Mervyn Dwyer and Leath Johnston Houses officially unveiled on Curtis Street

OFFICIAL OPENING: Graham Parker, outgoing mayor Kathy Sajowitz and Pat Dwyer cut the ribbon at Leath Johnston and Mervyn Dwyer Houses. Picture: ALANNA TOMAZIN
OFFICIAL OPENING: Graham Parker, outgoing mayor Kathy Sajowitz and Pat Dwyer cut the ribbon at Leath Johnston and Mervyn Dwyer Houses. Picture: ALANNA TOMAZIN

IT was a moving moment for the family and friends of Mervyn Dwyer and Althea (Leath) Johnston as their legacies were unveiled on November 19.

Guests gathered on Curtis Street at independent living units which have been named after Mervyn and Leath.

The naming of Mervyn Dwyer House acknowledges Merv's passion and contribution to Oberon and its community over many years on many levels.

At the official opening, Merv's wife Pat said her husband was a wonderful man.

"He was on the Council for 24 years and he thought about Oberon and lived for it, his whole life was Oberon," she said.

FAMILY: Mervyn Dwyer's family were honoured to be there for the official opening. Picture: ALANNA TOMAZIN

FAMILY: Mervyn Dwyer's family were honoured to be there for the official opening. Picture: ALANNA TOMAZIN

His daughter Louise Manning said Merv was "all about preparing for the future".

"He always thought ahead, he thought of infrastructure 20 or 30 years ahead, people do that now, but back then there weren't many people who could look to the future like him," she said.

She said it had been 18 years since her father died and being able to remember him still today, was special.

"We're here now remembering him and his work and that says it all," she said.

"He would be looking down so chuffed and so proud, so thank you so much for doing this, it means so much to us."

Acknowledging in the case of Leath when she died in 2009, an ultimate bequest of $122,0000 was left to contribute to the senior residents of Oberon and their welfare.

Rotarian and Trust member Graham Parker said it was an honour to have the units dedicated in Leath's name.

FRIENDSHIP: Friends of Leath Johnston; Peter D'Arcy, Mary Vehan and Graham Parker with the plaque. Picture: ALANNA TOMAZIN

FRIENDSHIP: Friends of Leath Johnston; Peter D'Arcy, Mary Vehan and Graham Parker with the plaque. Picture: ALANNA TOMAZIN

"Leath was a person of great quality. She was well known in the Wisemans Creek area, she established a nursery and she was a wonderful poet," he said.

"She could see the good in people and the landscape and that was one of her great characteristics."

He said he Trust had the discretion on what to use her bequest on, as long as it was used for aged care and in support of people with disabilities.

"This is enduring evidence for her, this is it," he said.

"I'm very pleased to be able to join in the dedication of this to Leath Johnston."

The units were jointly funded with a $1.3 million investment from Oberon Council following the sale of the neighbouring Hathaway Cottages in 2017.

Outgoing mayor Kathy Sajowitz said on behalf of Council, it was a pleasure to help fund the units and officially open them.

"It's unfortunate that COVID prevented us from doing this sooner. I hope the residents of the new units will enjoy living here and join me in acknowledging Leath and Merv," she said.

She thanked those who came to the event.

"Thank you everyone especially family and friends of Leath and Merv, some who have travelled to join us today.

"I am sure the family and friends of both Merv and Leath will be very proud. I certainly would be."