RT. HON. HUBERT A. INGRAHAM
ON THE PASSING OF SIR CLEMENT MAYNARD
It is with deep regret that my colleagues and I today learned of the passing of Sir Clement Maynard after an extended illness. Sir Clement was a towering presence in the Bahamian political arena for half a century and was the longest-serving Minister in the PLP Government under the late Sir Lynden Pindling.
Sir Clement started his public service as a laboratory technician with the Princess Margaret Hospital and played an important role in the trade union movement, serving as the founding Chairman of The Bahamas Public Service Union before entering politics.
He was appointed Government Leader in the Senate when Majority Rule was achieved in 1967 and was first elected to the House of Assembly in the general election of 1968.
Sir Clement went on to serve in a number of ministerial capacities including Minister of Works, Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Minister of Health, Minister for Public Personnel, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of Tourism, a post he held for 10 years making him the longest-serving Minister of Tourism. He also served as Deputy Prime Minister.
Sir Clement was noted for his dignified bearing in and out of the political arena and maintained long-lasting friendships on both sides of the political divide.
My colleagues and I should like to express the gratitude of the nation for the service of Sir Clement and we extend out deepest sympathy to Lady Maynard, their children and the entire Maynard family. May he rest in peace.
The Hon. Clement T. Maynard, was the Deputy Prime Minister of The Bahamas, and was also the Deputy Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Tourism, Government Leader in Parliament and was responsible for the Public Service.
After having served in Tourism for a decade, he became Minister of Labour and Home Affairs in 1979. In that portfolio, his greatest challenge was the problem of illegal immigration as an estimated 25,000 aliens imposed a burdensome strain on education, health care and other social services of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
In October, 1984, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and at the same time named Minister of Tourism, holding that portfolio for a second time. Much of the success of the nation’s visitor industry has been credited to his efforts over the years.
Under his direction, visitor arrivals tripled from 1 million to an estimated 3 million in 1986. He had said that “in The Bahamas, tourism is everybody’s business.”
His early political career started in 1954, the year after the Progressive Liberal Party was formed and Lynden Pindling became legal advisor. In January, 1967, when the party was successful at the polls and became the new government, Mr. Maynard was appointed Government Leader in the Senate and also Minister without portfolio.
In April, 1968, when a general election was called, Senator Maynard contested the House of Assembly seat in his home constituency of Gambier. The popular politician won by a wide margin over his opponent and it was then that he was given his assignment as Minister of Works.
During his first year as Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Mr. Maynard initiated a series of seminars for employers and trade unionists. The first dealt with utilisation of the employment exchanges, and the second was concerned with procedural matters at the Department of Labour.
“Harmony in the workshop is the best way to ensure our nation’s progress,” Mr. Maynard said. “Let me renew my Ministry’s commitment to the trade union movement and to the workers and employers of the country to ensure harmony on the job.”
As Minister of Tourism, Mr. Maynard’s portfolio included civil aviation. Under his direction, an Airline Negotiating Committee succeeded in forming the Commonwealth’s national airline, Bahamasair. The flag carrier went into service June 18, 1973, and in 1978 began modernising its fleet of jet and conventional aircraft.
In April, 1977, Mr. Maynard announced that he would offer as a PLP candidate in the new constituency of Yellow Elder. He won the seat with 67 per cent of the voters cast. In the General Election of 1982 he was returned to Parliament for the same constituency.
Mr. Maynard was married to the former Zoe Cumberbatch, daughter of the late Dr. and Mrs. Roland Cumberbatch. They have four sons and a daughter.