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'Utterly tragic' death of former Strathy man aged just 32

By Tom Ramage

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Friends and former workmates in Badenoch and Strathspey have been shocked to hear of the death, at just 32, of Jack Calvert.

The one-time Strathy trainee, who moved on to work in the northern editions and various publications of the then Scottish Provincial Press before heading to Aberdeen, had been fighting a gallant battle with bowel cancer for several years.

He was part of the special publications team at Inverness headquarters producing features, supplements and magazines and also worked as a roving reporter covering holiday leave for several titles including the Strathy.

Jack Calvert, of Balavil, made his mark in journalism and in the police and will be sadly missed.
Jack Calvert, of Balavil, made his mark in journalism and in the police and will be sadly missed.

Raised with his brothers and sisters at Mains of Balavil, by Kingussie, Jack had excelled himself as a journalist before choosing a career switch and joining the police in Aberdeen.

"It's a terrible shock," said Jack's former Strathy editor Gavin Musgrove, "especially knowing how superfit Jack had always been.

"I recall he travelled all the way down to Devon just for a weekend to take part in a high-level Crossfit games with teammates from his gym - he really was dedicated to his sport.

"I also fondly remember taking a winter's dip with Jack in Loch Morlich for a fundraiser to help a charity close to his heart which had been helping his grandmother.

"I lasted just 30 seconds but he braved the waters for several minutes more and enjoyed the experience. He was swimming a loch each month through the year to help the cause. He was a very kind-hearted and lovely guy with strong principles.

"Our sympathy goes out to his wife and daughter and the rest of his family."

Another former editor he worked under at SPP, Alan Hendry, said: "It's utterly tragic.

"Jack was such a fit and healthy and conscientious lad, always so polite and dependable and well turned out, a keen and quick learner, and so well liked by everyone - a pleasure to work with.

"When he left us to join the Aberdeen Express and latterly the police I think we all felt he would go far in life. How cruel.

Jack Calvert with Finn Russell at Murrayfield in March. Photo by SRFU.
Jack Calvert with Finn Russell at Murrayfield in March. Photo by SRFU.

"Jack had always enjoyed standing in at the Northern Times, where he was a very welcome presence, and I remember there were pictures of him leaping into the sea off the pier at Golspie - just a fun thing to do during his lunch break."

Jack was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2020 but had fought the disease all the way and maintained his avid interest in sport.

In March this year he was an honoured guest of the Scottish Rugby Football Union before Scotland's international against France. The visit was memorably recorded on this video clip

The former Police Scotland North openside flanker was invited to BT Murrayfield for a surprise visit, where he was welcomed Scots star Finn Russell, who invited him to hold the famous Calcutta Cup for a few moments.

Inside, as a further surprise, was shirt signed by the team.

Photos by Scottish Rugby Football Union.

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