Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Annette Nicole

RTS has announced that Annette Nicole, wife of professor emeritus Roger Nicole, went to be with the Lord last week. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday.

The following is from J. I. Packer's introduction to the book Speaking the Truth in Love: The Life and Legacy of Roger Nicole:
It is a great privilege, and an equally great delight, to introduce David Bailey's excellent biography of my dear friend Roger Nicole to the Christian public.

It was, I think, George Bernard Shaw, Irish journalist and playwright, who used to speak of 'the Chesterbelloc,' meaning the partnership of G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc in their advocacy of a social policy called Distributism. As advocates they appeared to him to be like a doubles team on the tennis court, each actively supporting the other; hence his name for them in their joint effort. Ever since I came to know them, I have thought of Roger and Annette Nicole in the same way, as 'the Rogerannette,' for though they are quite different they form a partnership to which anyone might point to illustrate the egalitarianism of men and women together that Roger so implacably defends. One of my cherished memories is of the day, nearly half a century ago, when they lunched in our home and Annette laid into me with passion for being an Anglican and not a Baptist while Roger, beaming all over his face (and how that man can beam!) sat silent enjoying the fun. They are two of the most warm-hearted, free-spirited, and altogether delightful believers that it has been my privilege to know. So the first thing I want to say about Roger is that he is the front end of a twosome, 'the Rogerannette,' and it remains beautiful to see them together.

The second thing I must say is that for a man of such power of mind, clarity of thought, range of knowledge and strength in argument, Roger's patience and courtesy toward the less well favored is a marvel that has become a legend. He was said when first I knew him to have learned to greet people in something like fifty different languages so that he could always welcome overseas students and make them feel at home. Such sweet pastoral care in the conventional coolness of academia is also the stuff of legend, and deservedly so. No one could ever accuse Roger of throwing his weight about; very much a Swiss gentlemen in style, he is also a gentle man and a great encourager, overflowing with goodwill at all times. He has been a model for me in this, as in so much more.

Roger stands at the head of my private list of persons worth celebrating, and I am sure I am not the only one who would say that. I guess there are thousands who would affirm the same, and I expect the sales of this volume to reflect the fact. Salutation, Roger! We love you in the Lord, and rejoice to see this biographical tribute appear. You deserve every word of it. God bless you, and Annette too. J.I.Packer