Merv ‘The Black Prince’ Watriama.
Merv ‘The Black Prince’ Watriama.

Farewell for 'The Black Prince'

A service to celebrate the life of Merv ‘The Black Prince’ Watriama will be held tomorrow from 3pm at the Byron Bay Rugby League Club’s ground.


Celebrant Zenith Virago will conduct the service to which all of Merv’s friends are invited.


There will be live music after the service from long-standing Byron Bay band, Zanziband.


People attending the service and celebration are asked to bring a plate.


Merv, a colourful character around Byron Bay for many years, died in his sleep two weeks ago at his Ewingsdale home.


His ‘Black Prince’ nickname came from his grandfather, William Jacob Watriama, who came to Australia from the Loyalty Islands of French-ruled New Caledonia in the late 19th Century.


William, who served with distinction with the AIF in France in the first world war, dubiously claimed to be a member of the Loyalty Islands ‘royal’ family. He died in 1925.


FOOTNOTE: The Ballina Jockey Club is staging The Black Prince Memorial Handicap at the Byron Bay Gold Cup race day on Sunday, August 29.
 


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