Reginald (Reg) Latimer Sylvester of Auckland, New Zealand, formerly of St. George’s, Bermuda passed away on July 7, 2017 at 87 years of age in Auckland, New Zealand.
Born in Bermuda in 1930, Reg lived and was educated in Bermuda before his family sent him overseas to the US to attend Williston Northampton School to finish the last few years of his school education. He was on the soccer, swimming and tennis teams, an active member of the Radio Club and graduated as a member of the Cum Laude Society in 1948. Reg’s time at Williston was a very special time in his life, he always talked frequently of it and he made a number of lifelong friendships and even attended a few reunions, flying in from New Zealand.
Reg was interested in pursuing a future as an aeronautical engineer and it was perhaps his greatest regret following his success at Williston that he was not able to attend university to pursue this future however, the economic situation of post war Bermuda put a serious damper on his aspirations. He returned to Bermuda to pursue a future in accounting with Esso Standard Oil in Bermuda.
In the mid 1950s Reg met his Irish wife Nancy, a nurse, recently moved to Bermuda with a number of her friends. They married and had two daughters in the 1960s. During this time he had a posting to the Caribbean area but later left ESSO because he did not enjoy the significant travel required with a young family. He then worked for the British Overseas Airways Corporation in Bermuda, which later became British Airways.
In 1970, at a time when Bermuda was undergoing significant political upheaval Reg moved his young family to New Zealand. For a Bermuda island boy this was a huge decision taking him far from his friends and family.
Reg had an interest in amateur (HAM) radio and the family recalls many nights hearing the dots and dashes as he developed his Morse Code skills and the crackle of the radio as he communicated with people all over the world. He had a room full of HAM radio equipment and it was only in the last 5 years that he took down the huge aerial in the backyard and packed away his radio equipment.
He was a very keen gardener and spent his spare time if not on the HAM radio, then in the garden. His family had an endless supply of beautiful roses, homegrown vegetables, citrus fruit, apples, plums and fejoas which he grew so much of that he bagged and delivered a great amount of his produce to the neighbors.
Regardless of the 47 years that he spent in New Zealand, Bermuda was always in his heart, and his true home. Following a service in New Zealand, his ashes were brought back to Bermuda. As he requested, a memorial service and interment of his ashes was (recently) held at the St Peter’s Church Cemetery followed by a Masonic tribute. A bagpiper played Scottish music on the hill above the grave.
Reg is survived by his wife Nancy in New Zealand and his two daughters Lee and Shauna and grandchildren Keagan and Fallon Woolley in Bermuda.