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(Audio) Early years of Sir Jack Hayward in Freeport, Grand Bahama (recorded 1993)
By The Bahamas Weekly News Team
Jan 16, 2015 - 3:14:43 PM

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Freeport, Grand Bahama Island – In tribute to the late Sir Jack Hayward, TheBahamasWeekly.com is pleased to share this exclusive audio interview with Sir Jack Hayward conducted in 1993 by David Mackey, cohost of a popular radio program, Bahamian Slam Jam during the early 90’s. Bahamian Slam Jam aired both in The Bahamas and in South Florida via ZNS3. In this informative down-to-earth sit down interview, Sir Jack Hayward discusses numerous topics including:
  • The Hawksbill Creek Agreement
  • The conditions of life on Grand Bahama during the early days
  • His beloved football team, The Wolverhampton Wanderers
  • The Grand Bahama Port Authority and its relationship with The Bahamas Government at that time (1993).
  • Bonded licenses.
  • A proposed satellite university for Grand Bahama that would have brought thousands of students to the island.
  • The processes involved in gaining a business license to operate conduct business in Freeport at that time. Freeport International Airport.
  • Sir Jack’s dream of a bridge between Grand Bahama and Abaco (GRABACO)
  • The days when Freeport enjoyed the lowest cost of energy in The Bahamas, during the Grand Bahama Port Authority’s partnership with Southern Electric.

Sir Jack said of life in Freeport in the early days, “I came here in 1956, a year after the agreement (HBCA) had been signed and of course there was nothing here. We all lived in quonset huts, barracks… There were no roads, there was no television…radio we picked up from Florida. The generator that supplied us with primitive electricity went off at 10 o clock at night and life was very primitive, we were dredging the harbour at that time to get the agreement into force.”

On the topic of a bridge between Abaco and Grand Bahama (GRABACO), Sir Jack said, "It could be feasible to join the two islands; the North shore of Grand Bahama with the Southern Shore of Abaco that wraps around the top of us by a bridge. It would be similar to the overseas highway that links Florida to The Keys…I’ve always had the dream of joining the two islands via bridge…I’ve had this dream and I think it might happen in the next few years…I’d like to still be alive and cut the ribbon.”

Sir Jack reminisced about the first radio spots he voiced in the early 1960’s for their first hotel, “I used to put on a very British accent, far more British than I am at the moment, and I would finish off with, 'See your travel agent and hop on over!'”

It is important to note that the backdrop of this interview was just after the transfer of Bahamian governance from the PLP to the then new Hubert Ingraham FNM administration.

The Bahamas Weekly News team sends condolences out to the family of Sir Jack Hayward as the entire Bahamas mourns the death of a man who truly made a difference. Sir Jack Arnold Hayward, OBE (14 June 1923 – 13 January 2015), dead at 91 years old.

If you encounter problems playing the audio above, Click HERE to download.

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