FORMER Minister for Agriculture Douglas Walkden Brown died in Armidale, NSW, Australia. He was 92.
Mr Brown played a significant role in the development of Fiji's agriculture sector, once the country's main backbone earner.
He also managed the national rugby team that toured England, Wales and France in 1964. After graduating from Hawkesbury Agricultural College and serving in the Australian Air Force during WWII, Mr Brown sought to do mission work with the Methodist Overseas Mission.
In late 1946, he was offered positions in Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and India.
He accepted a teaching position at the Navuso Agricultural School in 1947 and became principal in 1948.
In 1949, he married Barbara Curtis and started his family at Navuso, retiring in 1960 for health reasons to farm on his own.
In 1966, he was elected to the legislative council and became the parliamentary secretary for agriculture under the leadership of Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.
In 1971, Mr Brown became Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries after independence.
He retained his post until 1980 when he resigned for health reasons.
Mr Brown continued his role in Fiji's political arena as a backbencher until 1981 when he became Fiji's consul-general in Sydney.
He returned to Fiji in 1983 as consultant for the Department for Lands and finally retired in 1994.
"Things that impressed me were his sense of humour and a wonderful singing voice," said daughter Angela.
"He was both stern (I was a bit lamu!) but also very warm-hearted."
She said in his political days, she was proud that he could speak the iTaukei language well enough to do radio broadcasts and speeches at political rallies
She said she felt good that he could speak the lingo of the land.
Alf Taylor, who worked with Mr Brown at Navuso, recalls: "Doug is a man who means a great deal to me. He was a talented planner and we enjoyed many hours working on ideas for how to improve things at Navuso".
Mr Taylor added Mr Brown was not as strong in the "practicalities" department and well remembers the latter's wife, Barbara, asking him for help in fixing various household breakdowns.
Mr Brown was a former resident of Navuso, Nausori, Suva and Nadroga.
He is survived by his children Jenni, David, Angela, Stephen, Andrew, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.