Courtney Nicholls (1969-1986)
He had a striking resemblance to ‘Colonel Klink’, a leading character in Hogan’s Heroes, a 70’s television classic – and what made it more interesting was that he exhibited some of his characteristics as well. So it seemed inevitable that this well respected Trinity College principal christened Courtney Nicholls was meant to be renamed ‘Klink’ by the boys in the era of the early seventies into the early eighties – the period that ‘Klink’ was certainly the ‘Colonel’.
Courtney Nicholls as principal of Trinity College was a man of many ‘moods’ and depending on who you spoke with; you heard rough yet gentle, serious yet funny, rigid yet flexible and of course he was all of these and more. As they say it’s not what you say or do, but how you say and do it. Mr. Nicholls did not only know what to say and do, but when to say and do it and this is what made him the principal that he was; at least to the boys of Trinity.
The principal during the months of May and June (exams) was a totally different person from the principal during the months from September to November (Intercol). He loved his sports and you have to imagine him, umbrella in hand, patrolling the sideline of the football field shouting encouragement to the players and not being afraid to point out theirs and the referee’s errors, at the same time using the umbrella to deter the other supporters from encroaching on the playing field.
Up until the year he left Trinity in 1986, Klink was known as a strict disciplinarian and famous for his caning capabilities – one well known incident is a student (name withheld) running from ‘licks’ in Klink’s office, and chose the glass framing the office as a quick exit rather than the door. Notwithstanding that however, whatever is said about Courtney Nicholls, we are certain that all will agree that he loved Trinity College and cared about his students and teachers with a passion, and this was appreciated and will always be remembered.