We at SOUNZ were sad to learn of the death of Merwyn (Merv) Norrish (28 October 1926 – 21 May 2021), whose funeral was held in Wellington last week. Merv was the founding Chair of the Centre for New Zealand Music Trust (SOUNZ) in 1991.
Current SOUNZ Trustee, Brendan Smyth, remembers Merv from his days at the broadcast funding agency, NZ On Air.
“Merv was the first NZ On Air Chair when the agency was set up in 1989 and I was one of the first employees. He came to us from an illustrious career in Foreign Affairs.”
“He was a consummate Chair … always charming and calm, funny and intelligent, generous and gentle but tough when he needed to be and loyal to the cause and to we, the staff. His contribution to New Zealand’s foreign affairs and diplomacy was immense but his contribution to New Zealand arts and culture was a match.”
Merv was a passionate music lover and that led him to the SOUNZ kaupapa.
Moe mai rā e te rangatira, moe mai, moe mai
Great that you acknowledged Merv Norrish’s contributions. He kept coming to concerts long after his retirement and had a genuine love of music.
His funeral featured two Beethoven excerpts and a Jacques Louissier Bach arrangement.