Honoring a Half Century of Service

Walwyn Hughes

Walwyn Hughes (second from right) has served on the BIOS Board of Directors for five decades and currently serves as the vice-chair. Earlier this summer, the BIOS community honored his commitment to the Institution by dedicating the Wright Hall porch and patio in his honor. Among those in attendance were Jim Galloway (right), co-vice chair of the BIOS Board, who presented Hughes with a draft of the dedication plaque; Hughes’ wife, Betsey (left); and Galloway’s wife, Nancy (second from left).

In late April, BIOS faculty, staff, and trustees gathered on the back porch of Wright Hall—the Institute’s iconic main building—to honor its longest serving board member: Idwal Wyn, “Walwyn,” Hughes.

An entomologist by training, Dr. Hughes, 87, has a long history of public service in Bermuda, including serving as the Director of Agriculture, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Environment and the Financial Secretary, concluding with fifteen years in the Bermuda Senate (the upper House of Bermuda’s Legislature). Throughout all of this time, he remained a steadfast member of the BIOS Board, guiding the organization’s growth over five decades and serving as an ambassador for its research and education programs both locally and abroad.

“Walwyn Hughes is a thoughtful and compassionate leader of people and institutions,” said Jim Galloway, vice chair of the BIOS Board of Trustees and professor at the University of Virginia Department of Environmental Sciences. “His leadership at BIOS for these 50 years has been key to making the Institute what it is today. I’m grateful for many things about Walwyn, including his love of chickens, which has always made it easy to decide what to give him on special occasions!”

Speaking at the event, Galloway shared a poem, written by John Farrington, BIOS trustee emeritus and Dean Emeritus at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, that extolled Walwyn’s passion for science and dedication to the Institute.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Come one and come all! Share the wonderful news.
Fifty years of dedication to BBS, BBSR and BIOS by Trustee Walwyn Hughes.
Need a stalwart person with wisdom informing their advice and views?
Walwyn Hughes! Cherished world-class citizen! No one else would we choose!

There is a paradox about Walwyn’s dedication to BIOS to unravel.
BIOS studies diverse marine life with shapes and colors that bedazzle.
Marine life bedecked with beautiful fans, translucent globes, and intricate features.
Yet, Walwyn values chickens as his favorite creatures.

No matter, all is fine with marine critters being Walwyn’s second choice.
He has great ideas for BIOS to which he gives strong voice.
Moreover, with Walwyn comes his soul mate and wife Betsey – most wonderful news!
Let us give much appreciation and honor to Walwyn and Betsey Hughes!

Dr. Hughes, with his wife Betsey by his side, was visibly moved by the kind words of his friends and colleagues.

“Many of the fondest memories of BIOS that Betsey and I have involve time spent on the Wright Hall patio,” he said. “It is more than generous that the BIOS Board, officers, and staff have determined that this space shall now bear my name. I am deeply honored and most grateful to everyone involved in making and implementing this decision.”

The glass dedication plaque, which will be hung on the newly minted Walwyn Hughes Patio, features etchings of items close to Hughes’ heart, including the chickens and Bermuda cedar trees that were the focus of his entomological research, Bermuda’s endemic tropical birds, and a variety of local marine organisms.