2009-10-03 11:46:36
Former Bahamas Deputy PM Clement Maynard Dies
Former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Clement Travelyan Maynard, whose contributions towards the nation's number one industry stand out among his greatest achievements, died at his Adelaide home after a long illness yesterday. Sir Clement turned 81 three weeks ago.

He suffered a stroke in 2008 and recently spent a brief time in hospital.

As a member of the movement for Majority Rule, he was widely regarded as a great warrior of the struggle and one of the fathers of the modern Bahamas.

In his 2007 memoirs "Put on More Speed", Sir Clement spoke of his love of country and devotion to its progress.

"Having been more than a spectator at the birth of our nation, The Bahamas, I am as emotionally attached as one could be," he wrote. "I love my country and its people, its symbols, its institutions; and wish them all the very best."

Governor General Arthur D. Hanna, also 81, told The Nassau Guardian yesterday afternoon he was deeply saddened by the news of Sir Clement's death.

"There's no doubt about it," said Hanna in an interview from Government House. "He was one of our finest warriors. In fact, he entered the struggle in the early days, back in the '50s, and he fought unceasingly right to the end."

According to a biography of Sir Clement, kept on file at Bahamas Information Services, his early political career started in 1954, the year after the Progressive Liberal Party was formed and Lynden Pindling became legal advisor.

In 1967, when the party was successful at the polls and became the new government, Sir Clement was appointed government leader in the Senate and also minister without portfolio.

In April 1968 when a general election was called, he contested the House of Assembly seat in his home constituency of Gambier, winning by a wide margin over his opponent.

He was first appointed minister of tourism in October 1969, having previously served as minister of works. He also served as interim minister of health.

Much of the success of the nation' s tourism industry has been credited to his efforts over the years. Under Sir Clement's direction, visitor arrivals tripled f from one million to an estimated three million in 1986. He had said that "in The Bahamas, tourism is everybody's business".

"I don't think that many people made a greater contribution than he did," Hanna said yesterday,

In his farewell speech in the House of Assembly in 1997, Sir Clement reflected on his years of public service.

"It has been an honor and privilege to serve the Bahamian people in the hallowed halls of Parliament, in the Honorable Upper Chamber, and this Honorable House for 30 challenging but pleasant years," Sir Clement said, "a period of my life that I would not exchange for anything. Thanks be to God."

In a statement yesterday, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said Sir Clement was a towering presence in the Bahamian political arena for half a century and was the longest-serving Minister in the PLP Government under the late Sir Lynden Pindling.

"Sir Clement was noted for his dignified bearing in and out of the political arena and maintained long-lasting friendships on both sides of the political divide," Ingraham said.

"My colleagues and I should like to express the gratitude of the nation for the service of Sir Clement and we extend out deepest sympathy to Lady Maynard? their children and the entire Maynard family."

Sir Clement started his public service as a laboratory technician with the Princess Margaret Hospital and played an important role in the trade union movement, serving as the founding Chairman of The Bahamas Public Service Union before entering politics, noted the prime minister.

Also sending his condolences was the MP for Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador Philip 'Brave' Davis.

"Again the Bahamas has just lost another giant, who stood on the front line as our people fought to build a better Bahamas," Davis said.

Former Attorney General Paul L Adderley said Sir Clement was a loyal friend who performed "magnificently" as a minister in the Pindling government

You could say anything to him," Adderley told The Nassau Guardian.

"There hasn't been a better one (tourism minister)"

Darrell Rolle, who also served as minister alongside Sir Clement, said he knew him since he (Rolle) was a boy. go by.

"He was instrumental in counsellng and guiding me in the sort of person I should be in my career," said Rolle, a former M.P.

"I remember Sir Clement as one of the great pioneers of the liberation struggle in The Bahamas for the masses and for all people in The Bahamas, a stalwart who saw a greater Bahamas and a better Bahamas for all of us. He was an innovative pioneer in the tourism industry in the Bahamas.

"I would classify him as one of those great patriots and nation builders whose contribution to the development of the modern Bahamas will forever stand as an example to all young, and not so young Bahamians, who wish to see a better Bahamas as the years go by. He was a great Bahamian."

Hanna added that Sir Clement was a man who "talked things out".

"And sometimes when those of us who are hotheads wanted to move faster than we should, he was that person who would hold you back," said the governor general, who offered Sir Clement's family his greatest sympathy.

When Sir Clement was born in the eastern district of New Providence on September 11, 1928, the total population of The Bahamas was 60,000.

Sir Clement is survived by his widow Lady Zoe Maynard, a daughter, Senator Allyson Bahamas and three sons, Peter, David and Clement III. he was predeceased by his son Julian.

Source: The Nassau Guardian
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