‘Fun-loving’ man with a gift for horticulture
Edward Manuel, a former Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Parks and avid gardener famous for his green thumb, has died at the age of 80.
Numerous tributes were paid to Mr Manuel in the House of Assembly, where Michael Dunkley, the Premier, called for condolences to be sent to his wife and children and told MPs that Mr Manuel had passed away during an operation.
Walwyn Hughes, a former senator who had also served as director, recalled his colleague as “a fun-loving man who loved a good story and a joke”, with whom he co-authored the book How to Grow Your Own Vegetable Garden.
Mr Manuel's gift for horticulture began in boyhood with the family's chickens, goats and garden, Dr Hughes said.
“His father, Aubrey Manuel, was Colonial Postmaster, and also a beekeeper. Ed came up in a family of civil servants but had a lifelong dedication to plants. Both he and I worked as apprentices at the Agriculture Station, as it was then called.”
He and his wife Marian had two children: Sarah, and Kevin.
Dr Hughes recalled Mr Manuel as an authority on growing vegetables that were unusual for Bermuda, such as artichokes and asparagus.
A life member of the Bermuda Garden Club, he was also an officer for the Bermuda Mechanics Beneficial Association.
Jeff Sousa, MP for Warwick West, said he had come to know Mr Manuel when he became an apprentice in 1976, at a time when “there were very few Bermudians in the industry”.
Mr Sousa added he continued to use Mr Manuel's gardening book to this day.
“I will try anything once and see how it goes,” Mr Manuel told this newspaper in 1997. “Some things are quite easy to grow.”