Adrian Melville Photo: Supplied
Adrian Melville was a storyteller.
But on Tuesday, it was his family, friends and colleagues who stood up one by one to tell their stories of the Bondi local who died after slipping and falling off a cliff in Dover Heights on Saturday, September 8 while celebrating his 40th birthday with friends.
Moments before, the IT manager told his friends the day he had spent with them was the best birthday celebration he had ever had.
In a packed chapel at the Eastern Suburbs Crematorium in Matraville, those friends — and hundreds of loved ones, some of whom had flown to Sydney from Britain, Canada, the United States, Singapore and New Zealand — spoke of how Mr Melville had also given them some of their best memories.
Mr Melville, who was born in Kent in southern England, was from an early age known as a maths whiz. His two favourite subjects at school were "math and talking", one friend joked.
His prowess at arithmetic was once so apparent at a pub quiz that someone christened him "Rain Man". The nickname stuck.
Mr Melville, who was known to his family and friends as "Melv", also earned the nickname "Papa Smurf" for his dedication to them. At the same time, his meticulous nature and organisational skills gave rise to the nickname "Captain Spreadsheet", the funeral heard.
It was Mr Melville's love for the beach that drew him to Australia, and to Bondi, in 2002, launching a decade-long career with multinational healthcare manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.
Despite moving countries, Mr Melville never changed, one friend said. His relatives, friends and colleagues echoed stories of his dry wit, quick turn of phrase and love of life.
In 2008, Mr Melville met his partner Josephine and in 2010, became the proud father of Finley. He was due to become father to a second son, nicknamed "Boris the bump".
He also leaves behind father Peter, mother Ann and older brother David.