Nassau, Bahamas – Patricia and I were deeply saddened when we learned of the passing of the Honorary Chairman and Co-owner of the Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited and the Port Group Limited, Sir Jack Hayward. Born in Woverhampton, England in 1923, he was fiercely patriotic and well-known as “Union Jack”. He was knighted in 1986 for his many contributions to Britain.
Sir Jack will be remembered in The Bahamas as a successful businessman and one of the founding fathers and architects of Freeport. Coming to The Bahamas in 1956 he was a true nation builder, as thousands of Bahamians from all walks of life and every island of our Commonwealth came to live and benefit from the development of our nation’s second city. Sir Jack and other legendary figures such as Wallace
Groves and Edward St. George saw Freeport emerge from a pine barren to the thriving city it is today.
Sir Jack was beloved by the Bahamian people and was widely admired for his great and generous philanthropy especially in education and sports. He was a lifetime major supporter of the Salvation Army and instrumental in its introduction to Freeport. He is also credited with the introduction of The YMCA to Grand Bahama, founding The Sir Charles Hayward Library, The Sir Charles Hayward Yacht Club, The Grand Bahama Humane Society, The Bahamas National Trust, the Regency Theatre, the Freeport Rugby Football Club, the Sir Jack Hayward Soccer Camp and The Grand Bahama Sailing Camp. Sir Jack’s last public appearance was at the opening of new tennis facilities at the YMCA in Grand Bahama where he was a sponsor and the keynote speaker.
Over the years the Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited continues to make available annual College scholarships to hundreds of deserving Bahamian students. In 1998, The Free National Movement built and named the Pioneers Loop High School, one of Grand Bahama’s modern high schools, “the Sir Jack Hayward High School,” a most deserving recognition, by the FNM Ingraham Administration.
As we remember the life of Sir Jack we must remember the many less fortunate in Freeport whom he sought to help over the last few years as Freeport’s economy remains challenged and we are called to fulfill Sir Jack’s vision for a vibrant economy which must now become our priority. His passion for the young people and their education must now become our passion.
We acknowledge with gratitude his lifelong dedication to the development of Freeport, the community of Grand Bahama and the Bahamas. On behalf of the Free National Movement family and on my own behalf, we extend our heartfelt condolences to his entire family, colleagues and friends here and around the World.
May his soul rest in peace.