There was an excellent turnout at the funeral of staff members from the C K Greaves Group of Companies
Features
July 29, 2022
Eulogy to Nigel Greaves – March 25, 1959 – July 17, 2022

by Reuben M John on July 26, 2022,
St. George’s Cathedral Church, Kingstown

On behalf of myself, my family, BDO Eastern Caribbean as well as the rest of the BDO family I would like to express sincere condolences to the family of the late Mr. Nigel Greaves, his mother Leila, his wife Debbie, children Ashley and Sean, Son in Law Miko, grandchildren Tyler and Tristan, also brothers Ken, Neville, Roland, and sisters Debra, Valerie, and the wider Greaves family.

Reuben John

I have had a long-standing professional relationship with the Greaves family dating back three decades. As a young Accountant, I was approached by Nigel’s father, Mr. Cecil K. Greaves and asked to work with the C.K. Greaves group of companies as the group’s Accountant and business advisor. After his passing I continued working with his wife Mrs. Leila Greaves and his children. Over the years we have developed an excellent relationship, one which is valued greatly by myself and BDO. I have worked with the family and their group of companies through the various developmental and transformational stages. At the directors meeting in May this year, the decision was taken to schedule a directors’ planning session for Wednesday July 20, 2022, to revisit the Group’s business model and make certain changes that would allow the directors to spend more time with their families. Nigel and Neville in particular were very keen on having this session as they were eager to spend more time with their loved ones. I was looking forward to meeting with the directors and spent last weekend preparing the presentations, until I received the sudden and most unexpected news of the passing of Nigel. Regrettably, the focus was shifted and instead of presenting a business plan to the Directors, here I am presenting Nigel’s Eulogy. This shows how unpredictable life can be.

Nigel was the fourth child born to Cecil and Leila Greaves on March 25, 1959. He attended the Kingstown Preparatory School and then the St. Vincent Boys Grammar School where he was affectionately known as ‘Nacho’.

There are many stories that can be told by Nigel’s friends about his days at the Grammar and friendships he forged during that period. His good friend Pappy on numerous occasions reminded him of some of the events and some of the things that they did as young boys.

Nigel then attended Humber College in Canada where he pursued studies in Business Administration. He then returned home to work for a short period with his father before returning to Canada in order to pursue further studies at the George Brown College in refrigeration. On completion of his studies, he had the opportunity to remain and work in Canada, however, Nigel chose to return to St. Vincent to work in the family business which he did admirably, working hand in hand with his father in various roles.

He married Deborah (Debbie) Sinson on April 5th, 1986. She worked alongside him and was a pillar of support to him in all his endeavors, and can take much credit for his numerous accomplishments. This union produced two children, Ashley and Sean and two grandchildren Tyler and Tristan. Nigel invested his time into those he cared for and remained close to all of his family members and friends. He called them regularly just to chat and to make sure all was well. Nigel was in contact with his children daily. On returning from work every day he would ask his wife “Did you hear from Sean and Ashley today?”. He kept a keen interest in his children’s progress and wanted to ensure that they achieved their goals and dreams.

He was multi-talented and a very hard-working individual. Nigel welcomed any opportunity to work for the company and was prepared to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty. He had an excellent understanding of how equipment and machines at the various locations worked and was able to fix any problem or issues related to these machines.

Nigel had a good working relationship with the other directors of the Company

and worked closely with his brother, Neville, on various company projects and initiatives. Nigel also had a very good working relationship with his staff and interacted with them at all levels of the company. He worked closely with Mr. John Thom on a daily basis for 41 years and Mr. Clyde Mofford. Over the years they developed a very close relationship. His relationship with his staff extended beyond being their boss. To his staff he was a friend, a mentor, a coach, and even a father figure. His door was always open to those who needed advice, guidance and in some cases financial support for themselves or their families. He had many personal relationships with his customers and always made himself available to assist them and would call them into his office at times to have a laugh and make sure they were having a good day.

Nigel did an exceptional job at filling the void left in by his mother when she retired and left her office to him and was a beacon of light to all who walked into the Kingstown branch.

He was committed to the C. K. Greaves Group of Companies and worked tirelessly with the other directors, and support staff to ensure that customers were satisfied and had proper access to goods at all times. Nigel was committed to his country and the well-being of the people in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He was approachable and opened to the views and opinions of others and always gave his honest and frank opinion. He used his skills and expertise to help persons from all walks of life.

Nigel was an astute businessman. He had a remarkable understanding of business operations, not just limited to the supermarket industry but business operations as a whole.

His capacity to process, analyze data, and interpret business ideas and information was amazing. He had the ability to recognize bad business ideas at an early stage, as a result he was able to avoid pitfalls and significantly reduce the risk of making bad business decisions.

Nigel was an excellent listener. He often listened, paused, processed the ideas or information and then would give his opinion, often making statements such as “This can work”, or “This does not make sense”.

He had a tunnel like vision and was able to predict quite accurately the outcome of business decisions from the inception, especially those that were likely to result in losses to the company.

It was quite easy to work and interact with Nigel in both a personal and professional capacity. He was straight and to the point; and would not hesitate to say if he was unhappy or satisfied with a situation or business decision that was being made.

Nigel was result oriented and was always focused on the task to be performed; he did not believe in making excuses and was committed to completing the project or task at hand. He knew how to get the job done and lead from the front. He fixed the generators, the coolers, the machines in the bakery, the vehicles or whatever task necessary. He did not watch the clock, often going to the location early in the morning and leaving late at night. The next day he was back at his desk making top-level decisions with the other Directors, customers, suppliers, and staff. Nigel interacted well with the other Directors and was able to accomplish a great deal from their joint efforts.

I had the opportunity to work with Nigel on a number of expansion projects for the group. On each of these projects he provided leadership and exhibited project management skills with the greatest degree of details and accuracy. All of the major capital projects were planned, executed and completed within budget. In each instance his main focus was to ensure that the projects were completed on time and within cost. He had profound understanding of what was required to grow the group of companies bottom line and work tirelessly to ensure that each company in the group performance was monitored keenly.

Nigel was very supportive of charitable organizations especially the Rotary Club of St. Vincent and the Lions Club. Although not a member of these clubs, he was very supportive of their fundraising events, in particular, he took a personal interest in the Rotary Club Annual Christmas BBQ and supported that project for over 20 years. He was very generous with his time and assisted many students with SBA’s and in some cases with financial assistance. Many young entrepreneurs benefited from his advice and business experience as he shared numerous business insights with them. He was a team player in the business community and possessed a wealth of knowledge that he shared with others.

He served as a board member for the National Commercial Bank 1996-2001 and was also on the board of directors of St Hill Insurance Company Limited to the time of his passing.

Following many natural disasters and most recently the volcanic eruption he organized with numerous suppliers to donate food items to various shelters and ensured that the company and the staff were always ready to provide support to ensure that there was no shortage of food for Vincentians.

Outside of work he always enjoyed a good joke. He had a passion and great love for boats. As a young boy he built and sailed a Mirror Dingy and his passion grew from there. He never gave up boating and spent many days at Ottley Hall working on his own boat with his friend Jakey and was always available to assist anyone who needed assistance with repairs. He always made himself available to help others. His siblings can attest to the fact that they could have called him day or night even if it was just to change a light bulb.

He enjoyed cooking and spending quality time with those close to him and often organized numerous get together with friends. He enjoyed preparing BBQ on those occasions with his brother, Ken. At the end of these get together, Nigel would always say to his friends “one for the road” which more often turned out not to be the last. He loved sailing to his favorite Grenadine Island, Union Island, where he spent time with his family and enjoyed interacting with persons on the island and assisted them by repairing their fridges.

Nigel was very family oriented. He loved his grandchildren dearly and was making arrangements to have more personal time to spend with them. He spent time with his siblings on and off the job and always kept in touch, even when he was away on vacation. He visited his mother almost every day and always ensured she was well taken care of.

Nigel will be greatly missed by his families, friends, staff, customers, suppliers, and those persons whose life he has touched and influenced. We are all sincerely grateful for his contributions towards the development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. May his soul rest in peace.