Skip to main content


David Nicholson

Dave was amazingly conscientious, and World Desk worries haunted him for years after his farewell drinks. He wrote in one email:

"I was most interested to hear about your Reuter nightmares: you might be comforted to know that mine (which usually dealt with crises developing when 1. I can't remember how to work the computers or the codes I need to send a story or 2. I'm alone on a desk after something terrible has happened and I don't know how to handle the flood of copy) have almost disappeared after nearly six years in retirement. I used to get these at least twice a week and would awake in a sense of terrible dread."

As night editor, his work wasn't really over at the end of the shift. Many of us benefited from his after-hours pastoral care. I'll always remember a session at Maggie's Tin Pan Alley in New York that ended shortly before dawn with Kevin Cooney sound asleep, his head resting on Dave's right shoulder. The silence at the bar was broken only when Dave murmured: "Poor Kev."

We have lost a dear friend, and I hope he would not mind my sharing his memory of a happier August day in Halifax, Nova Scotia:

"I recall visiting my parents shortly after my daughter's birth in 1970; my father and I sat outside on the lawn behind our house at Pine Hill on Francklyn Street overlooking the North West Arm on a balmy August afternoon. To this day I think of my father picking up a glass of chilled Chablis, staring into the distance and murmuring: 'Tough old life.' These words floated across my mind as I read of you sampling the champagnes in the Oyster Bar." ■