Giselle October 31st, 2020

As a bunch of local dads, we watched the boys playing sports most weekends – for years. Football for the P7s at Towerbank Primary and rugby, initially for the Hornets and later for Portobello RFC and the rugby team at Porty HS. Calvin was always there, at the centre of the action. It was on the rugby pitch that he really excelled – and shone. Speaking as a one time parent-P7 football coach, I can say he was a less gifted football player. He had a low elevation to his approach to the ball which meant that it never got off the ground but as we were playing an advanced, build-from-the-back style, this mattered less than getting the ball out of the box on the bye-kicks. Calvin gave his everything, as always. My son has never forgiven me for taking off the defensive mainstay of Calvin and himself, ten minutes from the end of a particular grudge match against Gillespies’ Primary at Calvary Park. We were ‘one up’ and I wanted to give the subs a chance but - of course - we got beat due to nobody ‘being at home’ at the back. These were little games, little local Saturdays and Sundays, happily spent in Cavalry Park getting over-involved in the boys’ rugby games and getting told off for shouting instructions from the side lines. But we cared, deeply. And we saw them grow, become braver, tougher and more confident. We also saw them sometimes despondent, injured and broken. None was braver than Calvin. No-one tackled more than him, consistently, in every game. He was a talented player. He could pass and kick, go down on the floor … and tackle again. No-one took the responsibility of being captain more to heart; he led honestly and graciously. Even when things were dirty, Calvin always rose above it and had total respect from his comrades. You couldn’t imagine him harbouring a bad thought, for long. We also saw them win, famously, in the P7 shield competition at Stewarts’ Melville, where they saw off the hosts and Currie to make all their parents very proud, Calvin again to the fore. I believe at school, Calvin was the same … a special talent and very thoughtful intelligence, A great team player, office holder and trumpeter. We will always remember him with the utmost love and affection, as a true, sweet and tender soul, floating above the petty reality of growing up, on a higher plane … like a hero from a boy’s story … which he was. Rest in peace … brave lad. [Robin Baillie]