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Charles Maynard Dead At 42

Maynard-Memorial

Charles Maynard, a “rising political talent” with an infectious smile and bubbly attitude died suddenly in Abaco yesterday morning, leaving a gaping hole in the hearts of many.

He was 42-years-old.

The former Cabinet minister’s body was secretly flown back to the capital aboard a SkyBahamas flight early Wednesday.

According to a release issued shortly after his death, Mr. Maynard, the coordinator of the FNM’s by-election campaign, was driving along with party Secretary General Michael Foulkes in the area of Blackwood, heading into Dundas and Murphy Town when he fell ill.

“He and the secretary general went into northern Abaco to meet with certain individuals and to get certain things done. On their way back, Mr. Maynard asked to come out of the car for a few seconds and just suddenly collapsed and that’s when I was immediately called,” Dr. Minnis said.

“Our secretary general [did] everything he possibly could that I advised him to do. I subsequently called the emergency personnel in Abaco, who were dispatched to the area as early as possible. They did an excellent job. They did all they could. They performed CPR until they reached the Treasure Cay airport.”

But those efforts were unsuccessful.

Mr. Maynard was pronounced dead only an hour later at around 1:30 p.m.

“Mr. Maynard did not complain of any sickness, chest pains, anything. He was very well doing his work. He was very focused on winning the by-election and preparing us for victory in the 2017 General Elections,” Dr. Minnis said.

“He had a great future not only in the party, but in the country. He was very youth focused and oriented. He wanted to ensure that more young people are invited into the FNM and that more of them played a role in the growth, development and expansion of The Bahamas.”

The FNM leader also fondly remembered his former Cabinet colleague as one who constantly preached a message of unity.

“He tried to bring people together. In fact, he helped put together the slogan “Moving Forward.” He believed that only through unity and hard work, we could succeed. He was a hardworking individual. I would always remember him telling me in Abaco ‘not to stop until we win’ and I can assure you that I will continue to do what Charlie wanted us to do. We will continue to work to ensure that we bring this victory home for him,” Dr. Minnis said.

“He wanted to win the North Abaco constituency by an even bigger margin than former prime minister did. He pushed for excellence.”

Mr. Maynard’s untimely death leaves the FNM without both a chairman and a by-election coordinator, but according to Dr. Minnis, the party will continue to move forward.

“The party is an organisation; therefore, we have deputy chairmen and although he was the coordinator, he would have various programmes and individuals in place to ensure that even if he or I were not there on a particular day, these things would carry on. I think the party can only gain then from the organisation he has put in place,” he said.

News of Mr. Maynard’s death spread like wildfire yesterday.

Shortly before 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham expressed profound sadness and deepest condolence to Mr. Maynard’s family upon learning of the death of a “fine Bahamian man, who was committed to being part of the solution to the many challenges facing a still young country.”

“Charlie brought enthusiasm, energy and passion to all his undertakings in both the private and public sectors. He had a biting wit and an infectious laugh which endeared him to all of us,” Mr. Ingraham said.
“I was happy to welcome him into the fold of the Free National Movement and to support his candidacy for election in the Golden Isle Constituency in 2007. Elected, he proved to be an excellent representative of the people and a dedicated government minister. Charlie had a wonderful future; he had so much more to contribute to our party and to our country. He will be difficult to replace and will be terribly missed.”
Down at the FNM’s headquarters, wreaths hung on two doors. The mood was equally somber inside where several party supporters gathered.
“This is devastating. There is no word to express what we are going through…I will most remember his beautiful smile. He was a sweet and precious person. I pray for the strength of his family” said FNM supporter Charlene Saint.
Chief FNM Protocol Officer Nelson Clarke said he got to knew Mr. Maynard as far back as his time in the now defunct Coalition of Democratic Reform (CDR).
“We have to remember him the way we knew him; the man with the infectious smile, a go-getter,” said FNM Sergeant-At-Arms, Godfrey “Goofy” Brown.
Fond memories poured in from the government ministers including Prime Minister and Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader, Perry Christie.
“Maynard had just begun his public life in a real way but he laboured in the wilderness for a long time. I deeply regret that someone so young would have died in such tragic circumstances,” the prime minister shared.
“Any time death visits our community, particularly in the case of a person who has given service, it is always sad and I am sure he will be sorely missed by man, said Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis.
Michael Halkitis, Mr. Maynard’s friend and political opponent in the May 7 General Election added, “He had a future in politics in The Bahamas, so it’s sad to see someone with so much to offer go so early.”
Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson said her last conversation with her cousin was two weeks ago in the House of Assembly.
“As usual, we embraced very warmly and surprisingly to me, some of the FNM supporters were taken aback and I had to remind them that this is family and nothing takes precedence over family,” she said.
Adding to the tributes, Leader of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Branville McCartney said he and Mr. Maynard shared a lot of laughs.
“He was certainly witty, amusing, a future leader,” he said during a brief telephone interview with the Bahama Journal on Wednesday.
Bahamas Constitution Party (BCP) Servant Leader Ali McIntosh also offered her condolences.
Mr. Maynard, who has been conducting the FNM campaign in Abaco, will be dearly missed because of his jovial and cordial spirit. I have had a few cordial and light encounters with him, as he is always very spirited in his interaction with all,” she said.
 
“I pray that the family is comforted even in this time of his passing, as he has served the nation well during his time of governance. His service to the nation, which includes his intellectual contributions to the House of Assembly and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, will be certainly remembered.”

Apart from his life in politics, Mr. Maynard was a longtime businessman, serving as general manager of the family business, the Corner Motel.
“We will all miss him. He was the rock of this place. He was a nice person, a hard worker. He tried to keep everyone together. All the staff and customers loved him,” said a supervisor at the Carmichael Road business, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“Everyone is just sad. It’s really hard for everyone. He would come in on Saturdays during karaoke. You could go and talk to him about anything. He dealt with things so calmly.”
While talking to the Journal, a few loyal customers called into the motel, expressing their condolences.
Mr. Maynard graduated from Queen’s College and later from the College of The Bahamas (COB).

He once served as the PLP’s vice-chairman and deputy leader of the CDR.

My Maynard eventually joined the FNM and was appointed minister of state for Culture in 2007, eventually becoming minister following a Cabinet shuffle in 2009.

He is survived by his parents, Andrew “Dud” and Isadora Maynard, his wife, Zelena and three children.

Written by Macushla Pinder

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