SIR Jack Hayward, honorary chairman and co-owner of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, died yesterday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida after battling an illness for several months. He was 91.
In a statement, Prime Minister Perry Christie described Sir Jack as “the single most important figure behind the economic development of the city of Freeport”.
“Sir Jack was a colourful, larger-than-life personality who was held in great affection by the Bahamian people and by successive governments of our nation. He was widely admired for his candour, warmth, generous philanthropy, and deeply held dual patriotism for his native England and the Bahamas. He was passionately committed to the advancement of Freeport in particular. Through good times and in bad, he remained steadfast in his loyalty to our nation’s second city and never lost faith in its future,” Mr Christie said.
Sir Jack’s many philanthropic acts include founding The YMCA, the Sir Charles Hayward Library, the Grand Bahama Humane Society, the Regency Theatre and the Jack Hayward High School, among others.
Sir Jack was born on June 14, 1923, the only child of Sir Charles Hayward, a leading industrialist, and his wife, Hilda. Sir Jack served in the Royal Air Force during the war, training as a pilot and flying missions over India and Burma. Knighted in 1986, he was fiercely patriotic and often known as “Union Jack”. In a 2010 Daily Mail article, it was stated his inheritance would go to charities in the Bahamas. Sir Jack is survived by his wife Lady Hayward, and his partner of many years, Mrs Patricia Bloom, who was at his side throughout his illness. Also at his side during his last hours was his eldest son, Richard.
Above: Sir Jack in 2006 at the offices of the GBPA. Also pictured are Lady Henrietta Saint George, Albert Miller and Hannes Babback.