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In honour of Dr. Earle Kirby


EDITOR: When I first set foot in Kingstown, I was advised to seek out ‘Doc”. “You’ll find him there, on Saturday, at the museum”, I was told. That was 1988, seventeen years ago.

Dr. Earle Kirby made such an impact on me that I can’t quite measure it, but I certainly can tell you of the pleasure and learning in all our conversations. He had a lovely and sometimes mischievous way of putting things, so that one couldn’t help but learn from him. As a teacher I know that that is a great art.

{{more}}Dr. Kirby was at the centre of our efforts to realize an International Conference on Environmental Institutions in 1991, which included presentations on the Botanical Gardens of St. Vincent and Kings Hill Forest. We planned and completed a book compiling the papers that were presented, as a homage to Dr. Earle Kirby for his life long efforts to study and preserve St. Vincentís environment. Ten days ago we were informed by Macmillan, publishers in Oxford, that the book would be printed in Malaysia in the coming days.

But the very next day ago we received the sad sad news about the death of our loved and admired friend Earle Kirby. We have struggled to push the book faster to put it in his hands sooner, because we knew of his age and frailty. We did not succeed. It is then fitting for us to prepare to present it to his family, and to his many many friends. We mourn the loss for St. Vincent and for ourselves, of this remarkable man.

Professor Robert Anderson, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, on behalf of the co-editors of “Islands, Forests, and Gardens in the Caribbean”, Karis Hiebert (Vancouver) and Richard Groves (Sussex).