Merv’s hang­ing up his chip bas­ket

Coastal News - - Front Page - By LES­LEY STANILAND news@coastal­news.co.nz

Who says Merv is a grumpy old b%^&*#d? Who says he never smiles?

Merv Jack­i­son — who ac­tu­ally has a great sense of hu­mour — has be­come a leg­end in Whanga­mata since mov­ing here about 20 years ago.

Merv has been forced to sell his Blue Fish Take­aways busi­ness — at which he works eight days a week or any day that ends in ‘ay’— af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with a ter­mi­nal ill­ness.

Af­ter a short stint in real es­tate he took over Round­about Take­aways in Hunt Rd for a few years, af­ter which he bought Blue Fish Take­aways.

His fish ‘n‘ chips and ‘Muck’ (or ‘Blood and Guts’) have be­come world fa­mous in Whanga and with the many reg­u­lar vis­i­tors to our beach­side town.

‘Muck’ is a dish Merv con­cocted years ago for surfers as they re­turned, tum­mies rum­bling, from a day on the waves look­ing for some­thing to boost their flag­ging en­ergy lev­els.

It com­prises hot chips, grated cheese, sour cream and tomato sauce all in the one packet so when it’s opened up, it looks like a bloody mess.

Cook­ing has al­ways been in Merv’s blood. He was an Army chef in his younger days and later catered for var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions in Auck­land, in­clud­ing a cou­ple of RSAS.

In Whanga­mata, he has been a gen­er­ous sup­porter of ju­nior and Rip­per rugby and visit­ing schools, sup­ply­ing them all with din­ner packs at a dis­counted rate.

Cheyne Bar­barich has worked with Merv for many years and says he de­serves recog­ni­tion for his years of help­ing kids with spon­sor­ship and meals.

“He’s got this rep­u­ta­tion as an old grump but he’s got lots of loyal cus­tomers. We who know him love him to bits. We want peo­ple to pop in and say ‘Cheers Merv’ be­fore he fin­ishes up on Fri­day,” Cheyne said.

Merv plans to catch up with friends he hasn’t seen in many years be­cause of his ded­i­ca­tion to his busi­ness.

The best part of his 13 years with Blue Fish was see­ing sat­is­fied cus­tomers and get­ting pos­i­tive feed­back, he said.

Af­ter Fri­day Merv’s gruff calling of or­ders will no longer be heard. But he cer­tainly won’t be for­got­ten.

Go well, Merv.

Tammy, Merv and Kyle Jack­i­son with Dom Henry in 2016.

FAREWELL: Merv will hang up his last chip bas­ket to­mor­row af­ter 13 years at Blue Fish Take­aways.

MERV in 2010

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