Space in Kent and Wharf Sts.

Merv has also been a justice of the peace, member of the chamber of commerce, Probus clubs and, in recent years, was a member of the Maryborough Harness and Pleasure Club.

He designed and created several sulkies to enable his wife Sue to follow her passion for horses and driving horse-driven vehicles.

He also supported Sue in her quest in breeding her beloved burmese and siamese kittens.

Merv made a host of friends along the way and has always been loved for his gentle, pleasant and unassuming nature.

His funeral service was held in St Mary's Church on April 28 and the large attendance was testimony  to the respect in which Maryborough held one of nature's true gentlemen.

Merv is survived by his loving wife Sue, to whom he was married for 44 years, sons Michael and Stephen, grandchildren Kayla, Billy, Jessica, Thomas, Sienna and Indiana and his sister Rosalind.

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