Tribute to Hillview role model

The Lavender Hill community are mourning community worker John Nicholson.

Tributes have been pouring in for Hillview community worker John Nicholson who died last week.

 Mr Nicholson was known for his community work and for converting his home garage into a library because he and his wife Gail wanted to instil the habit of reading and learning among children in the area.

Mr Nicholson died of a heart attack on Wednesday September 30.

He suffered a stroke two months ago but his brother Mark Nicholson said as soon as he could, he was back in the library reading to children. 

John and Gail also served meals to those in need.

Mark, who is also a community worker, said the death of his brother is a massive loss to the close-knit family as well as the community.

 “He was a hero and he has become a legend in the community and will always be one. He dedicated his life to the community and the children, especially in the Hillview area. He would be in the library from the morning to the evening when the last child left the library.” 

Mark said the family initially suspected John had Covid-19 two months ago when he had the stroke but he tested negative.

 “After the stroke his speech was a bit slow but he was doing fine and getting better. He was back to doing what he loved which was reading to the children. We are very heartbroken but we, including his wife and two sons, will continue his work and his legacy. He is and will be missed by everyone.”

Numerous tributes on John’s Facebook page have been posted since the news of his death. 

Paula Faria said: “We lost a hero in the Lavender Hill community. John was called home to fly with the angels in heaven after spending his life being an angel on earth.”