Tribute to Mr Mervyn Lynch
|About this Item||Subjects||Local Government elections; Local Government
||Speakers||Greene Mr Kevin; Gaudry Mr Bryce
||Business||Private Members Statements
||Commentary|| Mervyn Lynch
Mr KEVIN GREENE (Georges River) [5.23 p.m.]: Last Saturday council elections occurred through the State, and I will highlight the efforts of councillors who retired in my electorate. I particularly note the long service of the Mayor of Kogarah, Councillor Jim Taylor, and west ward councillors Graeme Staas and Susan Gainsford. From Hurstville council I thank Mick Frawley for his efforts. I will focus on the outstanding contribution by Councillor Merv Lynch who was elected to Hurstville City Council in 1980. He decided, with his impending seventy-third birthday in May, to not seek re-election, after having given enormous service for more than 20 years.
Merv and his family have been great contributors to the St George district, particularly to the Hurstville council area. Merv served as mayor in 1991-92, and has been very generous in his commitment to the Hurstville community, for which I sincerely thank him on behalf of all residents of Hurstville and the greater St George area. In 1997, unfortunately, Merv lost his wife, Faye, who was a great stalwart, particularly in the sporting community. Faye gave long service to netball and was a life member of the St George Netball Association and the Illawarra Catholic Club netball club. She is survived by her three children: Maria, who is now the inaugural coach with the Hunter Jaegers, the new side in the national netball competition; Glenda, who was heavily involved in local netball and has two boys and a girl; and David, who was a school friend of mine at Marist Bros Penshurst in the early 1970s.
As well as his involvement with council, Merv Lynch was particularly active in many service organisations. I instance his role as chairman of St George Community Services since the mid-1980s, and as a member of the management committee since his election to council in 1980. Since 1980 he has been involved with the management committee of the Hurstville senior citizens group. He is also well known for his role as director since 1984, and later as vice-president, of the Illawarra Catholic Club, to which he has made a significant contribution. Merv's involvement with the Illawarra Catholic Club started with his commitment as president of the youth sports club of the Illawarra Catholic Club. From the late 1960s he was also involved with Penshurst RSL youth club in cricket and football through his son David. Merv has had a long and distinguished career in administration with the St George junior rugby league club, of which he is a patron and life member, and for many years he was its president.
With everything he did, Merv undertook a hands-on role and made a generous commitment over an extended period of service to his community. Merv cared for the needs of individuals as well as groups, for whom he made representations in his role as a councillor. Merv was very much about meeting people, going on site, seeing what was happening, listening to people, and making representations on their behalf. It is fair to say that Merv was an archetypical Labor councillor: very much a man of the people who was devoted to his community. He had great family support, particularly from Faye and his children. Merv wanted to serve and give his best to the community so that the little people could have the little things looked after, which is very important. Merv Lynch will be thanked by many in the community. I place on record my personal thanks and the thanks of the people of the Georges River electorate. [Time expired.]
Mr BRYCE GAUDRY (Newcastle—Parliamentary Secretary) [5.28 p.m.]: I congratulate the honourable member for Georges River on bringing to the attention of the House the enormous work done by councillors in serving the needs of their communities, and in particular the tremendous contribution made by Councillor Merv Lynch, a longstanding Labor councillor in the honourable member's electorate. The honourable member outlined a whole range of services that Merv Lynch and other councillors from that area have performed for constituents within their area of influence. For many people, the first contact with government is through local government. This underscores the importance of the work of councillors in dealing with not only the strategic issues of council—planning generally, local environmental plans, and development control plans—but also, at the grassroots level, the day-to-day issues that confront people in their dealings with councils.
The honourable member mentioned also the enormous support given by the families of councillors at times of elections and the sacrifices they make and the time they devote to councillors in discharging their formal council functions but also dealing with the day-to-day matters. He emphasised the contributions that families must make to support councillors. It is for those reasons that I congratulate the honourable member on bringing this matter before the House. In particular, I commend his recognition of the great contribution that a longstanding councillor, Merv Lynch, made to his council and his community.