He knew through a mutual friend that David Bramwell was in critical condition and was being treated on a palliative basis at home. Yesterday I called Juli Caujapé, director of the Jardín Canario Viera y Clavijo and he confirmed the news, a moment ago he informed Victoria Eugenia of his death.
I have next to me the small book published in the Pellagofio Collection, Pellagofio Ediciones Mercurio in 2013 entitled “My first explorations of the Canary Islands” David Bramwell’s field notebook, whose prologue I had the honor of writing at the request of the author and my distant relative Yuri Millares, journalist responsible for editing the aforementioned collection.
At this moment I am transcribing some information, as a reminder, that helps alleviate the sadness that overwhelms me when the good friend and colleague has just traveled towards that infinity of no return to which sooner or later, we will all head.
David came to the Canary Islands in 1964, as a student, as part of a scientific excursion organized by the University of Liverpool. His most fruitful stage in those years was his stay in Tenerife between September 1968 and June 1969 to carry out fieldwork on the revision of the genus Echium, his doctoral thesis. I remember that he stayed during that time with his wife Zoë in San Juan de la Rambla in a house belonging to the family of his Tenerife friend Antonio Bello Pérez, nematologist biologist, Research Professor at the Higher Council for Scientific Research in Madrid.
During his stay he soon came into contact with Eric R. Sventenius, whom he always considered his teacher in the Canary Islands. At that time, Sventenius, a researcher at the Botanical Garden of La Orotava, was finishing his stage in Tenerife and it was a fact that he was linked to the Viera y Clavijo Canary Garden, of which he was its creator. His appointment as the first director of his favorite work was imminent. With Sventenius that year David and Zoë toured Tenerife intensely and occasionally some islands. Sventenius, also my teacher, introduced me to him and together we went on some excursions. I remember at the end of 1968 our visit to the Barranco del Infierno in Adeje to collect the local endemism Sideritis infernalis and the visit to Troya beach, in the same municipality, at that time isolated and lonely without any buildings. He often came to visit me in my office at the university where he told me about the results obtained and, incidentally, to meet the botanical biologists, who at that time were being trained in the chair. At the end of his stay in Tenerife, he left 300 duplicates of plant sheets that are preserved in the herbarium of the University of La Laguna (ULL).
After the tragic death of Sventenius, a new director of the Garden had to be found and appointed, which at that time was beginning its stage of later splendor. One afternoon at the end of August 1974, the president of the Cabildo Insular de Gran Canaria, D. Lorenzo Olarte Cullen, gathered a group of people in the Garden. It had been a little over 14 months since Eric R. Sventenius had been hit by a vehicle and died. Those gathered, among whom I remember Professor Antonio González y González, unanimously decided to propose Dr. David Bramwell as director of the Garden. Professor Vernon Heywood, a professor at the University of Reading, his teacher, supported this proposal.
Once he took possession of the position, he began his brilliant career at the head of the Garden.
It will be up to his disciples and colleagues to write his prolific and brilliant history at the head of the most important Garden in the Canary Islands, which enjoys high-level social and scientific prestige and which I have named on different occasions as one of the most significant cultural and scientific jewels in the Canary Islands. the island of Gran Canaria and in fact of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands. Its international prestige will be due in large part to the intelligent scientific and managerial work of Dr. Bramwell.
Personally, I want to confirm with gratitude that he had the generosity to dedicate to me a species discovered by him on his beloved island of La Gomera: the Gomeran Crambe wildpretii crag cabbage. Thanks, David.
To end my feelings to the island of Gran Canaria for the loss of an adopted son. To his son, whom I do not know personally but for his father a hug and for Yolanda his wife at this hard time with the love and all the affection of Victoria Eugenia, our son Wolf Hermann.