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Just call me Brother Calvin

Just call me Brother Calvin



Calvin Fitzroy Nicholls was the 1st of eight children of William and Enid Nicholls of Collins, Mesopotamia. He in turn, was the father of four: Camille, Jacqueline, Francille and Ian, and before his passing at age 78, was the grandfather of five. His wife of 47 years, Renetta Nicholls nee Fraser, and the family recall his memory with much fondness and admiration.

His contribution: Brother Calvin began his career as an apprentice at the Cotton Experiment Station, Campden Park, on the 1st April, 1951, a date he would refer to later in one of his writings. He worked his way up through the ranks of Agricultural Instructor, Agricultural Assistant, Agricultural Officer, and ended his career as Deputy Chief Agricultural Officer, in 1989.

In between he was seconded to the Antigua Government, as Assistant Cotton Officer, at the Antigua Central Cotton Breeding Station from April 1958- May 1959. He was manager of Central Water Authority, at its then Headquarters at Arnos Vale from 8th September 1977 – 31st August 1978. His tertiary training was at the Eastern Caribbean Farm Institute (ECFI) 1968-1970 and the Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture and Forestry (ECIAF), Trinidad, 1970-1972.{{more}}

Brother Calvin was the first trained personnel of the Forestry Division and for 17 and one half years spearheaded the laying of the foundation for the modern-day Forestry Department with its emphases on conservation and beautification.

His other passion was the Credit Union movement to which he gave yeoman’s service at all levels: his own credit union GECCU, as President 1978 – 1981 and from 1989 -1993, the credit Union League, and the Confederation of Caribbean Credit Unions.

Neither should one forget his association to his beloved Methodist Church. Perhaps one of the highlights was his attendance at the Synod of the Methodist Churches 18th – 21st January 1976, in Trinidad.

Communication Skills: Whether it was on his feet on in his correspondences, Brother Calvin was deliberate, forcefully convincing, and inciteful. In one of his correspondences to a Chief Personnel Office (CPO) he wrote, “I suspect that my PF (Personal File #677 and 677 II at the time of his retirement) is among the bigger ones in your office. What else can one expect from one whose career commenced on All Fools’ Day, 1951.” In another Memo he wrote, “Oh judgement thou art fled…………sense of reason”. He admitted to,” My impatient temperament at times,” but,” Reward sweetens labour.”

His Ideas and Ideals: Brother Calvin’s colleagues in the credit union refer to him as visionary, one Permanent Secretary in recommending him for promotion wrote that he was a “conscientious worker.” He was instrumental in the philosophical and name change of GECCU from Government Employees Cooperative Credit union To General Employees Cooperative Credit Union: Services such as death benefit, Social Development Fund, ATM cards received his full support. Some of his ideas are yet to be effected such as the greater role of the Credit union League, the title change from General Manager to the Chief Executive Officer for our chief of staff.

Mention has already been made of his vision for the Forestry Department. Most persons who knew Brother Calvin would conclude that he was a dedicated, conscientious, fearless, skillful, engaging, indomitable character, who also knew how to be humorous.

His Legacy: What does brother Calvin leave in his wake? Infrastructure that causes you to stop, think and enjoy: one of which bears his name in our Historic Botanic Gardens, The Nicholls’ Wildlife Complex; the number of roadside recreational/beautification sites: Sally Spring-Rockies, Sion Hill, at the top of the Airport runway, Arnos Vale, the grounds of the Administrative Complex in Kingstown, CWSA main office and NIS. These were his continued motivators.

A set of values that put human beings at the center of our activities: caring enough to act; service beyond self; a sense of purpose and goodwill; a self-discipline that truly brings the body under the subjection of the mind.

Of course his off-springs/the next generation who are already stamping their own mark on society and who can be justly proud of a man held in very high esteem both here in his native land and elsewhere.

The last word must be left to him. In one of our long night telephone conversations when I addressed him as Mr. Nicholls, he remarked, “Philmore you keep calling me Mr. Nicholls, What happen, man?”

I said,” well, what shall I call you, then?”

He said,” Just call me Brother Calvin.”

Brother Calvin Nicholls, you were one-hell-of-a-man!