Tributes pour in following death of Charles Maynard
Freeport News Reporter
Free National Movement (FNM) chairman Charles Maynard has died after suffering a massive heart attack early Tuesday morning.
The 42-year-old former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture and former Member of Parliament for Golden Isles was on the island of Abaco campaigning for the upcoming North Abaco by-election when he passed away, a press release from the FNM said.
"The passing of our national chairman, Charles Maynard, is a tremendous loss of a rising political leader and public servant, not only to the FNM, but also to our beloved country. The leader, officers and members of the Free National Movement extend to his wife and family, to his parents and other relatives our deepest and most prayerful sympathy. All of us share in their loss," the party said.
According to the release, Maynard who was acting as coordinator for the by-election was in a vehicle along with FNM secretary general Michael Foulkes in the Blackwood area, heading into Dundas and Murphy Town around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday when he collapsed and died.
On Grand Bahama, David Thompson national vice chairman of the FNM said the death of Maynard was both shocking and devastating.
"As our chairman he was vibrant, he was dynamic, he was full of youth and vigor and he was definitely focused. He was on the job in North Abaco coordinating the by-election efforts of the Free National Movement for that by-election seat, which we expect to win," he said.
Thompson said Maynard would be sorely missed and hard to replace.
"During his lifetime he demonstrated his ability and capacity as a minister, as a Member of Parliament, he served his constituents well and they loved him," he said.
He noted that Maynard would have made a tremendous impact on the sports world and the opening of the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium was his crowning glory.
"We think that he will be hard to replace as a young man full of enthusiasm who was committed to involving and causing the participation of young people not only in the Free National Movement party, but as well in the country," Thompson said.
He noted that Maynard would be remembered for co-chairing the Jump Start Program, which made it easier for young Bahamians to start businesses and his involvement in other youth initiatives like the Self Starter Program and Volunteer Bahamas.
"These were the kinds of programs that he supported because he was a lover of people. People loved him, he loved them, he loved to travel to all of our family islands to meet with them and he will be remembered as a person who believed in touching and smiling and being happy with people," Thompson said.
"The last time I remember seeing him he was bubbly and full of joy and he expressed optimism at everything that was going on. He was a part of a new dynamic leadership for a new generation of Bahamians and he was committed to making life better for Bahamians wherever they may be through his life and through his work."
He said Maynard had a bright future ahead of him, but what he accomplished while alive speaks volumes about his commitment, integrity and dedication.
"People remember that Charles Maynard came out of the bosom of the PLP. His father Andrew "Dud" Maynard was a legendary figure in the Progressive Liberal Party movement. He would have tried to establish in our democracy his own party and cut his own path and when that didn't work he saw fit to join with the Free National Movement and the Ingraham administration and he was successful as a Member of Parliament for the Free National Movement. He was successful as a government minister for the Free National Movement," Thompson said.
He noted that Maynard's political legacy would be that of a life of service and commitment.
The Bahamas National Youth Council (BNYC) in a press release expressed its condolences to Maynard's family over his sudden death, noting that he was a huge supporter of the organization.
"He always believed that there should be a close working relationship with BNYC and the Ministry of Youth, which fostered further positive progression of our nation's youth. Furthermore, Maynard was a young leader in the former government, a man who enjoyed Bahamian culture and believed in the development of all young Bahamians. Words cannot express the sadness that our organization feels at this moment."
The release noted that Maynard was a blessing to the nation and his contributions would always be remembered.
His wife Zelena Maynard and his three children survive Maynard, who joined the FNM in 2006 after the Coalition for Democratic Reform dissolved.
© 2012 The Freeport News