Devaux was a field engineer who had a keen eye for archaeological finds, was a founding member of the Saint Lucia National Trust and was its first Director from 1977 to 1994.
As the director of the Saint Lucia National Trust, he contributed in many practical ways to the preservation of the island’s historical, natural and cultural heritage.
Throughout his career, Devaux published several books and articles – Saint Lucia Historic Sites (1975), A Century of Coaling in Saint Lucia (1975), Bird Watchers Guide to Pigeon Island (1996), They Called us Brigands: the saga of Saint Lucia’s freedom fighters (1997), and Co- authored, A History of Saint Lucia (2012) with Guy Ellis and Jolien Harmsen.
In 1961, Devaux founded the St. Lucia Research Center, producing dozens of research papers on a wide range of topics, usually following a request by Government, private and corporate entities for information on details of St. Lucia’s past.
In 1991, Devaux was awarded an OBE for his significant achievements and outstanding service to his country. In 1993 he received a Paul Harris Fellowship Award from Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation. He was inducted into the St Lucia Tourism Hall of Fame in 1996. In 1998 he was the recipient of the M&C Fine Arts Award for Literature.
Sadly, Robert Joseph Devaux who was one of St. Lucia’s foremost historian, conservationist, author and heritage specialist passed away on April, 16, 2013. A special feature in The Voice of St. Lucia dated April 20, 2013, described Devaux as an icon who made this world a better place.
Source: A History of St. Lucia by Harmsen, Ellis & Devaux – 2012
This feature runs every Tuesday and Thursday. It is compiled by daughter of the soil Anselma Aimable, a former agricultural officer and former correspondent for Caribbean Net News, who has a deep interest in local culture and history. Send ideas and tips to [email protected]