Malcolm Maurice Fitzgerald Johnson, Sr. was born in Georgetown, Guyana, on June 26, 1932. He was a brilliant and energetic child who loved going to school and who always excelled in his studies. His parents Alva and Lucille Johnson also gave birth to three other children: Sheila (Deceased), Colin, and Olive Violet (Deceased).
Malcolm attended Comenius Moravian School in Georgetown, Guyana, and upon graduation, attended Demerara High School, where he ultimately passed the all-important, Junior and Senior Cambridge examinations, with flying colors. Around the same time, he penned an award-winning essay entitled: “The Great Fire of Georgetown.”
Malcolm spent most of his early childhood at 28 Anira street, and then later moved with his family to 82 Laluni Street in Georgetown.
Although he was an extremely studious child, Malcolm was also one who loved to get into a bit of mischief with his older brother, Colin. He loved climbing trees, and had many hours of fun, picking and eating mangoes, guavas and other fruits which grew from the trees in the neighborhood. He loved a good game of cricket and became known as a wicked fast bowler. He also developed a knack for table tennis and was always ready for a vigorous pick-up game with friends and family.
Malcolm was a very helpful child and could always be counted on by his parents and extended family, whenever any shopping needed to be done. As a child, he hardly ever walked; whenever he could, he ran – and more often than not, he ran barefooted. He also developed a keen love of mathematics and became so good at the subject, that, at the tender age of 16 years old, he wrote his first mathematics textbook. He developed such a reputation as a brilliant mathematician, that, also at 16 years old, he was hired to teach mathematics to other children in his age group at the local high school.
In his spare time, when he wasn’t teaching other children, he studied bookkeeping and accounting as an external student at the University of London. Very soon, he had applied and been accepted to one of the best universities in the world – Oxford University - where he studied Economics, Banking and Finance. After many years of hard study, he earned a Master of Arts degree in Economics.
While attending Oxford University, he met and married the love of his life, Millicent Joyce Macfarlane. Their courtship resulted in four children, many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and a marriage that lasted for 62 years.
Although his wife had planned to return to her home country of Jamaica once she had completed her medical training as a nurse, Malcolm convinced her to return with him to Guyana. “A wonderful adventure awaited there,” he told her. He, along with others, was going to help rebuild Guyana, and yes, she was going to help him do it!
And, do it he did. As soon as they returned to Guyana with their two baby boys, Maurice and Michael, Malcolm got to work. He rolled up his sleeves and plunged into the hard work of helping to build Guyana into a fully self-sufficient and independent country.
At first, he worked in urban renewal, managing the building of housing developments for local Guyanese in the rural community of Linden. He spent many years at this and helped to revolutionize the quality of many Guyanese lives. He got rid of the common “pit latrine” or outdoor toilet found in most communities in Linden at that time, demolished the crowded “row houses” also found all over town and helped to convince many residents of Linden that it was important to own a home. Then, without missing a beat, he accepted a position as a Director of the Bank of Guyana. There, he was able to help even more Guyanese people improve the quality of their lives. And, while working as a director of the Bank of Guyana, he went on to work simultaneously as a senior executive in one of Guyana’s largest industries – Bauxite. There, he continued to help rebuild Guyana. New developments. Infrastructure projects. Banks. New corporations. He worked on them all. He was nothing if not an ideas man. And he pursued and implemented these ideas with the commitment and zeal of a patriot. Because Malcolm loved his country. He loved Guyana. And there was little that he would not have done for his country.
But, in addition to being highly focused on rebuilding Guyana, Malcolm was a family man. His wife and four children: Maurice, Michael, Monique and Myles, meant the world to him. And, every night, after putting in a grueling 16-to-18-hour day at work, he returned to the comfort of home. To his wife, Millicent, whom he loved so dearly. To his children, whom he adored. And even though he worked so very hard outside of the home, he was never too busy to play. Cricket. Table tennis. Cops and robbers. You name it.
Education was extremely important to him as well, and he drummed this into each of his children. He was always there to make sure that homework got done and done correctly. He was strict but kind. A generous and loving father who was always there. To talk to his children. To guide his children. To encourage his children. He was never too busy.
Later, once his children were ready for university, he and wife made the difficult decision to emigrate to the United States of America. With his and wife’s steadfast support, his children went on to university and launched careers of their own.
Malcolm was also the proud and doting grandfather of: Abina, Chante, Evadne, Jesus, Nshirya, and Troy. And the great-grandfather of: Axel and Taylor. Father-in-law of: Brenda and Lorna.
We will miss you forever. We will love you forever. Thank you for being the best husband, father and grandfather!
You are not gone. You will live in our hearts and minds for the remainder of our years, and we know that one day, we will see you again.
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