CARIBBEAN HEROES: Lennox Honychurch 

There is a popular Dominican saying about giving people their flowers while they are still alive. I’d like to present Dr. Lennox Honychurch, a Dominican hero, with an exquisite  virtual bouquet of Wotten Waven anthuriums.

The first time I read a book written by  Honychurch. I was about 12 and my godfather, Newton Ambo from Salisbury (where I was born and raised), had gifted me The Dominica Story for Christmas. It left a lasting impression on me. The book, written in 1974, four years before Dominica would receive its independence, was the first book I had read that told our story, the story of our beautiful Dominica in such detail and with such appreciation and love. In 1995, an updated version of the book was published detailing the years from the last publication.

A few years later, when I taught, among other subjects, Caribbean History to students at my own alma mater Isaiah Thomas Secondary School, formerly the St. Joseph Secondary School, I leveraged Dr. Honychurch’s book, The Caribbean  People for lesson plans and my appreciation of Dr. Honychurch grew exponentially. There are now three editions of the book as Dr. Honychurch continues to chronicle Caribbean life almost in real time as it becomes history. The Caribbean People is critical in the education of children across the Caribbean. My husband who is Trinidadian recalls that this title was the basis for his own Caribbean history education in high school. How fortunate we were and are in Dominica and the broader Caribbean to have an acclaimed historian inform and educate our children about their past, to teach about the events in history that have made us, well, us.

Lennox Honychurch was born in Portsmouth, Dominica in 1952, was educated through high school on the island and achieved a PhD in Anthropology and Museology at Oxford University in England.

Beyond being an amazing and prolific historian and writer Dr. Honychurch wore and continues to wear many other important hats. He was a politician early in Dominica’s history before its independence. He’s an artist and curator and was instrumental in the creation of the Dominica Museum in Roseau. He is a lecturer, broadcaster, a tour leader and his broader role as a historian has included detailing and preserving the history of the Caribbean’s indigenous people and researching and restoring historic buildings.

Beyond what he’s done for Dominica, which is monumental by any standards, he’s served as a critical resource to the rest of the Caribbean including founding and serving as a board member of the Museum Association of the Caribbean.

Lennox Honychurch is beyond just a household name in Dominica. He’s given our small island and the broader Caribbean an authentic voice; he’s allowed us to own our story, to have pride in our heritage, in who we are. In gifting us with so much untainted knowledge, he gave us much power. He’s lived his life in service to Dominica, with a seemingly almost relentless goal to tell our story, to preserve our history, to own our present, for us, by us. He has won awards and accolades to recognize his contributions to the world, but to me, he is a Caribbean hero.

You can contact Gizelle at jeanbawi@gmail.com.

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26 Comments

  1. Jonathan Y St Jean
    August 14, 2022

    I don’t begrudge the attention that Dr Honeychurch has and is receiving. However thank God that I can think for myself and know that the history he replied upon and added to so he could write his history of the Caribbean is flawed, therefore since the bedrock of his thesis is cracked then it’s not the true history but the white man’s version of the history of the Caribbean. There are always two sides to every story and the oppressor, so called victor at the time, the white colonialists told the events from their point of view. Most of the other side is not available because it wasn’t written by those who lived it and as such is mostly lost, however I’m not going to cling unto the fables of the Europeans with a few corrections added here and there and claim that as the history of my ancestors. The chronicling of modern events like the independence era, 1979 etc are fine but don’t deserve exceptional awards because no extraordinary research and discovery is involved.

  2. It'sMissAlie
    August 11, 2022

    Like the proverbial says, “Give credit when credit is due.” Dr. Honychurch deserves many acknowledgements and applauds. He has, objectively, studied and taught Dominica and the West Indies’ history with great passion and diligence. Because of him, we have a profound understanding of a history that connects Dominica to the rest of the Caribbean. The information he continues to give is valuable, and future generations will need the historical archives to make changes.

    Thank you, Dr. Honychurch for your dedication to teaching, informing, and molding so many of us!

    • Al Williams
      August 14, 2022

      You don’t quite get it. His writing is riddled with eurocentric lies, parternalizing as if like little kids we won’t find out. For instance, in one video on YouTube for World Rivers Day he said ‘European explorers’ went up the Indian River to seek permission from the Kalinago to fetch water. Those were not explorers. It was British, French, Spanish military at war with each other to steal rape, enslave the people and take their land. Here’s another example at the link provided by Rasta Mahn below, he should know the correct information exists, it’s all over:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjhxeYRw2n4&ab_channel=fajeetas

    • Gone Are The Days
      August 16, 2022

      MissAlie, we didn’t know better so anyone who reads the European books with their agenda and repeat that nonsense by conquerors of Africa can become a doctor, without looking out for you the conquered. But the whole truth has been decoded and exposed by our ancestors with years of serious research and digging. Dr. J. H. Clarke, Eric Williams, Walter Rodney, Y. “Dr Ben” Jochannan etc. etc.
      It is said that Until The Lion Tells His Own Story, Every Story Favors The Hunter.

  3. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    August 11, 2022

    You full of crap you know ds!

    Where in the nations (Dominica) constitution it states that the president of Dominica has the power to bestow knighthood on any anyone Dominican or foreigner?

    Besides Roosevelt has already paid some corrupted little white boys to dress him up as a clown and told him he is a Knight!
    Hahahahahahahah!
    I do not see the fascination about this Knight thing; whereas to many it may seems a prestigious title craved by crooked Roosevelt; learn this:

    It was only during the High Middle Ages from around 1000 to 1300 that the image of the knight we are so familiar with today emerged. Additionally, what we know about the process of becoming a knight is drawn from this period; Knights were originally professional cavalry warriors!

    They were so to speak murderers, killers, the more people they kill, the quicker they were Knighted; awarded for what they claimed “the soldiers were recognize for exceptional gallantry.”
    They loved blood, the kill for glory!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6
    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      August 11, 2022

      Con:
      Under the disguise of Christianity, they called themselves protectors, were nothing more than a bunch of thieves and murderers; no wonder a certain prime minister claims to be one of them eh!
      The Knights Templar was a large organization of devout (so called) Christians during the medieval era who “claimed” carried out an important mission: to protect European travelers visiting sites in the Holy Land while also carrying out military operations. A wealthy, powerful and mysterious order that has fascinated historians and the public for centuries, tales of the Knights Templar, their financial acumen, their military prowess and their work on behalf of Christianity during the Crusades still circulate throughout modern culture.
      All of you who want Lennox to be a knight, be informed people are still trying to hunt down all the money; gold, Knights Templar’s kill and thief unable to find any of it.
      All that shines are not gold!

      • Al Williams
        August 11, 2022

        Francisco, that is eye opening. Francis drake and the like even here in the Caribbean come to mind. I also checked the link from “Rasta Marn” below, short video I think you will appreciate more eye opening info.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  4. Odin
    August 10, 2022

    All accolades are due this great Dominican Hero.

    Thank you, Dr. Lennox Honychurch for your years of humble dedication and outstanding service.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2
  5. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    August 10, 2022

    Knighthood is not bestowed on someone by Elizabeth, or any King of England simple because someone wrote a book or a hundred books in their country; or politically popular in their country!
    “Anyone can be nominated to receive a KBE or DBE so long as they meet the Queen’s honour criteria for that award.

    A knighthood or damehood can be presented for all types of different achievement, but usually the person nominated will have made a major contribution to the country at a national or international level; their work and achievements will be viewed as an inspiration to others; and they may have influenced their peers, industry or the nation through their sustained and outstanding commitment to their chosen area: i.e Vivian Richards cricketing ability.

    Often a knighthood or damehood will be awarded as a progression of an individual’s previous recognition with an MBE, OBE or CBE, if they have continued to achieve at a high level since their initial award.”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5
    • August 10, 2022

      Since Dominica is no more under the Monarchy, I honestly believe that Roosevelt Skerrit will be knighted one day by The President of the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Honourable Charles Savarin, Sir Roosevelt Skerrit. Too bad you won’t be knighted with your 5 degrees with a medical background. We are no more answerable to the Queen since the Monarchy has turned into a Royal mess with Harry and Meghan and black and white.

  6. RastarMarn
    August 9, 2022

    Mmmmmmm Mista made some strides where some others have not attained yes true,,,

    But really does mista deserve the accolades as a true hero as allyou claiming him to be???

    Mista Father was a British Man who came to take advantage like all those ones that came before him,,,

    Mista continued the same lies that those who came before him lied about the origin of Our People and the Majestic presence of them ,,,

    Mista knew the real Story yet still perpetrated HisStory for and on behalf of His Kindred dem from Europe,,,

    So yes mista deserve flowers but what about all those stories he convoluted and misrepresented about OurStory ,,,

    Just like his forefathers Mista was sent to keep Our people from knowing the RealStory and all he was good for was giving History!!!

    To know how Mista Mislead our people allyou should check out this Brilliant Guyanese in the link down there,,,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjhxeYRw2n4&ab_channel=fajeetas

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4
    • Gone Are The Days
      August 10, 2022

      Thanks for the link you provided. It points to the great Dr. Van Sertima who opened the world’s eyes to research and documentation that Africans came to the Americas as early as 800 BC that’s 2000 years before Lennox’s Columbus, that’s the Olmec. Abu Bakari in 1100 AD. His book “They Came Before Columbus” (A Must Read) is more of an encyclopedia in comparison for all mankind. Lennox is a good man, but clearly not in the same league, he is still at the level of the Columbus-discovered lie and hasn’t yet corrected that while everyone else has moved on with knowledge. Many academics have recanted and corrected their Euro slant after repeating the lies with further research. Truth is out there.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
    • out of south city
      August 10, 2022

      When you don’t know Our story, anyone can present his story to you and you will believe it because you have nothing to stand on. We need to awaken our consciousness to truth and be willing to search for the truth. There are many others like Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, such as Dr. Yosef Ben Yochanan, Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Dr. Eric Williams, Professor James Small, etc., We were colonised and everything was stripped from us and theirs were given to us to make us feel like we were less than human. We were given a white jesus and a god that live in the sky. The word black is all negative in the dictionary and the word white is all positive. The sorry part is that we have used their psychology on each other.
      UNAPOLOGETIC

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      August 11, 2022

      Rasta Man, Lennox is a Dominican born you, and even if I think this Knight thing is total nonsense; I need to remind you that children, in this case Lennox is not responsible for the sin of his father!
      And I a not sure the claims you are making about his father he deserve that.
      People are human; even if his father may by white tradition dealt with native Dominicans in the wrong way; today in Dominica, our own people; in government lead by Roosevelt Skerrit, dominates our people body mind and soul.
      Economic slavery is the order of the day; 99.9% of the nation live on hand to mouth, while the other 1% along with Roosevelt Melisa, and his American born Children are the billionaires of the country.
      if Memory serves me correctly, Lennox mother is a Dominican, not white, someone correct me if I error; his father if white could have seen to it that Lennox was born in England.
      Fact is Lennox is a Dominican; I trust he will not fake any history:

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        August 11, 2022

        Fact is Lennox is a Dominican; I trust he will not fake any history:
        It is my understanding that Roosevelt want Lennox to write some thing stating that there is a hole at Marigot Bay in Wesley where Carib lived; and how the Caribs inhibited Wesley at one time.
        That is a damn lie!
        There is a place in Wesley we called Engine-wood, because the reference the Caribs “engine” does not mean they lived there.
        Roosevelt is perpetrating this lie to write on some plaque he said to be displayed in the invisible International Airport he claims he is building in Wesley.
        The amount of Caribs ever lived in Wesley can me counted on one hand, and they did not live in any hole!
        My uncle Sentieve Valmond, and my grandmother were born to a Black Carib born in the village of Sinekou.
        Anybody who’s parent are from Carib decent in Wesley I know them all because we are related!
        The indigenous Carib originally inhabited Portsmouth, until the British invaders came!
        And I am not about to teach…

  7. Amelia W.
    August 9, 2022

    Indeed flowers are due to those who have served us so well. Best to receive flowers now than when you are not here. Thank you JeanBawi for showing appreciation to someone who has shaped our lives. So much can be said about Dr. Honychurch mimicking your sentiments of gratitude for the history that he has instilled in us. He has helped us to keep our ancestors in our hearts from day one and I too loved our history lessons that still resonates today. Thank you Dr. Honychurch for your excellence and also your smile. I remember meeting you when I was very young and I have always felt honored to have met you face to face. Growing up reading your books and then getting to meet you was truly inspiring. Thank you again for all you have done for DA massive. May Jah continue to bless you and keep you in his grace. More flowers to you.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2
  8. Dr Clayton Shillingford
    August 9, 2022

    Giselle you have done great serevice by acknowledging and congratuilating Dr Lennox Honeychurch

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1
  9. Bernard Codrington
    August 9, 2022

    Excellent article.I must draw your attention to the fact that Lennox had his Secondary Education at the Lodge School in Barbados.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2
    • August 10, 2022

      At SMA, for your information. Where did you have yours with your lie?

    • Albert Brandford
      August 11, 2022

      Yes, indeed, Codgie, he is one of ours. We were there during the same period.

  10. BMB
    August 9, 2022

    Why Mr. Honeychurch is yet to be bestowed a Knighthood is beyond me.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4
    • August 9, 2022

      Perhaps because Dominica is a republic?

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
      • BMB
        August 10, 2022

        I don’t think so Steve. Case in point, Sir Brian George Keith Alleyne, SC, KCN

    • Me
      August 9, 2022

      Not possible. The Queen bestows these honours and she or another member of her immediate descendency performs the actual ritual at Buckingham palace.

  11. L C Matthew
    August 9, 2022

    Excellent. I read the Dominica story during my highschool years and it surely left an impression. To know who you are and where you are heading you must know where you came from or else you are lost

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2
  12. Dominican
    August 9, 2022

    I agree wholeheartedly. His quiet achievements have counterbalanced in no small measure the negative publicity we have garnered over the past two decades or so. It has helped me maintain and nourish my love for our unique country, a “gem beyond compare”. Thank you Lennox.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

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