Grenadian-Canadian community is much the poorer for the loss of Dudley Hood

by Lincoln DePradine

Consul General Derrick James and Dudley Hood

George Griffith, a former Grenada High Commissioner to Canada, is one of three former diplomats lauding Grenadian-Canadian Dudley Hood, who died last weekend in Toronto.

“Dudley was well-known and well-liked. He was welcomed in all circles,’’ Griffith told The Caribbean Camera.

Hood, a graduate of the Grenada Boys’ Secondary School (GBSS), worked many years as a male nurse in Toronto before retiring. He was 85.

“He was a true Grenadian and community person,’’ said former Consul General Derrick James, who presented a plaque to Hood at an 80th birthday event five years ago. “I am saddened by his passing.’’

Hood’s death was made public in a Facebook post by one of his nephews, who referred to him as “Uncle Duds’’.

His late, “dearest uncle’’, said Dave Hood, “always brought life, levity and learning to our family gatherings. He will be truly missed!’’

Hood became a popular figure for his community and church engagement, as well his passion for culture, especially pan and carnival.

After giving up driving, Hood would travel miles to events and for visits to friends, using public transit.

Jenny Gumbs

“He would leave on time and won’t ask anyone to bring him nor take him back home,’’ said longtime friend Reginald Mark.

“Dudley was involved in many organizations, Grenadian and otherwise. He used to have carnival in the backyard of his home when he lived on the Lakeshore. There was pan and he would make costumes for everybody who came to the carnival. You didn’t have to bring anything,’’ Mark recalled.

“At Christmas, it was the same thing at his house, with a celebration complete with decorations, including things such as the ‘Three Wise Men.’’’

Jenny Gumbs, who once served as Grenada’s Consul General in Toronto, said she held Hood in “high esteem’’.

“He supported me and my efforts to serve the community,’’ she explained.

“Dudley Hood was the ultimate community stalwart – an avid supporter of any and everything that showcased the richness of Grenada’s culture and history,’’ Gumbs added.

“He was supportive of every initiative undertaken by the consulate general and diasporic organizations to promote the best interests of Grenadians here or in the homeland. He was a remarkable patriot and human being.’’

Gumbs and others, who all extended condolences to Hood’s family, also remembered a collection of artifacts that he owned that formed a miniature museum, which he displayed at various Grenada events.

Hood also was called upon to render opening prayers at many events, including the annual fundraising brunch of the GBSS Alumni Association of Toronto.

“Somebody told me the best prayer they ever heard at a function was given by Dudley,’’ said Griffith, a founding-member of the association, and a former United Nations permanent representative, who also served as an ambassador for Grenada to the United States.

He is survived by his wife Lytrice and daughter Anne Marie, and several brothers and sisters and other relatives; some of them have represented Grenada in national sports.

There is nobody like Hood, Mark said. “He was different. The community should celebrate Dudley.’’

Similar sentiments were expressed by former Consul General James. “I do believe the community must celebrate this icon in a meaningful way,’’ he said.