D’arcy “Johnny” Lee (Date of Birth: 5th Feb 1940)
D’arcy Alexander Lee, also known as “Johnny”, was born on February 5th, 1940 to parents who had immigrated to Trinidad from Guyana. He attended Tranquillity Boys’ Intermediate School and later, St. Mary’s College, where he obtained the Senior Cambridge School Leaving Certificate House Scholarship. He studied medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, emerging with his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree in 1966. He was an honours student and the Chairman of the International Students Association. He was also the Vice President of his fraternity, Vice President of the Student Council and Vice President of the Dental Class of 1966.
Although Dr Lee was President of the Trinidad and Tobago branch of the British Medical Association in 1966 and a practising dental surgeon until 2005, he is better known to many as a horticulturist. He discovered new methods for improving plant growth and was dedicated to educating the public about horticulture, serving as president of the Horticultural Society of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as a trustee and life member. He is also the founder of the Garden Club and a member of the Bonsai Society of Trinidad and Tobago. He was also actively involved in Carnival, leading a J’ouvert band called The Blue Devils of St. Clair for roughly ten years.
In 1998, Dr Lee was awarded the Humming Bird Medal (Silver) for outstanding service to Trinidad and Tobago in the field of horticulture. After a head injury left him visually impaired in 2002, he focused his attention on writing. Since 2006, he has contributed to the “Happy Gardener” column in the Trinidad Guardian, and his articles have also appeared in other magazines such as MACO, Island Life and Field Naturalist.