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Br. Ted Merritt msc: Fifty years in the NT.  UNITY
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                                                         Missionary  life in the  In 2001 Br. Ted withdrew to Darwin,
                                                         60's  and  70's  was  living  at  the  MSC  Centre,  aka  "The
                                                         tough at times, harsh  Ranch".  It was not to be a retirement
                                                         in  the  extreme.    Our  but a new lease of life, dedicated to
                                                         Northern     Territory  the St. Vincent de Paul Society, at the
                                                         missionaries       in  beck and call of innumerable people
                                                         those   years   were   on the margins of society, with their
                                                         expected  to  be  self-  many  and  various needs  and  their
                                                         reliant  men  of  grit  importunate requests for immediate
                                                         and     perseverance,  help.  Br. Ted matches these activities
                                                         capable  of  enduring  with repairs and maintenance tasks
                                                         isolation  and    an   at  The  Ranch,  with an  energy  level
                                                         exacting lifestyle, with  that  people  twenty  years  younger
                                                         expertise  in  sharing  than him could well be envious of.
                                                         the  faith  along with   Thanks, Br. Ted, for your enormous
                                                         the   practical  skills  contribution to the life and mission of
                                                         needed     to   cope   the Church in the Northern Territory
                                                         with    almost   any   with special emphasis on helping the
                                                         contingency.    From   Indigenous  and  the  marginalised.
                                                         1960 onwards, Br. Ted   Your  track  record  with its ongoing
                                                         lived  and  worked  for   religious commitment  is something
                                                         significant  periods  on   of  which  anybody  could be  justly
                                                         all of  our  NT Mission   proud.
                                                         stations  at  Bathurst
                                                         Island;     Wadeye;
                                                         at    Woodycupaldiya
                                                         where  he  lived for
                                                         a  few  years  in  a
                                                         demountable; at Daly        Happy 90th
          Birthday Celebrations in Sydney. L-R: Fr. Tim Brennan msc,   River  and  at  Santa
                                                   Teresa,  80km  south  east  of
               Br. Ted Merrit msc and Fr. John Kelliher msc  Alice Springs - at times the  Birthday Br. Ted
           t was  on  30  June,  1966,  that       resident mechanice, at times
           Br.  Ted  Merritt  arrived  in  the   the  accountant or  the  town clerk;
        INorthern  Territory  to begin half   and then at the age of 60 he learnt
        a century  of  dedicated  commitment   how to fly a plane and acquired his
        to the life and ministryof the Diocese   pilot's licence.  It is impossible in this
        of Darwin, with special reference to   short  article  to  recall  in  any  detail
        the Indigenous and the marginalised.    the  day-to-day  challenges  he  faced
        Here are a few salient features from   up to, the dramas that occurred, the         Fr. Malcolm Fyfe msc VG
        the  life story  of  this quite unique   simple joys  of  life experienced,  and
        Religious Brother.                  the many relationships forged.
        Edward  Patrick  Merritt  was  born
        in 1928  in Corinda,  a  suburb  of
        Brisbane.   Even  as  a  Secondary
        School student, young Ted felt a call
        to a  religious vocation,  but it was
        only  when  he  was  25  years  of  age
        that he took a 'leap in the dark' as he
        put it, and travelled down to Douglas
        Park,  south  of  Sydney,  to join the
        Missionaries  of  the  Sacred  Heart  as
        a Brother.  Up until that point he had
        been working in the motor industry,
        a job that would stand him in good
        stead  in  his subsequent  missionary
        labours.
        Br. Ted made his first commitment as
        a religious brother mid-1954.
        Subsequently  he  worked  as  a
        gardener  at Douglas  Park  for  two
        years,  in  the  office  of  the  MSC
        publication "The  Annals"  for  two
        years, and in our baording Colleges
        for  a  similar  period.    Again,  this
        range  of  tasks,  together  with the
        skills  he  had  earlier  acquired in the
        workforce,  prepared  him  for  his life
        on  mission stations in the  Northern
        Territory.

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