In the past week, our Team at Word Forest have been deeply saddened to learn of the passing of two amazing individuals; Tim Harland and Tony Husband.
Tim Harland was the co-founder of Permaculture Magazine and Permanent Publications. That magazine is a firm favourite on the shelves of our co-founders Tracey and Simon West.
Supporters of Word Forest will know that the facilitation of knowledge on permaculture is something we’ve been focusing on in Kenya for the past few years. This simple, sympathetic land management system works so well because it chimes with Mother Nature. It is quite literally a life-saving solution for growing food in the tropics.
Permaculture Magazine has inspired many positive conversations with our colleagues in Kenya. This year, the Three Sisters (maize, beans and squash) has been high on the topics we’ve shared and at our Head Offices in Devon and Kenya, both have grown well and given great yields.
Tim passed away very unexpectedly after a long but happy day in his garden at the end of September. On Wednesday 18th October, Tracey and Simon paid their respects along with those from colleagues Sue Jueno and Phil Gamble, plus at least a couple of hundred others at Tim’s beautiful funeral and celebration of his life in Barnstaple, Devon.
Today, we’ve learned of the equally shocking early demise of Tony Husband. Satirical cartoonist for Private Eye, Punch and many other well known publications, Tony was also the kind hearted donor of a bespoke design for one of our Celebri-Tee-Shirts back in 2020.
Tracey recalls: “Tony explained to Sue, Simon and I that he loved nature and he adored the peace and solace he found in trees. He said it was a pleasure to create a design for us to help raise money and plant even more trees in Kenya. I remember, he turned the design around from our briefing to delivery in a couple of days! We kept in touch over the years too. He was always such a joy to talk to, so witty and sharp, yet so gentle and thoughtful in his tone and his manner.”
“He was incredibly proud of his son Paul and his achievements, and there were so many other things he cared about and charities he wanted to make a difference with, such as Exeter Dementia Action Alliance. Doing that mattered enormously to him. It was always so obvious he wanted to make a difference and he gave his time willingly and graciously. Our neighbour, Jo Earlam and her friend Gina Awad were closely involved with Tony too in respect of cartoons he drew to raise awareness for dementia and Alzheimer’s organisations. Jo and Gina are equally shocked to learn of this unthinkable loss.”
“Tony’s ability to capture the darkness and sadness of terrible diseases, turning everyday happenings into skillfully drawn uplifting cartoons, was quite incredible. This was founded by his own father’s dementia experiences. Tony used his own dark, sad space to create a brilliant piece of work: ‘Take Care, Son? The Story of My Dad and His Dementia’. With the book and the cartoons he created for calendars that raised money for those affected by these diseases, he really made his mark and he helped charities successfully shine a light on the darkness.”
“For Word Forest, Tony donated exactly the same passion and energy as he put into all of his work. The picture he drew for us captured his shared belief that trees are worth so much more than the sum of their parts. They can mitigate our climate emergency but the commodities from them can do so much more too. Tony loved the fact that we favoured fruit and nut bearing trees. He understood the difference that made to alleviating hunger and poverty in Kenya and he was thrilled to help us.”
“Tony embodied deadpan humour and he knew that a sketch here and there could go out and do good in the world. How lucky we were to have received a snippet of his kindness and his talent.”
Our Team at Word Forest send our deepest condolences to both Tim and Tony’s families and countless friends who must still be reeling at the news, just as we are.
Tony’s final cartoon, penned quite literally a handful of hours before his death, as he was fearing being late to an event starting at Westminster Pier, is just about as startlingly poignant as it gets. It shows him standing at the dock, waving goodbye to a boat sailing off into the distance. You can see the cartoon on his son’s page on X (formerly Twitter) here: https://twitter.com/PaulHusband_/status/1714976169307635814
We will be planting trees at our Head Office to commemorate the phenomenal lives of these two incredible men, both committed to evoking positive change. Both with so much more to give. Both living their lives in service to making the world a better place. Both deeply loved and missed.
Tomorrow, let us all awaken with more gratitude in our hearts for being able to experience ‘another ordinary day’.
Tracey concludes: “I know death is all part of the circle of life and we have to sit in acceptance of the time we’re given, but right now, I need to sit in the sadness of the loss. How lucky I was to have brushed shoulders with two such beautiful men.”
If you’d like to make a donation so we can get a few more trees in the ground in their honour, you can do so here: