It is with deep sadness that we confirm the death of beloved Honorary Chairman, Sir Jack Hayward, who passed away peacefully in Ft. Lauderdale on Tuesday 13th January after courageously battling illness for several months with the same fighting spirit and wit for which he was so well known. Freeport has lost the last of its original founding fathers and a great philanthropist. Sarah St. George, Vice Chairman of The Grand Bahama Port Authority and Group of Companies says, “Sir Jack is a cornerstone in Freeport’s living history and this is a sad day for us all. He was a truly unique man with an epic life and I was privileged to work side by side with him and experience firsthand his determination, bravery, passion and humour. I will miss him immensely.”
It is significant that this year 2015 is also the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement which saw Freeport emerge from a pine barren to the thriving city it is today.
In addition to Freeport’s meteoric development, Sir Jack’s philanthropic acts include, founding:
- The YMCA
- Sir Charles Hayward Library
- Sir Charles Hayward Yacht Club
- Grand Bahama Humane Society
- Bahamas National Trust (BNT)
- Regency Theatre
- Jack Hayward High School
and major support for The Salvation Army, Freeport Rugby Football Club, Sir Jack Hayward Soccer Camp and The Grand Bahama Sailing Camp, amongst numerous other charities in Grand Bahama and elsewhere, most notably Wolverhampton, England where he was born and formerly owned the Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, acting as its much loved Honorary President. He received a knighthood from HM The Queen in 1986 for his good works.
Most recently Sir Jack fulfilled his cherished dreams of founding a Grand Bahama Museum and overseeing the construction of a bridge over the Grand Bahama Highway, which will be named the “Sir Jack Hayward Bridge” in his memory.
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, known as “Rick”. He is also mourned by his son, Jonathan, his daughter, Susan, and his grandchildren – Rupert, Giles, Francesca, Rosie, Bertie, Alexander, Nico, Emma, Rory and Laura – and his four great grandchildren.
Sir Jack Hayward was 91 years of age and, with loved ones by his side, was not alone in his final hours.
We at The Grand Bahama Port Authority extend our heartfelt condolences to his entire family, colleagues and friends, and acknowledge with gratitude his lifelong dedication to the development of Freeport and the community of Grand Bahama.
In honour of Sir Jack Hayward and in his spirit, the Port Authority flag will be flown at half-mast. A service to commemorate Sir Jack’s life will be held in Freeport at a date to be determined, with details to follow.