15th Jan 1938 - 22 Feb 2004

KEYWORDS: 

AGRONOMIST: a scientist who studies the management of soil and crop production

 

ENVIRONMENTALIST: someone who is concerned about and who takes part in measures to protect nature

 

ORGANIC FARMING: a method of farming which uses nature-friendly techniques, with few or no chemicals such as fertilisers and pesticides

Colin Hudson
Caribbean Icons in STI Volume 1

Although Dr. Colin Hudson was recognized for machines and inventions for agriculture, he is better known for helping people to appreciate and enjoy the world of nature. He will be remembered in Barbados for the gardens, exhibits, and restaurant at his home in Edgehill Plantation. He encouraged backyard gardeners to “reduce, reuse, and recycle” and conducted activities such as the weekly “Stop and Stare” nature hikes on behalf of the Barbados National Trust.

After the 1994 UN Conference on Small Islands, he made a permanent home for the “Village of Hope” in the “backyard” of his home. He called it the Future Centre Trust, and is full of examples of organic farming, alternative energy, and water recycling. The theme is extended to several interactive exhibits in the old plantation house. Hudson hoped that this model could be turned into a travelling exhibition to other parts of the world.

John Colin Hudson was born on January 15th 1938 in England. He came to Barbados as a Cambridge University graduate on contract with the Ministry of Agriculture. At the end of this contract, he stayed to work in the sugar cane industry and was instrumental in setting up the Agronomic Research Unit.

He obtained his doctoral degree in agronomy from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine and was considered an expert in the sugar industry in Barbados. He wrote several scientific papers related to soils, cultivation, and the general agronomy of the sugar cane crop. Dr. Hudson was very creative and when working at the company Carib-Agro Industries Ltd, his inventive efforts led to the development of a harvester for sweet potato, planters for yam and cassava, a loader for small farms, and precision fertiliser instruments. This resulted in the granting of more than 20 patents for inventions which were used around the world.

He was recognized by the Barbados Association of Professional Engineers with honorary membership even though he was not a certified engineer. He was awarded Barbados’ third highest national honour, the Gold Crown of Merit in 1994, for his contributions to the sugar cane industry and the environment.

Dr. Hudson enjoyed music. He played the guitar, was a member of the Cecilian Singers of Barbados, and a collector of musical instruments from around the world. He used to write songs for his children. At his funeral in 2004, nature lovers came together for a “green celebration”- in song, dance and prose- of his life.

 

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