I have always said the best thing about working in the timber industry is the people. Down to earth, funny, straight up, hardworking and honest people.
One of the most significant influences within the industry for me was Clive Martella, FTMA Board Member and Director of MB Prefab Framing in Geelong. Clive was an essential person within the FTMA Board. Not only was he one of the people who worked hard to get the National Association going but he remained a Director throughout his time on the board. He was my go to person with technical, production or business issues and he always came through, not only for me, but for other fabricators as he was always willing to share information to improve the standards of the industry and help his competitors.
He was also the funniest bastard on the board by far and at every board meeting there was a Clive Bloopers time! New board members were warned of his humour but no one was ever offended as they knew his humour, even though crude at times, was never malice and always left everyone laughing.
Sadly Clive Thomas Martella passed away in the early hours of Sunday 28th September, 2016 at the young age of 62 after a short but courageous battle with cancer, leaving behind his beloved wife Ruth and three adult children, Catherine 28, Treina 24 and Clive Jnr 21.
His funeral, which was held at St Marys in Geelong on the 5th September was the perfect farewell. With seating for 450 and people left standing at the back of the church there was no doubt Clive was loved by many within his family, community and industry. It was fantastic seeing current and past FTMA board members attend as well as timber suppliers, nail plate representatives and other fabricators from Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia all who had great respect for Clive.
It was no surprise to hear that Clive was a barman at one stage in his career. I mean, his jokes, wow, they were definitely the best barman jokes you would ever hear but learning that Clive was a male model for Myers, well that nearly knocked me off my chair. Past board member Glen Phillips of Country Truss recalls Clive telling them this many years ago but they all just laughed thinking it was another one of Clive’s one liner jokes.
MB Prefab was started by Clive Martella Senior and Eric Brew in September 1977. Doug Maxwell, Clive’s brother in law joined the family business in 1983 when Eric retired and Clive joined the company in 1987 as a sales rep, eventually buying in to the business in 1990 when he father retired.
Clive reflected at his own funeral via an email he had sent the week before he passed away to his cousin Stephen to read out typically giving him the last word. Clive gave beautiful tributes to his wife and children and reflected on his and Doug’s relationship stating that it was stronger than most marriages as even though they had worked with each other for nearly 30 years they had only ever had one fight which was amazing. Doug, however reflected at the wake that he never recalls ever having a fight with Clive and we think this was Clive’s parting joke!
As a parent one could only dream of having such a wonderful influence on your children’s lives to warrant the amazing tributes they gave on the day via cousins. Being described as the greatest influence in their lives, centre of their universe and how proud they were to call their father a hero were only a few of the emotional tributes dedicated to their beloved father Clive on the day.
In honour of this amazing man who was a true industry leader, FTMA will present the inaugural Clive Martella Service to Industry Award at the 2017 National Conference in May. We want to ensure that others in the industry that share his same passion, drive and support in seeing the national frame and truss industry innovate and grow are recognised. I had the honour of telling Clive this before his passing and as expected he said he didn’t need that, as he was a truly humble person but I told him we did, as he has given so much and FTMA wants to ensure his legacy continues.
FTMA extends their love and continued support to Ruth, Cat, Treina, Clive Jnr, Doug, Sue, Julie-Anne and the staff at MB Prefab.
Rest in Peace Clive. We have no doubt you will have them rolling in the aisles upstairs and we know you will never be forgotten.
For more information contact Kersten Gentle on 0418 226 242.