Curators and Administrators
The history of the Gardens is intimately linked with its Curators, the primary architects of its growth and development. Who were these Curators? At first, these Curators came primarily from the UK and were also the Superintendents of Agriculture/Chief Agricultural Officers (CAO). Subsequently, several came from other West Indian islands, and more recently nationals were the Chief Agricultural Officers and the Curators. In 1978 the title of Curator was discontinued and the Administration of the ornamental section moved to the Forestry and Wildlife Division. The economic section remained with the Agriculture Division. On this page we will list the Curators/Administrators of the Gardens, the dates of their tenure, and any special feature of that tenure. However, in looking over the list, one is struck by the unusual number of instances where the position of Director of Forestry and "Curator" of the Gardens has been held by an acting appointee. Such a systemic situation cannot do but undermine the effectiveness of Forestry as a whole, and the Gardens in particular. We will be grateful for any information that you might have on Curators of the Gardens and their contributions.
Charles Murray – of the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens, was the first curator, September 1889 to August 1890, when he was transferred to Grenada.
Henry F. Green – from England, curator from August 1890; began the planning and laying out of the grounds; resigned in February 1892.
Joseph Jones – Curator 1892 to 1924; a British agronomist, took over in March 1892; was the major architect of Gardens development; under his direction the Botanic Gardens was completed and played a vital role in promoting and supplying plants of commercial value to planters; he is credited with writing the first "Official Guide to the Botanic Gardens, Dominica" , updated ca 1923/24; [see Reports and Documents]; he died in 1934 and is buried in the little military cemetery at Morne Bruce. He lies in a brownish-rose marble tomb, near the middle of the north wall. His epitaph reads:
In memory of
Joseph Jones, O.B.E., of Cheshire, England
The Curator and Agricultural Superintendent of Dominica
Who died on 1st May 1934, age 67
Louis R. DeVerteuil – from Trinidad; curator about the late 1940s to about 1952;
St. George Cooper – from St Lucia, curator from about the early to mid 1950s
H.A.L. Francis – from Antigua, curator about the mid 1950s
J. M. Cave – from Barbados, curator about the mid to late1950s
Michael A. G. Hanschell – curator c.1958 to 1961; Barbadian agronomist with the British Colonial Service; graduate of Oxford University and ICTA in Trinidad; worked in several Caribbean territories before Dominica posting; died in 1961 in the UK soon after arriving from Dominica for medical treatment
S.O. Pringle – from Jamaica; acting c. early 1960s
J. B. Yankey – Dominican agricultural economist; graduate of ICTA in Trinidad, with a Ph.D. from the Univ. of Wisconsin; Chief Agricultural Officer (CAO) and Curator, c.1964-early 70s
Errol Harris – from Dominica; acting c. early 1970s-1974
Collin Bully – Dominican agronomist; Chief Agricultural Officer (CAO) 1974-89, and Curator, 1974-1978; graduate of UWI, Trinidad, with an M.S. from the University of Reading; last CAO to hold formal Curator designation and administer the whole of the Gardens (ornamentals and crops sections) before ornamental section passed to Forestry
Christopher Maximea - Dominican Director of Forestry & Wildlife (DFW); graduate of the Cyprus Forestry College, first Forestry Administrator of the Gardens (ornamentals only), 1978-87; "Curator" at time of Hurricane David in 1979; executed rehabilitation required after David and began process of replanting felled trees
Filix Gregoire - Dominican Director of Forestry & Wildlife (DFW) 1987-92; forestry graduate of the University of New Brunswick (UNB), Canada
Arlington James - acting Director, 1992-95; graduate of the Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture & Forestry (ECIAF) and the University of Michigan; author of two interesting documents: Cabrits Plants and their Uses (1986), with several of these plants to be found in the Gardens, and The Sowing of the Seed (1999), a history of the Forestry Division, and, inter alia, some aspects of Gardens history also.
Colmore Christian - Director of Forestry & Wildlife (DFW), c. 1995-96; graduate of the Cyprus Forestry College and the University of Michigan, with a Ph.D. from Clemson University in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
Michael Zamore - acting Director, 1996-1999; graduate of the Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture & Forestry (ECIAF) and Louisiana State University
David Williams - acting Director, 1999-2002; graduate of the Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture & Forestry (ECIAF), with a diploma in Botanic Gardens Management from Kew Gardens, UK
Eric Hypolite - acting Director, 2003-06; graduate of the Cyprus Forestry College and Oxford University.
Arlington James - acting Director, 2006-07; author of the excellent An Illustrated Guide to Dominica's Botanic Gardens (2007); [see Reports and Documents].
Minchinton Burton - Director, 2007-Current; Cuba trained Dominican agronomist on one year's contract.
Preface - How it Began
Introduction to Website
A Brief History
Plan of Gardens
Trees, Shrubs, Birds:
Selected Trees and Shrubs
Florida's Fairchild Garden
Birds of the Gardens
Three Virtual Tours
Panoramic Views Today
Early Panoramic Views
Hurricane David's Ravages
Reports and Documents
Treasures of the Cathedral
Diaspora Policy Paper
Contact Site Coordinator