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OK, just one memorial then

Matthew Chatfield

The Virtual Ranger isn’t fond of memorial plaques and paraphernalia in public spaces. But occasionally, one has to give credit where credit is due, in this case to Eleanor Crum:

© sevenblock

This discreet and very specific memorial was found (I think) in the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. However Eleanor Crum seems to be associated with the National Tropical Botanical Garden, Hawaii, so possibly it’s there. Whilst there’s not much information about Ms Crum available, one can surmise from the picture that she died, having supported the Botanical Garden in some way… and that she loved bamboo. That’s not all, either. There’s even a native Hawaiian plant named after her: Chamaesyce eleanoriae. And her largesse didn’t just extend to small plaques – there is an Eleanor Crum Professor of Tropical Botany at the National Tropical Botanical Garden, and there is a building called Crum Cottage, and the Eleanor Evans Crum Trust established in 2001 too. So here a little sign next to some bamboo leads us to a pleasing example of somebody leaving a useful memorial. Let’s hope the National Tropical Botanical Garden make the most of it.

Matthew Chatfield

Uncooperative crusty. Unofficial Isle of Wight cultural ambassador. Conservation, countryside and the environment, with extra stuff about spiders.

One thought on “OK, just one memorial then

  • Scott Lucas

    Eleanor and I were close friends for many years. She moved to Kauai from California about the same time I did in the late 1970s, where she became closely associated with the National Tropical Botanical Garden where I was employed. Her greatest love was for nature and she was an accomplished potter. Her husband was an economist, educated at Harvard and then headed the business school at University of California, Berkeley. He died serving America during WWII. Eleanor’s wealth came from a childhood gift of 100 shares of Standard Oil of New Jersey from her mother. When she passed away in 2000 her will provided that the $25 million that gift had grown to be divided equally between the National Botanical Garden on Kauai and the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is sad that the only recognition of her largess on the Big Island is a plastic sign posted at the base of a bamboo plant. Eleanor was a truly remarkable woman and it pleases me greatly that the National Tropical Botanical Garden obviously recognizes her for the exceptional individual that she was. Her legacy lies on Kauai with the Garden there.


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