NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Long-time Bahamas Crisis Centre Deputy Director Donna Nicolls passed away on Monday after a long battle with stomach cancer.
The well-known human rights defender was 67 years old.
The Bahamas Crisis Centre said in a statement it was “deeply saddened” over the loss, with Crisis Centre Director Dr Sandra Dean-Patterson remembering Nicolls as an “amazing human being”.
“We are devastated over the loss of our right hand, Mrs Donna Nicolls,” said Dean-Patterson.
“Not only was she our deputy director and director of all of our training needs, but a dedicated and committed human rights defender and outstanding counselor who, for many years, voluntarily counseled survivors of violence on a pro-bono basis.
“She also had a 50-year career in teaching, counseling and selfless service to others.”
Dean-Patterson described Nicolls as passionate, warm and caring, but also fearless, known for her frankness and unflinching advocacy for the rights of women and children.
“Donna was an amazing human being who gave so much of herself,” she said.
“She will be sorely missed not only by the many volunteers of the Bahamas Crisis Centre but by the country at large and by extension, the Caribbean region.”
According to the Crisis Centre, Nicolls recently relocated to her native birthplace of Kingston, Jamaica, where she died at home in the arms of her loved ones.
Her parting message was to reassure family and friends that she loved, laughed and lived to the fullest, and to encourage everyone to never delay living.
She is survived by her husband, Teran Nicolls; son, Rande Nicolls and Khalila Duncombe; daughter, Noelle Nicolls, a Bahamian journalist, human rights advocate and entrepreneur; and “a host of other relatives and friends across the world”.