Businessman, activist Richard Goddard passes away
Prominent Barbadian farmer, businessman, activist and environmentalist Richard Goddard has died.
Goddard passed away at his “Bleak House” St Thomas home Thursday, succumbing after a bout of pneumonia. He was 85.
A Barbadian patriot, he was the grandson of one of Barbados’ outstanding businessmen Joseph Goddard who founded the well known Goddard’s empire.
Possessing an intimate knowledge of his own family history, Richard Goddard displayed a love for the history of Barbados, describing it once as “a very rich history”.
He told an interviewer most of the material possessions which he and his kinfolk owned were earned “out of hard work and education” after detailing how his ancestors had ended up as “poor whites and landless for about 50 years” after one of those ancestors had forfeited “an inheritance of ten acres of land and two slaves” in St Thomas back in the 1600s, for a marriage which Goddard reported the family did not approve.
As a businessman, Goddard once managed the former Goddard’s Supermarket at Fontabelle and also engaged in farming. In public service, he once served on the board of the Salvation Army and was at one time head the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme in Barbados.
As an environmentalist, Goddard used his voice and pen to protest the construction of the Greenland Landfill in St Andrew. He also started the Barbados National Trust hikes in 1983.
Paying tribute yesterday, Sandra Archer of the Barbados Hiking Association said on Facebook that the association was “mourning” Goddard’s loss.
Archer wrote on Facebook: “Mr Goddard began to organise hikes in Barbados in 1983 as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme. These were on Sunday mornings at 6 a.m. and lasted for three hours.
“This format has continued to this day with the addition of the evening hikes and continued by the Barbados National Trust and currently hosted by the Barbados Hiking Association.
“Mr Goddard has been a friend of hiking over the years even when he was no longer able to hike and lead groups.”
Also mourning Goddard’s passing are his son Rene and partner Margaret Deutsch. (GC)