More than a distinguished person, Dr Lennox Honychurch, 58, is a unique type of person. He has been able to integrate his professional life as an academic anthropologist, historian, and archaeologist, and his personal life as a conservationist, writer, and Caribbeanist into an intense, dynamic life’s work. The fruits of his work have included a recognition and documentation of marginal First People’s communities, preservation of national heritage sites, and pioneering an integrated ecological approach to fragile, small island communities.
Dr Honychurch is best known to generations of students as the author of the secondary school textbook series, The Caribbean People. But there is more to him than that. He was born in Dominica, and was able, despite not having an undergraduate degree, to win Cheevening and Commonwealth scholarships to Oxford University where he read Anthropology and Museum Studies to the Master’s and doctoral levels. He has worked as an academic, lecturing as an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of the West Indies, and as an archaeologist and a museum designer. His literary interests include the work of Jean Rhys, who was born in Dominica. He was instrumental in organizing the first conference on Rhys in 2004. He is an expert in the First Peoples of the Caribbean in his home country Dominica and across the region, and has done seminal work, and collected a prodigious amount of archival research on the Amerindian- African contact. In addition to all this, he is also a poet and painter in his own right.
Dr Honychurch was advisor on the restoration for Fort Frederick in Grenada and Fort Charlotte in St. Vincent. He was designer of the Betty’s Hope Plantation Interpretation Centre in Antigua and established the Dominica Museum in Roseau, the capital of Dominica. He is currently working on the restoration of Fort Shirley, the 18th-century garrison in Cabrits National Park, Dominica where he is developing an ecology and heritage centre in the historic buildings. Additionally, he has been actively involved in training tour guides and giving educational talks in villages for sustainable, responsible tourism which provides economic activity for communities around heritage sites.
In addition to his academic and conservationist work, Dr Honychurch has also been active in electoral politics. He served as an opposition legislator in Dominica (1975-1979) and was press secretary to Prime Minister Dame Eugenia Charles in 1981-2.
His published works consist of books and numerous papers and articles on a variety of topics ranging from the Amerindian people of the Lesser Antilles to West Indian literature. Much of his published work has helped shape the regional Caribbean history curriculum. His books include: Dominica: Isle of Adventure (1995); Caribbean Camera: A Journey Through the Islands (1998); The Cabrits and Prince Rupert Bay (1983); The Caribbean People (1979); Caribbean Landmarks: Historic Events and Sites (1983); Our Island Culture (1982) and The Dominica Story (1974). More information on Dr Honychurch can be found on his website: www.lennoxhonychurch.com.