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Parliamentarians Salute Maynard


Heart wrenching tributes flowed from the lips of parliamentarians yesterday in the wake of the sudden death of former Cabinet minister Charles Maynard.
Mr. Maynard fell ill and collapsed while in Abaco early Tuesday.
He was on the island campaigning for the upcoming by-election in the North Abaco constituency.
All efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.
Mr. Maynard was 42 years.
With an aching heart and tears streaming from his eyes, Free National Movement (FNM) Leader, Dr. Hubert Minnis remembered his former Cabinet colleague, friend and “brother” as a political leader to the core, one who had passion, dogged determination and a deep commitment to young Bahamians.
“His absolute commitment to do what was right and true was best shown in his preparedness to resign from his party as a youth, firstly to follow another and to assist in forming a third political party – the Coalition of Democratic Reform (CDR) – and secondly when his then leader returned to the party he had left to have the courage and self confidence to chart a different course,” Dr. Minnis said in a painful and tear jerking tribute.
“…We had reposed so much hope in the bright promise he seemed to embody, a promise of a new generation, a generation of responsible, youthful but experienced leadership coming to the fore both in the leadership of our party and the nation…I say to Charlie, I know that you are listening to me. Sleep on my brother, be assured that I will complete your chores; be assured that I will deliver Abaco for you.”
The FNM’s Deputy Leader, Loretta Butler-Turner shared a similar bond with her “lil bro,” whose passing, she said, dealt a devastating blow to the official opposition.
“To offer tribute to Charlie Maynard is to speak of his warmth and his goodness, his effervescent attitude. We must first speak of all those fine qualities of his character and manner and while Charlie had a sharp and very strong wit, including in this place, we can testify to the gentleness of spirit and compassion that marked the manner of this man…,” Mrs. Butler-Turner said.
“There are so many other qualities, loyal, team player, lovable, full of life, laughter, energy. He bought these personal qualities to his work in the private sector and to his public life…Many people, including the member of North Abaco [former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham] – himself a good judge of political character – recognised in Charlie those qualities that over the course of a career made for the finest of political leaders.”
Describing Mr. Maynard’s untimely death as the saddest day in this short political career, St. Anne’s MP, Hubert Chipman added, “Watching the Parliamentary Channel, Charles was a great debater. He was fearless yet faithful to his colleagues, his constituents and his beloved Bahamas.”
Putting their political differences aside, several members of the Christie led administration shared equally found memories of someone, who despite his party affiliation, was a genuinely good person.
“It is these sad circumstances that should cause us to pause and prompt us to lay down our political swords if only for a moment to allow members of the family and wider community to breath and to help us recognise that we are all Bahamians, human beings and that there is much more than unites us than what divides us,” said Mr. Maynard’s former political opponent, Golden Isles MP, Michael Halkitis.
Best remembered for their frequent sparings in the House of Assembly, Englerston MP, Glenys Hanna Martin reflected on a conversation she and Mr. Maynard had after going head to head during one particular House meeting.
“Charles and I had some major encounters in here. We crossed our swords. We became extremely contentious on occasions. He told me one day in the Smoker’s Room that apparently his second daughter was watching one of these encounters and when he came home she wouldn’t speak to him. He tried to find out what happened and she let him know that she supports Glenys Hanna Martin,” she fondly recalled.
“It was so generous of him to share that with me, bearing in mind how contentious it had become….When I got a call on Tuesday at 4:00 a.m. that Charles Maynard had died, it was a stunning thing to hear because he is much younger than I am. You have a sense that things operate in a particular way, there is a spectrum and then, there is the end of that spectrum. But sometimes, the end of the spectrum is a little sooner than we anticipate.”
For Bains Town and Grants Town MP, Dr. Bernard Nottage, in many ways Charles Maynard was like a son.
As members of the Progressive Liberal Party, the two were allies. Mr. Maynard once served as the party’s vice-chairman and Dr. Nottage, deputy leader.
The two men were later part of the now defunct Coalition for Democratic Reform (CDR).
“He was in the wilderness with me from day one until the last day…We spent hundreds of hours together contemplating the kind of Bahamas we would like to see and how we could contribute to making it like that,” Dr. Nottage said.
“So, there’s no doubt that whatever others have come to think of Charles Maynard, he was a Bahamian, a nationalist, a patriot; someone upon whom you could depend. He had my back and I had his.”
Rounding up the tributes was Prime Minister Perry Christie.
“Death is final. During my 35 years of continuous service in this House, I have stood to my feet to pay tribute to many of our fallen heroes, many on both sides of the political divide who have given off themselves to our country. The tragedy of this particular occasion is we’re dealing with a young man, who had great promise,” he said.
“…Try not to take yourself too seriously because you’re just passing through. Remember that what you say about me, I have the right to say about you and that we are connected to other people, institutions and we have a responsibility to never forget that so that when the time comes for the cumulative assessment of who we are and what we have done, we pray to God that we would have done sufficient and no matter what standard we apply, Charles did sufficient.”
The parliamentary tributes follow a memorial at the FNM’s Mackey Street headquarters Tuesday evening.
No word yet on when the former Cabinet minister will be buried.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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