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dr colin hudson
An edited tribute to Dr.
Colin Hudson by Terry Ally
John Colin Hudson, PhD, died on Sunday February 22, at
age 66 after a rich and rewarding life.
The latter phrase are the words of Colin himself.
Given his artesian energy and titanic enthusiasm, one
never associated him with death by was keenly aware of his mortality and
so in 2000 he wrote the first draft of his own obituary, dreaming that
it would be sometime around 2034 when he was 96 years old – at least.
More recently he penned his holographic will in which
“I have had a rich and rewarding life. All focus
should be on celebration and thanks. I believe deeply and sincerely in
a web of life and the wonder of information which surrounds and supports
Try to use the burial to help all of those present to
catch a sense of the awe and majesty which is my privilege to feel. In
particular, read the books for the Natural Death Movement and use the
ideas which seem most appropriate.
For example, you may wish to invite everyone to bring
a photo or other memoriam and pin them on a display board. Certainly have
a good meal and get-together afterwards.
If anyone feels that they want a ‘memorial' they
must, as individuals or groups, pledge to carry out something which they
know I would have liked to do, given more time.
An exhibit? Planting trees? Helping someone or something?
A piece of art? Donation to a cause?”
This provides some insight into the nature of the man.
He lived to serve others, to help others. He was an innovator and a problem-solver
– a dreamer, some would say, but for Colin it was not easy.
Colin approached his life's journey in a very unselfish
manner. He created and had registered 25 world class patents – none
in his name, but in the name of his then employer Carib Agro-Industries
CAIL has sold the agricultural machinery to, or had its
ideas copied, in over 40 countries. One of those harvesters was a solution
he created for the Barbados sugar industry.
Colin sincerely believed in what he preached. He spent
his life, time, energy and personal finances pursuing the solutions which
would achieve sustainable development in Barbados and other small island
He was born on January 15, 1938 in Plumpton, Sussex, England.
His mother Greta (née Heath) was trained in dairying and his father
John was a graduate in horticulture and later became a professor of horticulture
at Nottingham and Bristol Universities and director of a large research
In 1961 Colin married Jenny Trapnell, and started his
first job. By a stroke of luck, an acquaintance asked his father if he
knew any young graduate who might be interested in a job as research assistant
on a project in Barbados.
He applied and was accepted. He steamed from England to
the British West Indies to Barbados where he arrived on August 3, 1961
to work in the Irrigation Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture under Sir
When his three-year contract ended Sir John begged him
to stay and persuaded the sugar industry to form Carib Agro-Industries
Limited and put Colin to work.
In 1967 he got his PhD in agronomy from St Augustine Campus
of the University of the West Indies in neighboring Trinidad for a thesis
entitled “The availability of soil water.”
In the meantime he and Jenny had also produced two children,
Christopher and Stella.
Much later he met and married Greta Ward and together
they brought up their five teenagers.
In 1975 Britain recognised his services to Barbados by
making him a Member of the British Empire (MBE) (which he was to return
in 2003 in protest against the British Government's war against Iraq).
In 1994 Barbados awarded him the Gold Crown Merit.
It was in 1994 that he conceptualised and mounted the
hugely successful Village of Hope (an exhibition of sustainable development)
at the United Nations Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small
Island Developing States.
He also established his own Treading Lightly in Barbados
which is his memorial to Barbados as an example of sustainability.
Colin has a trail of accolades behind his name including
the Governor-General Award for Environmental Excellence (Barbados), a
National Industrial Award for Excellence, a Voice of Barbados Community
Activity Award, an FAO Word Food Day Medal, the Texaco and Curry prizes
from the University of the West Indies.
Forty-two years of work has brought recognition which
he insists belongs to Barbados and all the many people who have been part
of these exciting developments.
What did he love apart from his family?
He loved the unspoiled countryside, walking, music, good
company, fair dealing, well-informed debate, good toys and a good book.
His leading more than 1,000 Sunday morning “Stop
& 'n Stare” hikes like clockwork at 6 a.m. for the Barbados
National Trust, the Barbados Heart Foundation, and the Duke of Edinburgh
Award Scheme. His weekly hike turned to an average of seven private hikes
per week where he guided some of the big name international media celebrities,
pop stars and singers (whom the public never even knew were in Barbados),
influential and busy businessmen, Government ministers and policy makers.
What did Colin hate the most?
He hated seeing this marvellous little country called
Barbados losing its integrity and changing from the unique treasure he
found 36 years ago to mediocrity where hard work and trust-worthiness
are increasingly scarce commodities, where a once-beautiful countryside
and shoreline, are being ravaged and where power and competence are daily
becoming more disconnected.
John Colin Hudson, 1938-2004. He had friends among thousands
of Barbadians and those who never had the privilege to know him have lost
the experience of a life time.
May he be granted eternal rest and peace.
February 29 Adrian Loveridge (Barbados
Hudson made a great contribution to Barbados
IT was with stunned disbelief that I heard about the death
of Dr Colin Hudson.
I can think of no other person in Barbados who has unselfishly
given so much to this country, through his innovative ideas, tireless
lobbying for all matters environmental and especially in the area we function,
Colin was probably responsible for bringing more visitors
back to Barbados than any other single human being, by sharing his knowledge,
enthusiasm and love of his adopted homeland through the thousands of National
Trust walks he tirelessly escorted.
If we are really lucky, in our entire lifetime we may
be fortunate to meet one great person. For me, I have no doubt that person
would be Colin.
We didn't even have time to say a proper thank you.
God bless your memory ADRIAN LOVERIDGE
March 1 Ella Drummond-Hoyos (Daily Nation)
The place we inhabit
MUCH HAS BEEN SAID about Dr Colin Hudson since the time
of his sudden passing. It is not my intention to summarise his beliefs
or to regale you with a list of his accomplishments.
I would just want to take this opportunity to salute this
gentle man who tried so hard to impart to everyone the fact that we need
to protect our environment.
For those who would now wish to pay lip service to the
life of this man who sought no recognition for his efforts to do the right
thing, perhaps they could seek to emulate him and do something positive
for the environment instead. No one who came into contact with Dr Hudson
during his life, could have been untouched by his passion and drive to
encourage a lifestyle that will preserve the earth for generations to
With an economy that is heavily dependent on tourism which
essentially is tied to the state of our environment, it continues to boggle
the minds of all right thinking members of society that no environmental
protection legislation has been brought to Parliament under this or the
preceding Government. Perhaps the powers that be truly believe that in
the absence of our tranquil seas, salubrious climes and pleasant environment,
tourists would still be flocking to our shores.
With the nation focused on a rather intriguing row over
exploitation of natural resources, people must realise that largely we
depend on our environment for survival. If we pollute our waters, allow
enormous cruise ships to dump their refuse here, allow hazardous substances
to be shipped through here and all our residents to dump refuse and sewerage
into the sea, we kill off our coral reefs and we may be chasing our flying
fish away into more habitable waters.
If we seriously in this era of globalisation, want to
attract manufacturing operations to Barbados to provide employment for
our people, if we want international brand name hotels to develop properties
and operate from here, we must establish the standard for the protection
of our environment.
If we continue to allow the manufacture or importation
of certain hazardous chemicals, which can seep into our water tables,
we must issue licenses and strictly police the use of those licenses to
reduce the risk to the wider public.
The time is right for legislation to be enacted establishing
an agency like the Fair Trading Commission for the protection of the environment.
Such a body would be vested with the authority to prosecute offenders
who illegally dump garbage in gullies and discard bulk waste wherever
they please. Such an authority would have the human resources to gather
evidence and enforce environmental protection legislation, such an authority
would have locus standi in a court of law to represent the environment.
So at the time of the passing of Dr Hudson, we can all
refer wistfully to his yeoman efforts to lead by example. We can talk
anecdotally about his Village Of Hope, his organic foods and the Future
Centre Trust. But if we really understood what be was trying to teach
us by his life's work, if we really appreciated that he showed us by example
that it can and should be done, if we really want to honour this avowed
environmentalist, let's just forget about the platitudes and each of us
can start right now by doing the right thing to protect our environment.
Ella Drummond-Hoyos is an attorney-at-law.
March 1 Nicholas Cox (Barbados Advocate)
Hudson remembered at outdoor morning service
HUNDREDS of Dr Colin Hudson's “Green Army”
descended on Farley Hill National Park early on Sunday morning to pay
tribute to the extaordinary man who touched so many lives.
Despite the casual setting and attire, there was an overall
mood of profound sadness, broken only by the occasional joke, as family
and friends recalled the warm personality and numerous achievements of
the esteemed environmentalist.
Hudson, an agronomist and expert on the sugar industry,
moved to Barbados in 1961. In his later years he was known as a committed
environmentalist, responsible for co-ordinating the much acclaimed Village
of Hope for the 1994 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
He was also known for establishing Treading Lightly, which hosted popular
weekly Sunday morning walks with the Barbados National Trust, the Duke
of Edinburgh Award Scheme, and the Barbados Heart Foundation.
Many members of the congregation were visibly touched
by the emotion of the morning as they participated in a procession around
the park and held hands in a Circle of Hope to honour the hero.
The celebratory service was led by the Reverend Dorothea
Rhode, a Moravian Minister. She captured the atmosphere of the gathering
best with her solemn words, “Our hearts melt from sadness, and our
eyes are full of tears. Lord, there are not words enough.” The inter-faith
service also included a reading from the Baha'i Holy Writings.
Dr. Hudson's casket was surrounded by the people and things
that he loved – friends, family, plants, his hiking boots, and his
Friend, Keith Laurie, described Hudson as an eternal optimist,
“Colin had a vision of a new and greener Barbados in which all of
our people would enjoy a new way of caring and sharing based on the knowledge
that we cannot live alone on this planet, and that we must in our lifetime,
put back as much or more than what we expect to take out.”
Laurie also announced plans to honour Hudson: “The
National Trust is planning to erect a plaque in his honour in Welchman
Hall Gully, among other monuments to commemorate him. The Great Train
Hike that took place for the first time last year will be renamed the
Colin Hudson Train Hike...”
The Cecilian Singers, of which Hudson was a member for
20 years, performed two songs in his memory, “Love is the Answer”
and “In Remembrance”
Anselm Hemmis, who is married to Hudson's daughter, also
spoke of Hudson's attributes, “Firstly, Colin loved. Not only the
natural world which fascinated him, but loved his fellow man dearly.”
He also remarked that Hudson emanated joy and peace and was a patient,
kind, faithful, and “gentle soul”. Hemmis added, “It
is ironic that as he sought to convince us all to reduce our ecological
footprint, the footprint of his legacy grew.”
Dieter Mennekes a friend of Hudson's from Germany said
that one of the environmentalist's greatest philosophies was that “joy
is the only currency, and success should be measured not in money, but
March 2 News (Barbados Advocate)
Dr Colin Hudson, Ph.D., MBE, Manager of Carib-Agro Industries Ltd.
A WARDED the GCM for his renown as an inventor of agricultural
equipment and his continued contribution to sustainable development in
Barbados, Hudson was born in Sussex, United Kingdom, in 1938.
His first exposure to Barbados came during his time at
Cambridge where he completed a Natural Sciences Tripos (BN.A.) in Botany,
Zoology and Organic Chemistry, as well as a Diploma of Agriculture. He
became fascinated by the accounts of Barbadian agriculture, which claimed
to have one of the world's most successful examples of tropical agricultural
production with food crops rotated with sugar cane.
In 1961 he responded to an advertise inent for a job with
the Barbados Irrigation Board and he got it.
In 1964 he started the Agronomic Research Unit and wrote
his Ph.D dissertation as an external student of the UWI, St. Augustine
He discovered that he had an innovative talent for agricultural
engineering and in conjunction with farmers, local engineers, and a UK
company started to develop field machinery.
In 1979 a special mechanisation unit, Carib-Agro Industries
Ltd., was formed and successful developments have included a can reaping
aid, a loader for small farms, yam and sweet potato digging equipment,
yam and cassava planters, precision fertilisers and many others. The result
is some 25 World Class Patents, many shared with colleagues.
To the average Barbadian, his fame has come from his innovative
methods of small-scale backyard agriculture.
A strong advocate of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, he has devised
ways of using discarded tyres and plastic bottles for gardening. Waste
from sugar factories had been turned into a fertile compost, even household
refuse can be reused in the kitchen Komposter now being promoted by Carib-Agro.
Hudson is the author and co-author of many publications on agriculture.
In 1994, Hudson served as co-ordinator of the successful
Village of Hope which formed part of the United Nations Conference on
Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States.
March 3 Patience Ejimofor (Daily Nation)
Hundreds turn out for Hudson's final journey Nature lovers turned out
in large numbers at Farley Hill National Park Sunday morning to bid farewell
to renowned environmentalist, Dr Colin Hudson, in what was described as
Barbados' first green funeral.
Held under the towering cover of trees, Hudson, an agronomist and engineer,
known for the Sunday morning hikes he led, was also taken on his final
walk around the “fields and hills” by “the green army”
he groomed over 25 years.
Hudson made his final trip in a simple brown coffin made
of plywood, as he requested, in the arms of his green team.
More than 600 people comprised the funeral procession. Dressed in hiking
clothes – T-shirts, shorts, jean, soft shoes and hats – most
of them sat on the ground on cushions, blankets and towels, creating an
The mourners, comprising Hudson's close family (his partner
Maureen Watson, son Christopher, brother Richard and his wife) work colleagues,
friends, fellow environmentalists and nature lovers also included tourists,
diplomats, religious and spiritual leaders and children.Some of his friends
and admirers brought potted plants and other kinds of foliage, which danced
in the wind before his casket, adding to the green celebration.
Tributes were paid in song, poetry and prose, all of which captured the
essence of the man. Eulogists Keith Laurie and Patrick Bethell spoke of
his resourcefulness, ingenuity, creativity and pioneering work in the
A plaque will be erected in his honour at Welchman Hall
Gully and the Barbados hike renamed after him. His body was cremated at
the Coral Ridge Cemetery after the funeral.
There were also some tears but mostly laughter. Hudson
was also humorously remembered as a “fearsome eater” who applied
his green knowledge and ideas to food.
March 5 Wayne E Yearwood (Weekend Nation)
Dr Hudson saluted as ‘social inventor'
THE Barbados Association of Professional Engineers (BAPE)
expressed their shock and sadness at the sudden passing of engineer Dr
Colin Hudson, a world renowned agriculturalist, environmental expert and
Dr Hudson was an honorary member of BAPE, an honour bestowed
on him in 1985 for his outstanding contribution to the engineering profession.
He was a veritable fountain of knowledge and ideas on
matters relating to the environment and sustainable development, and always
lit up with enthusiasm when discussing these subjects.
Just last November, he joined us as a guest of honour
at BAPE's annual dinner, where he was, as was his custom, eager and willing
to discuss his ideas and share his plans.
In 1994, Dr Hudson encouraged BAPE to design a windmill
for The Village of Hope, which was the trade-mark of the SIDS Conference,
a project that was completed by BAPE members Grenville Phillips II, Dick
Stoute and William Choat, and had the support of the then president, Ricky
Dr Hudson's contribution to the development of the sugar
industry, mechanisation and the environment, not only at the national
but also at the regional and international levels, cannot be overstated,
and his knowledge and commitment will be missed by all who knew him.
Dr Hudson has touched the lives of many far and wide,
and his unselfishness is indeed a quality that we can all seek to emulate.
BAPE takes this opportunity to offer our sincere condolences
to the family, friends and colleagues of the late Dr Hudson.
May he rest in peace.
•Wayne E G Yearwood is president of the Barbados
Association of Professional Engineers.
March 5 Report (Weekend Nation)
THERE WAS TRUE CELEBRATION of the life of one loved and respected. Under
plush green foliage, thousands of Barbadians sat or stood thanking God
for the life of environmentalist Colin Hudson whose funeral was held in
the natural surroundings of Farley Hill Park on Sunday.
And much of the thanksgiving was through song. Folk balladeer
Carol Bishop (at top) belted out Pete Seeger's To My Old Brown Earth,
a fitting tribute to a man who was one of nature's most faithful followers.
The green funeral was not about “mourning”,
but accommodated a brief multi-faith service that also featured a love
song by Sharon Carmichael — one of several performed in honour of
Hudson by the Cecilian Singers with whom he was associated for 20 years.
Hudson died two Sundays ago.
March 8 Barbados National Trust (Press Release)
March 8, 2004, Bridgetown, Barbados
NATIONAL TRUST ANNOUNCES COLIN HUDSON
The President of the Barbados National Trust, Mr. John
Cole, today announced several initiatives by the National Trust to honour
the memory and legacy of Dr. Colin Hudson, who passed away at his Barbados
home “Little Edghill” on February 22nd. Dr. Hudson, the founder
of pioneering environmental initiatives such as the Future Centre and
Treading Lightly, had a long association with the Trust and led the weekly
“Stop'n Stare”Sunday hikes morning and afternoon for over
20 years. The National Trust collaborated with Dr. Hudson on many projects,
including the 1994 Village of Hope, the NGO component of the UN Conference
on the Sustainability of Small island States.
“Colin Hudson was an extraordinary man - an engineer,
an agriculturalist, an inventor and a visionary environmentalist - and
we felt that we had to do several things to ensure that his memory and
his work continue on”, said Mr Cole.
The group that met to decide on these initiatives included President Cole,
Trust General Manager William Gollop, Vice-President Mr Keith Laurie,
Former President Professor Henry Fraser and former Executive Director
The Trust will erect a memorial to Dr. Hudson in the natural
setting of Welchman Hall Tropical Reserve, with a plaque and a bench where
visitors to the site can sit and meditate in the quiet of the Gully. The
Great Railway Hike, conceived by Dr. Hudson in 2003 as an annual event,
will be renamed the Colin Hudson Great Train Hike, and be held this year
on May 30th, 2004 (Whit Sunday). This hike follows the 25-mile journey
of the original Barbados Railway train tracks across the island, ending
in Belleplaine at the site of the old train station, and is laid out in
stages so that all can participate. Last year it attracted hundreds of
hikers, many of whom, along with Dr. Hudson, completed all 25 miles.
As well, the Trust will be taking the initial steps towards organizing
a National Conference on the Environment in 2004, which it is hoped will
become an annual event. This will have two-fold purpose, first to highlight
Hudson's remarkable accomplishments in many fields, as
well as the goal of moving forward environmental issues and solutions
on a national level. The planning and execution of this will need assistance
from many people and organizations, and the Trust will present a proposal
for the organization of this Conference in the near future.
For more information please contact the Barbados National Trust at Wildey
House, Wildey, St. Michael, Barbados tel: (246)426-2421 Fax; (246) 429-9055
E-mail <natrust @sunbeach.net>
Spring 2004 Rory Spowers (Positive News)
Dr Colin Hudson was a British agriculturalist who lived in the Caribbean
for thirty years. He died unexpectedly of a heart attack at his home in
Barbados this February.
Colin was recognised for his innovative designs of agricultural
machinery but, in recent years his career shifted from engineer to environmental
campaigner. He will also be remembered for the Web of Hope, a global platform
for grass roots initiatives, for which he was the original catalyst. Building
on the analogy of a spider's web, spinning itself around the globe, the
Web of Hope was set up to provide positive feedback on sustainable solutions.
Rory Spowers writes:
Amongst the many enlightening facts, figures and diagrams
which adorned the canopy in the garden of his home in Barbados, hung an
anonymous cartoon which always seemed so pertinent to the man himself.
It depicted three men sitting in the stern of a boat, struggling in high
seas. The caption beneath read: The optimist waits for the wind to change.
The pessimist says it won't. The realist sets the sails.
For many people Colin might have seemed like an optimist,
constantly enthusing about the possibilities of building a more just and
sustainable world. In fact, Colin was a realist, in the most true sense
of the word. Real in the integrity of his vision; real in his commitment;
real in his encyclopaedic knowledge about the world in which we live;
real in his relationships with all who came into contact with him; real
in his courage and vision to believe in a better world. Perhaps most importantly
of all, real in his capacity to live the vision that he espoused.
Of all the people I have encountered around the world,
working in the environmental arena, I can think of few people who actually
‘walk the talk' to the degree that Colin did, living as he did within
the fair-share parameters of a planet with finite resources. Colin was
an inspiration to us all, because he proved beyond any shadow of doubt
that true happiness was in no way related to material objects and that,
by embracing the ecological vision which he lived, we are not giving up
anything, but in fact gaining all. As he used to say, ‘Using Less,
but Living More', an epithet which found physical expression within the
Colin recently described the Web of Hope as ‘the
most exciting thing' that he had ever done. It is now truly gathering
steam. I know how happy he was to see his dream reach some level of fruition.
Recently registered as a UK charity, The Web of Hope is compiling the
world's first comprehensive database of best practice role models and
sustainable solutions.It creates an invaluable global resource accessible
to all through an increasingly sophisticated website and is also producing
a variety of publications, the Little Books of Hope, and running an educational
roadshow in schools.
In addition to the deep sadness we all feel about Colin's
unexpected passing, there is also an ever deeper resolve to ensure that
the work which he started will continue to build, providing a vital mechanism
within the drive to preserve the beauty of a planet which he knew so well
and loved with such passion.
June 5 2004 Dr Trevor A Carmichael, QC
[A tribute read at a ceremony at Farley Hill to award "The Minister
of Environment -- Special Award of Excellence, presented to the late Dr.
Colin Hudson in recognition of a Sterling Contribution to Sustainable
National Development in Barbados", on the occasion of World Environment
Day, June 5th 2004.]
TRIBUTE TO DR. COLIN HUDSON
DR. TREVOR A. CARMICHAEL, Q.C.
“Happy is the man who has learned the cause of things,
and has put under his feet all fear, inexorable fate, and the noisy strife
of the hell of greed” Virgil
The very poignant words of the classical writer Virgil
in so many respects describe and define the life and work of the late
Dr. Colin Hudson. As an innovator and inventor he truly understood the
cause of things and made them work; as a committed environmentalist, he
defied inexorable fate and lived a life devoted to the glory of greening
possibilities; and as a humanist he was totally devoid of greed and gave
with great liberality and no resulting expectation.
Colin Hudson recognised that environmental awareness was
an attribute as well as a policy; and should, therefore, be shared with
as wide a public as possible - hence, the Village of Hope; hence, the
Future Centre Trust; hence, Treading Lightly; hence, the Barbados National
Trust/Duke of Edinburgh hikes. When he conceptualised the Village of Hope
as part of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in
small Island Developing States (SIDS) which took place in Barbados, he
was seeking to marry environmental activism with wide popular participation
in such a way that a global conference dealing with universal issues could
come within the physical reach and intellectual purview of every person
living in Barbados. It was itself the product of innovative thinking rooted
in a recognition of the need for maximum feasible participation in sound
environmental practices. The Future Centre Trust and Treading Lightly,
the two entities which he formed as a result of the huge success of the
village of Hope, was a valiant effort to harness that success into permanent
structures which would maintain a high level of popular environmental
education and awareness.
The National Trust/Duke of Edinburgh hikes, started in
1983, and which he took over five years later, further emphasised that
constant striving for the popularisation of environmental knowledge and
education. For virtually every Sunday for almost twenty years he walked,
talked and stalked the countryside - and sometimes even the city and environs
- sharing information and ideas with the great cross section of persons
who came out for the experience.
Colin Hudson was a brilliant inventor and in my humble
opinion a true practical scientific genius. The equipment and ideas which
he developed are being used in more than forty countries today. He holds
twenty-five World Class Patents, including some now pending applications.
Patrick Bethel, another well known Barbadian thinker and agricultural
scientist, has eulogised Colin Hudson and highlighted some of the important
inventions with special relevance to Barbados agriculture, agro industry
and the environment - the small mechanical cane harvester, cultivating
ploughs, strip tillage machinery, weeding tools, moulding tools, tractor
mounted compost applicator, carry boxes, fertiliser applicators and spreaders,
cane loaders, solar dryers and wood lifters. A most impressive list! Critical,
however, to all of these inventions is the sensible marriage and integration
of labour and machinery. Even his tyre gardens which are used to grow
herbs and garden vegetables carry the message. For there is an underlying
assumption that within the context of an over motorised Barbados, there
would be enough derelict tyres knocking about for almost everyone to practise
sustainable agriculture. He not only talked about the need for full popular
participation in environmental advancement but he practised it to the
highest level in practical enhancement.
It is, therefore, no surprise that Colin Hudson was recognised
in such esteem both locally and internationally - the FAO Medal in 1990;
the Commonwealth Guinness Award for Scientific Achievement 1982; Presidents
Award of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce 1991; the Barbados National
Trust Award 1991; National Industrial Award for Excellence 1987; the Sir
James Curry Memorial and Texaco Prize of the University of the West Indies
- - - - - - to name but a few!!
But it is easy for he who is a populist to be also a humanist;
and Colin Hudson showed an abundance of those humane qualities associated
with Ghandi, the Dhali Lama and Mandela. In that respect, he abhorred
anger and embraced peace. He was abundant in his generosity of spirit
and in kind contribution. His enthusiasm knew no bounds. His vitality
was infectious. His unique style of clothing was only matched by the peculiarity
of his hat choices. His voice was mellow and also distinctive; it carried
courage and conviction, yet it was full of caring. He raised his voice
in song with the Cecilian Singers; he moved his feet with grace and subtlety
with the Scottish country dancers; and he cooked with innovation and passion
I feel fortunate and privileged to have known Colin Hudson;
to have walked the countryside so often with him; and it is partially
in his honour that last Sunday May 30 on the Colin Hudson Great Train
Railway Hike from Bridgetown to Belleplaine I dared to walk - and indeed
did walk - a twenty-one mile segment.
In closing may I draw on the words of T. S. Elliot:
“It is not necessarily those lands which are the
most fertile, or most favoured in climate that seem to me the happiest,
but those in which a long struggle of adaptation between man and his environment
has brought out the best qualities of both.”
Dr. Colin Hudson fully understood and practised that delicate
balance between man and his environment.
I Thank you.
June 18 2004 Mrs Susan Springer
[A tribute presented at a BHTA Tree Planting Ceremony.]
Mr. Nurse, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
good morning. As part of the BHTA Week of Activities and Environment Month,
the BHTA is indeed pleased to pay tribute to Dr. Colin Hudson, honorary
member of the Association, by way of this tree planting ceremony. We are
happy to share this occasion with those present today, particularly, to
our invited guests from the various organizations that have worked with
and supported Dr. Hudson throughout the years.
The Association wishes to acknowledge the great strides
that Dr. Colin Hudson made in developing sustainable environmental initiatives
in Barbados . Dr. Hudson was instrumental in setting up the Future Centre
Trust and years later, established the programme, “Treading Lightly”.
In addition, he worked along with the Barbados National
Trust for approximately 21 years, participating and leading the Sunday
morning and afternoon Stop and Stare Hikes.
These hikes were particularly informative, since Colin
gave background details on the flora and fauna, as well as the history
of the areas relevant to the heritage of the island.
To commemorate the 20 th Anniversary of the Sunday Hikes,
the National Trust and Dr. Hudson organized “The Train Line Hike”,
which was an activity he enjoyed to the fullest as he researched and documented
the route of the train line in the early years, which ran from Fairchild
Street to Belleplaine.
Dr. Hudson’s participation in these activities will
be surely missed. However, he has paved the way for others to follow.
The Association extends special thanks to Mr. Keith Laurie,
a dear friend of the late Dr. Hudson, for coming on his behalf and that
of his family; and to Mr. William Gollop of the Barbados National Trust
for his assistance and support.
Thank you also goes out to Mr. Keith Neblett of the NCC
for his donation of the Frangipani, being planted, as well as to Mr. Nigel
Jones of Botanic Gardens for the advice he has given to us.
We thank the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Lionel Nurse for
representing the Ministry of Environment, with which we have a good working
relationship, and hope that this will continue in the future.
To Crane Landscaping and S & W Landscaping for their
help in preparing for the planting ceremony.
And finally to the BHTA Environmental Committee members
and strategic partners for their support.
Presented by Mrs. Susan Springer
31 October 2004 Mr John Cole
[A tribute by the President of the Barbados National Trust at the unveiling
of the memorial to Colin (complete with his hiking boots in bronze) in
Welchman Hall Gully, Barbados]
ese remarks are based on the impression that Dr. John
Colin Hudson made on the body of the National Trust and on the image of
the Trust which over more than two decades, he helped to project. During
the nine years since I joined the Trust and started to take part in the
activities of the Trust, I too came under the subtle spell of this compassionate
teacher; this learned ambassador for the Barbados National Trust and by
extension for Barbados; this humble man whose humility completely disarmed
those whose image of themselves was substantial and could not be concealed.
Colin could speak at length on many subjects – some
would say most subjects. He could also listen – sometimes to people
whose subject matter was not new to him. But he never sought to belittle
them – instead he encouraged them by saying in his quiet way “I
never knew that!”
And so during a Sunday morning hike through the St George
valley, as we passed near the Cable & Wireless masts I told him that
during the second world war, after the fall of Singapore and the loss
of Cable & Wireless' important broadcasting and receiving station
there, the Axis powers noted that the station in Barbados had taken up
much of the slack sustained by the Allies' loss in the far east, and that
something should be done about it. An idea was hatched in the German High
Command that a cruiser could be dispatched to bombard the Barbados station
and put it out of commission. Eventually the idea was abandoned as it
was realized that such a mission would amount to a suicide mission for
the cruiser and that wireless masts could be re-erected quite easily and
in a short time. Replied Colin after a short pause, “I never knew
that!” Nevertheless, that remark made my day as I perhaps could
assume that I knew something which Colin did not!
The weekly morning and afternoon hikes helped thousands
to grasp the importance of what the Trust was attempting to do –
spread an awareness of the critical balance between preserving our built
and natural heritage and the disastrous consequences of losing both, and
thus our inheritance.
He was able to encourage and groom a cadre of lieutenants
who are currently carrying on his work on the hikes and in their broader
approach to the environment with great enthusiasm and effect.
I have for sometime been of the opinion that Colin's contributions
to Barbados had not been suitably recognized by the powers that be during
his lifetime. But then neither was Van Gogh, who sold just one painting
before his death and that was to his brother. Dozens of his works were
dumped after his death, because the people around him were unable to see
Colin's light is already out there, and piercing the gloom
so that many millions will eventually see it and through them their countries
will easier be able to steer clear of the environmental rocks which now
encircle so much of our wasteful and polluted world.
We at the Barbados National Trust miss him very much,
but we are confident that because of his work people far beyond the shores
of his adopted and beloved home Barbados, will enjoy better lives.
Finally, on behalf of all those involved in erecting this
memorial I thank Colin's Dad for the generous donation he made to the
February 29 Terry Ally (Sunday Sun)