(b) January 12, 1920 (d) December 31, 2012
It is with a sense of sadness tinged with wonder at being part of a life so amazingly well-lived that we the sons and daughters of Mervyn Davis announce that our dear father quietly left this world on New Year’s Eve. With typical self-effacement he waited until the last member of his clamorous family had left his bedside before he took the final breath that would forever reunite him with his beloved wife Joan.
Merv was born in Hyderabad, India (now Pakistan) January 12, 1920 to Dr. Leonard Samarasinha and Joyce Hislop an adventuresome and plucky young Scottish gal from Edinburgh.
When his father died of Typhoid treating an epidemic in Calcutta, Mervyn just a toddler and his mother immigrated to Canada where he was eventually adopted by Edgar Davis his mother’s new husband. Edgar was a man of great principal and dad greatly loved and admired him.
In 1943 his university education at UBC was interrupted when he left for England and joined the RAF. Flying sorties as a Navigator his plane was shot down over Germany and Dad’s war was concluded at the notorious Stalag Luft III prisoner of war camp where he was interned for a year and a half.
The rest of Dad’s life was almost as daunting. He completed as much education at UBC and Queen’s University as he felt necessary for his greater passions and over the next four decades plunged tirelessly into his work in the field of social work and corrections. Most of his professional life was spent as Executive Director of the John Howard Society and later as head of Human Resources Social Services Department under Dave Barrett’s NDP government.
Mervyn’s dedication to his committee work was only equaled by his devotion to his rapidly expanding family. Actively involved and instrumental in the creation of Big Brothers, Halfway Houses, Legal Aid, Victims of Violence, Cool Aid, and the Crisis Center amongst others.
His children Deborah, Hal, Richmond, Cynthia, Daphne, Bradley, Christopher, and Alisa as well as 19 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren are left to mourn his passing and ready to celebrate his incredible life.
A memorial service for friends and family will be held early in the spring and a notice as to date and time will be sent out.