Posted by Caron Stewart on Sep 05, 2019
Story as published in the Scene 3 September 2019
When Richard Metcalfe suggested Merv King was worthy of celebration due to his half century of service to Matamata Rotary, Merv matter of factly said it’s easy. “All you have to do is stay alive” he laughed! “Rotary has rewarded all our lives beyond all measure and being part of such an organisation has been an honour and a privilege. Anyway, I can’t stop now, my wife Janet has got out of the habit of cooking on a Tuesday night so what would I do for dinner?!”
It was after completing his compulsory military training and returning to Matamata that the qualified electrician married Janet, celebrated the arrival of their three children and flying around the region in his Morris Minor, built a business keeping customers electrified! He was also involved in the local rugby, cricket and tennis clubs so, as you can imagine, led a full and busy life. His old mate John Elliott decided however, that there was time for something else and encouraged Merv to join Rotary. As a result, in August 1969, he was inducted by president of the time, Nowell Jagger. 
“Very quickly I discovered a whole new world of service” said Merv, “and over the years have been part of an incredibly focussed and positive service group that has celebrated many outstanding achievements. Some of the really memorable projects I was involved in; whether it was on a local level with for example, the construction of the tennis pavilion, the beginning of our IHC golf tournament and the Telethon telephone appeal or, on a global level with the launch of PolioPlus, Matamata Rotary was well ahead of some of the other clubs internationally.”
With a lifelong passion for music, Merv was also a valuable member of local band, Flat Hedgehogs – aptly named because their repertoire was ‘middle of the road’. He played trombone, guitar and bass but also, was a Shop Quartet and Christmas choir singer and a member of the musical theatre – quite the jack of all trades, and a real team player. “Merv has spent his life always busy, always active and always enthusiastic” said Richard, “and it’s no surprise he already boasts the expiration of one and a half knees! Outside of Rotary, he continues to be an avid cyclist, fisherman and boatie, golfer, tennis player and artist and of course, a doting husband, father and grandfather. Merv is a man that has talent and skills to burn.”
In honouring Merv’s 50 years of committed service, Matamata Rotary President, Lynette Stanley, was proud to present him with a second Sapphire Pin, a prestigious and meaningful Rotary International award. Merv had been honoured previously with a Paul Harris Fellow award in 1992 and his first Sapphire Pin in 2016.

With a gold theme to their weekly dinner meeting last Tuesday, Matamata Rotarians surprised Merv with a wonderful tribute evening acknowledging his membership over the past five decades. He is pictured being presented with his second Sapphire Pin by Matamata Rotary President, Lynette Stanley.

Also acknowledged for her untiring support of Merv’s 50 year contribution to Rotary, Janet King was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers in appreciation by President Lynette.