Tony Meyrick – The man of many hats
Tony is the Cathedral Supervisor of St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral in Perth. Most of his working hours are spent within the majestic confines of the city’s largest place of worship. Photo: Supplied
By Mark Reidy
If spending time in church equates to holiness, Tony Meyrick is guaranteed a sainthood.
Tony is the Cathedral Supervisor of St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral in Perth and most of his working hours are spent within the majestic confines of the city’s largest place of worship.
However, an hour spent with this gentle-natured man, in the much smaller confines of his back corner office, is enough to know he wouldn’t get much time to take spiritual advantage of his prime location.
Tony’s hesitation, when asked whether there is such a thing as a typical day in the life of a cathedral supervisor, indicates that there isn’t. Saddled with the responsibilities of overseeing the maintenance, bookings and general day-to-day running of the Archdiocese’s spiritual hub, the regular interruptions during our interview, both by phone and face-to-face visits, confirms that no two days would ever be the same.
But Tony’s affable nature and calming demeanour indicate that he is the right man for the job. With 21 years of experience of running his own information technology business and then working for the company for a further six years after he sold it, Tony possesses enough organisational savvy to take the hectic lifestyle of a cathedral in his stride.
Although he was satisfied with the two decades he spent in the world of business, by the time he reached his mid-fifties he recognised a restlessness within. It was enough to send him on the search for a path that wasn’t driven by the pursuit of money, but would instead allow him to incorporate his long-held Catholic faith.
Despite being actively involved with not-for-profit organisations for many years, he yearned for an even deeper participation.
It was then he saw the supervisor’s job advertised at his parish in St Mary’s, Leederville, and he knew God was opening the door for the next chapter of his life. “This role was meant to be,” Tony reflected. “It came around just at the right time and I am very happy with how it has worked out.”
The job was initially advertised as a building manager focusing mainly on maintenance issues but has since morphed into a broader role involving the co-ordination of events, activities, the two meeting rooms, the parish centre and crypt, as well as overseeing issues involving the internal and external workings of the cathedral.
Working under the guidance of the Cathedral Dean, Monsignor Michael Keating, and with a small but dedicated team by his side, Tony is pleased with the development the cathedral has taken over the past five years.
In this time, he has overseen a number of major projects, including paving, pathways, and the development of the surrounding grounds, as well as matters involving sound systems, blinds and the co-ordination of numerous volunteers who donate their time.
However, neither the juggling of his many hats, nor his challenging working conditions, seem to faze this grandfather of three. Hidden away from the public eye in his corner location, he patiently contends with issues such as rising damp and freezing winter temperatures. And, during the summer months, he battles the searing afternoon sun radiating through the stain glass windows directly onto his head.
But, ever the problem solver, this very adaptable servant of the Church has found a solution for that dilemma. “I even have a hat for those occasions,” he chuckles.