Obituary: Peter Calviou

Peter Michael Calviou
(OC 1943-1947)

Born 30 May 1929, died 6 February 2021

Peter Calviou passed away peacefully on 6th February 2021 at his home in Amersham of 45 years with his daughter Louise by his side. He had been diagnosed with Mesothelioma in 2020, which gradually sapped his strength but amazingly caused him no pain.

Peter was born in 1929 to Henri Jean Louis Calviou (known as Bill) & Dorothy Maud nee Kitching, who had met in Brazil and then moved to the Cape Verde islands. His elder brother John was born there in May 1926, but his mother said any future children would have to be born in England, so Peter was born in Purley, South London. His mother returned to St Vincent with the 2 boys a few months later where they lived for the next 2 years.

The family returned to England in 1931 where they remained until 1938, during which time his younger sister Sally was born. His father then got a job with the Rand Corporation, initially as the manager of the Cairo office, but due to the increasingly difficult political conditions in Egypt he was instead appointed to manage the Lisbon office. The family sailed to Lisbon in June 1938.

After the out break of the 2nd world war, the English school in Lisbon closed and for a time the brothers went to the French Lycée. John was sent to Caterham School, as a boarder, into the lower 6th form, & he flew over to England in January 1943. Peter followed his brother to England in September 1943 to the 4th form at Caterham, flying on a Sunderland flying boat into Poole Harbour. Peter very much enjoyed his time at Caterham. He made many good lifetime friends, especially Wilfred Hyde who even joined us on family holidays. Peter was Head of House & regularly played the hymns in Assembly as he was an accomplished pianist.

After leaving school in 1947 he spent his 2 years National Service in the Army Intelligence Corps. After demobilization in September 1949, he went to Cambridge (St John’s) to read Maths, but found that it wasn’t for him, & after one term transferred to Modern Languages, French & Portuguese. For his part 2 he did History of the Romance Languages, which included spending some time at Coimbra University in Portugal.

Following University, Peter joined Stubbs as a management trainee in London. Stubbs were taken over by Dun & Bradstreet in 1964 and Peter worked for then until he retired in 1990. From the mid-1980s he was part of a project working on the instantaneous translation into various European languages.

Peter married Audrey West in 1965. They had 2 children Louise and Mike and moved from London to Amersham in 1976.  Audrey was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 1997 and Peter lovingly cared for Audrey until her death in 2006.

For the next 15 years Peter continued to live in Amersham. He played bridge regularly until COVID restrictions got in the way. He enjoyed theatre, concerts and ballet and spent time with his many friends and his family. After Mike & family moved to the US, Peter and Louise visited them in Massachusetts every year. Peter and Louise also had many holidays together (including to Venice, Paris, Berlin, Lisbon, the Loire valley, Brittany).  For the past year Peter & Louise had a weekly video call with Mike & his son Dom which enabled Peter to continue to be involved in his grandson’s life.

He is greatly missed by all his family and friends.

Written by his daughter Louise