By Jenique Belgrave
McDonald Nicholls, the widely-admired pioneer in Barbados’ bakery sector, was remembered today as a humble boss who relished a joke and a father and husband deeply loved by his family.
On Thursday morning scores gathered at the Abundant Life Assembly in Bank Hall to pay respects to the Nicholls Bakery head whose name has become well-known in Barbadian households over the last 28 years.
Tears flowed as his wife Cheryl and five children listened to the tributes paid in word and song to their beloved ‘rock’ during the ceremony. Nicholls staff clad in orange or red shirts bearing the likeness of their late boss joined with several dignitaries, including Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Sandra Husbands and Senator Pat Parris in a show of respect.
Daughters Janae and Annika spoke of a father with an unparalleled work ethic, who demanded the best from them, especially when working in the bakery.
“To know daddy was to love him. He was full of personality and life and no matter how late he came in from work, he would come and check all of our rooms to see if we were all home. He would stay up late to keep me company while I was studying and say ‘you know your daddy loves you?’ We always said ‘Yes, of course’, and now today we have the privilege of saying we knew our daddy loved us,” Annika said.
Staff members spoke of the “amazing and humble” boss who was encouraging at all times, a joker who was quick to share stories and passionate about ensuring the bakery produced the best products.
In paying tribute, Reverend Dr. Whitfield Blenman insisted that while many people just occupied space and contributed nothing to the world, the same could not be said for Nicholls.
“There are people who change the space they occupy, lives are enriched, communities are transformed and when they leave us, they leave a void that only God can fill and that was our friend and brother McDonald Nicholls,” he reflected.
Reverend Vasco Perry of the Church of God said the hardworking Nicholls was always willing to contribute to or sponsor the various programmes hosted by the church.
“To mark the church’s 100-year milestone, he gave a scholarship to a young gentleman who otherwise would not have been able to attend UWI and that young man was able to succeed in the area he chose. He was always willing to help anyone in need even though he was not a member of the church,” Perry said.
During the sermon, Reverend Haynesley Griffith reminded the mourners they were surrounded by the everlasting arms of Jesus and he encouraged them to draw comfort from Him during this time.
“This close friend of mine since 1977 believed strongly that man should live by bread, and that is why he went all out to make sure the best quality was made to serve his generation. But Mac also recognised that mankind should not live by bread alone, but by every word that flows from the mouth of God…Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joys of your Lord. Enjoy your promotion and graduation,” he added.
Nicholls was laid to rest in the cemetery of the St. Thomas Parish Church.