Prime Minister Describes Sir Jack as a Key Contributor to the Development of the Country

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie on Monday described Sir Jack Hayward as being as person who was “generous to a fault” and touched thousands of lives both here in abroad.

The Prime Minister paid tribute during a memorial service at Pro-Cathedral of Christ the King in Freeport, held in honour of Sir Jack, who passed away on Tuesday, January 13, 2015.

He said Sir Jack had an ‘infectious optimism’ for the future of the island.

“Sir Jack believed in this city and because he did, he caused others to believe too. That was no mean feat. When those of fainter heart would question whether Freeport even had a future, they would always find the answer to that question in the irrepressible hopefulness that Sir Jack exuded.”

Although over the years Sir Jack would fume about the way things were or were not going in relation to Freeport, he worked through it because “he would always come back to the simple truth: that progress is usually always more readily attained through collaboration rather than confrontation; through co-operative endeavour rather than conflict; and through patient forbearance rather than precipitous action.

“And so it was with Sir Jack, and so it has always been with Freeport too. Looking back, as we do today, we can see that it’s usually been by working together in a spirit of mutual trust and with common objectives that the great promise of Freeport has always been better realized.

“As Prime Minister, I still believe that to be true, and I know that Sir Jack did too.”

He said he, Sir Jack and Sarah St. George had a telephone conference about the future of the Grand Bahama Port Authority not long before his death, and even though in his 90s, he still passionately believed in the future of the island. “He was looking forward with great anticipation, not looking back with recrimination or regret. He was fired up and ready to take the next step forward, knowing that in doing so, he would be securing his own legacy and, at the same time, bringing Freeport ever closer to the fulfilment of his grandest dreams.”

The Prime Minister continued, “In taking the measure of Sir Jack Hayward, as we do today, it can be well and truly said of him and of his life among us here in The Bahamas, that he was a key contributor to the economic and social development of our country through his visionary leadership of the Grand Bahama Port Authority and through his own personal philanthropy.

Sir Jack, he said, cannot be praised enough for his good works in England and The Bahamas, but in particular Grand Bahama. Using some of his private wealth, he assisted with a wide range of organizations, particularly in arts, sports, education and social welfare. He supported the YMCA, the Sir Charles Hayward Library, the Regency Theatre, the Jack Hayward High School and the Grand Bahama Humane Society.

“He was a generous man, Sir Jack was. He was generous to a fault.”

The Prime Minister continued, “It can also be said of Sir Jack in memory and in tribute that he was a charismatic and gifted individual possessed of a great capacity to lift up and inspire others, especially in times of great challenge. It is given to few men to have that kind of influential impact on the lives of others. But Sir Jack had it, not just by his words but by the inspirational power of his example.

“Truly then, in remembering Sir Jack Hayward today, we can say of him in one united voice that he made his mark upon the life of our nation in a way that ennobled his own life while bettering the lives of thousands over the course of generations. In doing so, he lit a lamp to help guide the way forward for Freeport and for all of Grand Bahama – this land that continues to be a place of great promise.”

Also participating in the service were Erika Gates who read the Eulogy, grandsons Giles and Rupert Hayward who did the first and second readings, and son Rick who read ‘Fathers are wonderful people’ by Debora Waddell. Trevor Bethel sang The Lord’s Prayer and Amy Clough read The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. Archdeacon Harry Bain did the Homily.

Tributes were also given by K. Peter Turnquest, Member of Parliament for East Grand Bahama and Deputy Leader of the Free National Movement, and Sarah St. George, vice-chairman of The Grand Bahama Port Authority.

Among those present at the service were the Hon. Philip Davis, Deputy Prime Minister; the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe, Minister of Tourism; Senator the Hon. Z.C. Allyson Maynard-Gibson, Q.C., Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs; Dr. the Hon. Michael Darville, Minister for Grand Bahama; former Prime Minister of The Bahama, the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham; Members of Parliament, Senators and a cross section of people from the Grand Bahama community.