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Mervyn de Courcey Jessop – Tuesday 21st January 2014 – Aged 73 – May He Rest In Peace

22 Jan 14
Peter Bull

From Robert Hall, President, Victorian Branch OTVA

Hi To All,

Sadly I regret to inform you of the passing of our dear colleague Mervyn de Courcey Jessop after nine months suffering finally succumbed and died peacefully at 2.30am this morning Tuesday 21st January 2014 aged 73

Our sincere sympathy and condolences to his wife, Glenda, and Family.


The funeral service will be held at:

Tobin Bros.

331 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood

2pm Friday 24th January 2014

Other details in Herald/Sun tomorrow (Wednesday)



  1. Peter Bull February 19, 2014 at 8:00 am

    From Robert Hall, President of Victorian Branch of the OTVA:

    Herewith attached is a copy of Stuart Jessop’s eulogy and a list of attendees at the funeral service one of the biggest we have had to be included:

    “ The Chapel Funeral was held at Tobin Brothers Seasons of Life Chapel 331 Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood Vic, at 2.00pm on Friday January 24th 2014.
    There was about 100 Family, Friends & Colleagues in attendance. 18 OTC Colleagues namely: Ashley Foote, Jack White, John Davey, John Caulfield, Josie Micallef, Michael Murray, Robert & Judith Hall, Ken McArthur, Tony Mikulic, Bob & Sue Beck, Paul S Murphy, Harold Murphy, Paul J Murphy, Geoffrey Whitmore, Keith Schafer, Kevin Shea. “

  2. Peter Bull February 19, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Eulogy by Stuart Jessop:

    Merv Jessop
    2nd August 1940 – 21st January 2014

    Good afternoon family and friends. We have gathered here today to celebrate the life of my father Mervyn deCourcey Jessop, otherwise affectionately known as Merv.

    My Dad was born on the 2nd August 1940 in Paddington, Sydney into a very large family of 9 siblings, with Merv coming along 2nd last in the line. With 2 brothers and 6 sisters growing up during World War II in working class Kogarah, Dad would always remind my sister Melinda and I how easy we had it; he didn’t own a new pair of shoes until the age of 9. In our modern world of plenty, his ability to bring the reality of his past home to us was always a sobering thought.

    But he didn’t like to dwell on the past. If pressed about his childhood, Dad either shrugged it off, or gave you a serve about living and growing up poor – “what do you want me say? It was cold and hard and we didn’t have very much…”

    He left school at 15 and became a Junior Postal Officer, or ‘Telegram Boy,’ delivering telegrams for the Carlton Post Office on the 3/8/1955. Riding up and down the hills of Sydney on the post office’s single-speed bike through all kinds of weather, he had many a story about which houses and businesses he most liked to deliver telegrams to, based on whether they gave him a penny, a comic, or hot chips for his trouble.

    After working for the Post Master General for 2 years, he then joined OTC on the 29/1/1958 at Paddington as a Telegraphist until transferring to Melbourne Operating Room in 1966. Merv worked for OTC as a Communications Supervisor for 30 happy years until he was retrenched about 1988, as many changes in communications were taking place. In those 30 years Merv saw the industry change from Morse code and five-unit-code punch tape, telex and then ultimately as direct communications became available via telephone, fax and email.

    Merv was always an early adopter of new technology. He had great behind the scenes OTC stories of relaying the tennis scores at Kooyong back to England via telex, or sitting in the press box at the MCG awaiting the next run, or as he liked to say, “watching the grass grow,” or typing the heads of government minutes from CHOGM, to communicating purchase orders for multinational companies… A humble cog in a very big wheel…

    He was a very hard worker all his life – he held 2 jobs for most of my childhood. His own upbringing had left an imprint that meant he was dedicated to providing his own family with a better life than he had had.

    And so we come to the real story of Merv – or the father that I knew, when he met my mother Glenda almost 50 years ago at the Coogee Bay Hotel.

    Merv met Glenda, a born and bred Melbourne girl whilst she was on holidays in Sydney with her girlfriends. They met through a mutual friend and Merv fell for Glenda in a big way. She lived and worked in Melbourne; he worked and lived in Sydney and so every 6 weeks when he had a long weekend, he set off in his Hilman Minx to visit her in Melbourne. She made it clear she had no intentions of moving to Sydney, so what was a love-struck young man to do.?
    Well, on Valentine’s Day 1966 Merv transferred from Sydney to OTC Melbourne. It was also the day that decimal currency came to Australia, so with new money burning a hole in his pocket, he drove the Hume Highway a single man for the last time, running out of petrol at Tarcutta at 3 am in the morning, he walked the lonely stretch to fill his tank and continued on his destiny to a new life.

    Glenda and Merv were married on the 9th September in 1967 at the Strathmore Presbyterian Church and in 1968 Merv and Glenda purchased their first home in Burnett Court Ringwood, where they began their family life with the birth of their son, me, in October 1970 and then my sister, Melinda, born in June 1973. In 1985 we moved to Markhill Place Heathmont, their residence to this day.

    In 1976 they bought their holiday home in Rosebud where every school holiday and many a weekend was spent. Both Merv and Glenda loved Rosebud, as did we. It was a place where they could both relax and indulge in their passion for fishing. Merv always commented on how lucky he was that his wife loved fishing as much as he did – although I do remember, at least a couple of occasions, when he forgot to tie the fish net onto the back of the boat and the day’s catch of flathead went swimming back into the bay. Lest to say Glenda was not impressed. Merv always did say that coming home with fish was just a bonus and in fact catching fish often interrupted a good sleep.!

    It was on the water that Merv was at his most relaxed; he decided to build a Mirror sailing dinghy from a plywood kit when I was about 12. Despite neither of us ever having sailed before, he always threw me in at the helm as liked being up the front so he could give directions and advise which sheet to let out and how high into the wind to sail. Melinda’s ultimate contribution to the Mirror was as its namesake ‘Little Mim’; I can still see her now, falling asleep with her hand draped in the water (she was her father’s daughter) whilst dad just sat back giving the orders, and me doing all the work. I have the fondest memories of sailing with my Dad.

    He taught me many things, from changing the oil in the car to regrinding the valves in the head, from changing a tap washer to renovating the bathroom and kitchen. If I ever had a ‘how do you do it’ question, he was the first person I would ask for advice. He also taught me to see a job through until the end.

    He sparked my interest in cars, and we spent many an hour under the bonnet of the Corona as he taught me the ins and outs which later gave me the confidence to fully restore a rusted out 1955 Austin Healey 100. It took me 6 years and Dad kept telling me to sell it. But I’d learned the lesson to finish what I’d started, so thank you for that, Dad. I drove my Healey as our wedding car and it still has pride of place in the garage today. Although he liked the Healey, he thought it was too showy and that people would stare at you in it – he preferred a Mark II Jag, as it was not so flashy, but quietly refined and classy. He did, however, enjoy a drive we once took together from Brisbane to Melbourne, taking an extra day or so than we actually needed.

    He retired in 2005 and bought a caravan and every year during the winter months mum and dad would tour Australia, happily finding the best fishing spots along the way in their little tinnie. They travelled overseas to Langkawaii in Malaysia, cruised to New Zealand on the Carnival Spirit and in April 2012 Dad shocked us all with his dream trip for Mum flying to Canada and touring Alaska, Gold-Leaf Class and all. They absolutely loved that trip and it was a testament of Merv’s love for Glenda, as he had no inclination to travel overseas, but he knew how much she wanted to go, and wanted to give her the trip of a lifetime.

    In 1999 Melinda married her husband Peter, and they have settled in Blackburn with their 2 children: Emily and Chloe.

    Sharin and I were married in 2003 and live in Sydney with our 2 children: Charlotte and Bailey.

    Merv’s greatest enjoyment in life was his family and in particular watching his 4 grandchildren grow up. Emily the eldest at 10, Chloe 8, Charlotte 6 and Bailey, 4, the only boy, and the last Jessop to carry on the Jessop surname.

    The grandchildren just loved and adored their Pa. He always had time to listen to their stories and what they were doing at school. He loved showing them how to make things, whether it be furniture for their dolls house, or steps for the back garden. He treasured his role as beloved Pa, and was always happy to be involved with their lives – attending their dance concerts, swimming with them down at Rosebud, teaching the girls how to use their Kayak, shaking his head at how Bailey had managed to break yet another rake, and always clapping with enthusiasm for the biannual Christmas concert the kids would put on to end their holiday together.

    As a father he was fair and supportive. He always provided guidance and allowed Melinda and I to make our own decisions. He taught us to be grateful for what we have and that there was always someone worse off than you. He lived a good and honest life that taught us the value of hard work and that nothing comes for free. In the last year of his life he often ruminated about us how it was the quality of life, and not the quantity, that mattered.

    In April last year Dad became very ill, and in July he underwent a 12 hour major operation to remove his oesophagus. He remained incredibly strong throughout his ordeal and we are all very proud and thankful to him, he has been an inspiration to all of us.

    Both Melinda and I would like to pay tribute to our mother for the strength she has shown during the past 9 months since Dad was first diagnosed. She nursed Dad relentlessly and she has shown great courage. From all of us we thank you for your care of our Father and Pa.

    We would also like to thank you all for attending today – and for your love and support throughout this difficult time.

    Top ten facts you may not know about Merv:

    1. He knew all the time zones of each country;
    2. He knew all the capital cities, their telex codes and the telephone prefixes for each country;
    3. He survived a triple bypass in 1997 to discover a new lease on life;
    4. He never gave any company what he called ‘free advertising’ – he would cut the tag off his jeans just so you wouldn’t know they were Levi’s;
    5. He loved Pelicans – he said they were a beautiful and graceful bird that people would stop and say hello to, and perhaps throw a fish to down at the boat ramp (and he liked watching all the action at boat ramps);
    6. He thought catching a fish often interrupted a good sleep;
    7. He never let a chance go by to let you know a better way of doing something, right down to the direction of a kettles spout – sometimes challenging to live with;
    8. His favourite sandwich was pickled onion and vintage tasty cheese. With banana, honey and cheese coming a close second;
    9. He was very particular about his cup of tea – and his bread.

    Last but not least, and you probably do know this fact about Merv:
    10. He was truly grateful for his lot in life, and in an age when we are always looking for more or greater or better he reminds us to be grateful for the important things – our loved ones.

    Merv passed away on Tuesday morning peacefully. And though we will miss him as a wonderful husband, Father, Father-in-law and Pa, we all have many happy and wonderful memories to cherish forever.

    In his own words “I’ve had a good run. I’ve got a great wife, great kids that never gave me any trouble and I’ve had 8 years more than I’d hoped for.”

    He always said that once he is gone he would come back as a Pelican, so here’s hoping the next Pelican I meet might just be you, Dad.

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