Reginald Vinod Nand, known to Rotarians, members of the Fiji Indian community and many other New Zealanders as a kind-hearted social welfare worker, passed away on February 8, 2020.
He was 78 years old and left behind his wife Maureen, their son Sanjeev, daughter Seema Woollaston, four grandchildren, six sisters and three brothers.
He was my elder brother and was my mentor and closest friend.
Reginald was born on April 24, 1942 in a humble and poor family in Fiji.
He spent his childhood and adolescent years in Sigatoka. Being the eldest of the sons, he was a joy to his parents. He was a people’s person, kind, gentle and above all a genuine humanitarian, readily available to anyone seeking his advice and guidance.
Source of inspiration
He strongly believed in keeping families united. He was a source of inspiration to many and continued to help people until his last breath. He possessed a special skill to deal with people from a diverse range of commercial and professional disciplines. He was an effective leader, creative thinker, inspiring, respectful, friendly, loyal and professional at all times.
He married Maureen Deoki in 1969.
Reginald was well versed in the biblical scriptures and was dedicated to Christian doctrines and had a strong belief in the power of prayer. He respected all religions and cultures, saying, “People are people to me, regardless of their background.”
He believed in one people, one world and one God.
Whilst in Fiji, he was a dedicated member of the Methodist Church. He humbled himself as God’s servant, working and helping those in need without seeking recognition. His commitment, courage, diligence, determination and perseverance amazed people of all ages.
Education and employment
Completing his primary education at Sigatoka Methodist Mission School, and secondary education at Natabua Secondary School, Lautoka, his tertiary education and career advancement included the following:: Asian Trade Union College, Manila (1970), University of South Pacific (1973), Pacific Rim Bankers’ Programme, University of Washington, Seattle, USA (1983), Certificate in Language Teaching to Adults (1996), Graduate Diplomat in TESOL (1998), ESL International Language Centre, Kuala Lumpur, ESOL Teaching/Research (1998).
His career in education included the establishment of the Advance School of Language and managing it as ESOL Tutor, Principal, Manager and its Part-Owner and home tutoring programme to overseas students.
He was employed with Westpac Bank for 35 years in Fiji, Vanuatu, Australia and New Zealand at various levels, retiring as a top manager. As well as promoting ‘localisation of jobs’ in Fiji, he was Founder-Member and President of Fiji Bank Officer’s Association.
He won the Customer Service Award while managing Relationship Management portfolio in Brisbane, Australia.
His involvement in community service involved the Methodist Church, Jaycees International, Fiji Society for the Intellectually Handicapped (former President), Lions Club of Lautoka (former President), BA Soccer Association (Chairman of Board of Control), Rotary Club (Ba in Fiji, Mount Roskill, Auckland), AUT Language Education Advisory Committee (Member), Wesley Methodist Church, Christian World Service (Mount Roskill Coordinator), Moral Re-Armament, now called Initiative of Change (Member), Citizens Advice Bureau (Accredited Member).
Reginald was a keen gardener, and spent much of his leisure hours in the garden, planting fruit trees, flowers and herbs. Cooking was his other passion. He was a very good host and loved socialising with friends and families.
He will always be remembered for the sumptuous Barbecues and his hospitality at his residence.
Among his favourites were the following lines from a poem by Lindsey Zacher
Keep looking for the sunshine that always follows the rain
Life is a mixture of laughter and pleasure; tear drop and pain
All days cannot be the same, it is certainly true
But there was never a cloud that the sun did not shine through.
Pratima Nand is a community leader and social worker based in Auckland. A Justice of the Peace and Marriage Celebrant, she has been involved in promoting the welfare of communities in which she serves. Ms Nand occasionally writes for Indian Newslink. The above article, which was sent to us on February 24, 2020 has been delayed at our end, for which we tender our apology.
Reginald Nand (INL Photo)