Waddicors embody spirit of Christmas

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Dear Sir,

In 1953, Alan Waddicor arrived in Bermuda to join the Bermuda Police Service.

Having served in the Royal Navy during the war, it is understandable that he would be drawn to a career outside Darwen in the North of England, where he was born. He soon settled into the Bermuda life so much so that, when in 1957 he returned to England to marry the love of his life, Agnes, he was eager to tell her about the beauty of his new island home and to persuade her to make a life with him here.

A photograph taken as the couple left the parish church in Darwen showed Alan and Agnes walking through an archway of flags held by Girl Guides. That was a tribute to their leader, Agnes. From an article in the local newspaper, which said “Darwen’s loss is Bermuda’s gain”, it is clear that Agnes Waddicor was well respected for her work with the Girl Guides.

After the reception, the couple travelled to Southampton and boarded a ship bound for New York. Thus began their new adventure together heading to Bermuda via New York. Although Alan had talked a lot about Bermuda, Agnes boarded the ship as a new bride with some trepidation.

On arriving here, the couple soon settled down to a new life. Agnes was for most of her working life employed by the Gibbons Group of Companies. Alan continued in the police service, but later ventured into the private sector, working at the BGA Group, where he was highly respected.

With the huge support of her husband, Agnes soon restarted her involvement with the Girl Guides, but this time forming a Sea Rangers Unit. The success of her endeavours was clearly evident this year at the Guides’ “Thinking Day” service at the Cathedral. There, a large group of ladies, who had been girls in the Sea Rangers, gave a wonderful tribute to Agnes Waddicor.

Regrettably, Alan Waddicor passed away in May 2013 and it is very sad that he and Agnes never had children. Mind you, their devotion to helping and working with the Girl Guides played a large part of their life together. I am sure they looked at the Guides as members of their family.

Agnes continued living in their own home after Alan died with the help of a live-in caregiver, but last December she succumbed to a lengthy illness. The last 12 months of her productive life were spent at the Westmeath Residential Home, where the wonderful staff cared greatly for Agnes.

As executor for the estate of Alan and Agnes Waddicor, I can honestly say that it has been an honour to have known them as friends and a privilege to have been asked to help them through their final years together.

It is abundantly clear that the late Alan and Agnes Waddicor loved Bermuda. When I tell you that the Girl Guides Association topped the list of ten charities that received a combined total of $370,000 from the estate, that love is clearly shown.

The other charities were the Salvation Army, SPCA, Pals, Society For the Blind, Bermuda Red Cross, Meals On Wheels, Age Concern, the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo, and the Focus Counselling Services.

This amazing story does not end here, as just a few days ago I had the greatest of pleasure of going to private schools and presenting cheques for a total of $750,000 and closed the Waddicor Estate.

Those cheques will surely make a huge difference and here I must quote from the wills made by Alan and Agnes Waddicor:

“For the express purpose of providing scholarships for students in financial need wishing to enter the school or already enrolled at the school, such scholarships being awarded in memory of Alan and Agnes Waddicor”.

Had Alan and Agnes seen the reaction of the various head teachers, they would have been thrilled. They would also have been thrilled with the knowledge that their generosity will go a long way towards helping many families.

As we celebrate Christmas this year with our families, let us please not forget that we are all members of one larger wonderful Bermuda family. Whether we are born here or came here to live and work, let the lives of the late Alan and Agnes Waddicor be an example to all of us.

JOHN SWIFT

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Published Nov 22, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 21, 2017 at 11:06 pm)

Waddicors embody spirit of Christmas

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