|MPs pay tribute to Maynard|
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Aug 16, 2012
When Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Charles Maynard collapsed and died in Abaco early Tuesday morning, FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis was elsewhere on that island.
Yesterday, a teary-eyed Minnis told the House of Assembly one of the saddest moments for him was receiving the call after Maynard collapsed, and knowing he was not on the scene.
“If only I was there,” said Minnis, a medical doctor, who along with Maynard and other FNMs were campaigning in North Abaco in anticipation of a by-election later in the year.
The FNM previously said Minnis gave verbal instructions in an attempt to revive Maynard, who had been riding with FNM Secretary General Michael Foulkes right before his death.
Maynard died of an apparent heart attack.
Minnis joined Prime Minister Perry Christie and other members of Parliament in paying tribute to Maynard in the House of Assembly yesterday.
There was also a moment of silence for the late former minister of youth, sports and culture.
Minnis said Maynard’s death has dealt a devastating blow to the party and the country.
“His absolute commitment to do what was right and true to his principles is best shown in his preparedness to resign from the party of his youth (the Progressive Liberal Party), firstly to follow another and then assist in forming a third political party, the Coalition for Democratic Reform (CDR), and secondly, when his then leader (Dr. Bernard Nottage) returned to the party he had left, to have the courage and self-confidence to chart a sudden infirmity which so rudely and so suddenly stole his youthful life in Abaco just over a day ago,” Minnis said.
He continued, “His passing has dealt a devastating blow to the Official Opposition, for we had reposed so much hope in the bright promise he seemed to embody, a promise of a new generation of responsible, youthful but experienced leadership.”
Maynard was the co-ordinator for the FNM’s North Abaco by-election campaign. He was elected chairman of the party in May after he lost his Golden Isles seat in the general election, and his party was voted out of office.
Dr. Nottage, former leader of the CDR and current minister of national security, said he didn’t believe the news of Maynard’s passing at first.
“When his sister called me yesterday morning to tell me about his death I could not believe it,” he said. “I walked around in a daze for a while.”
He continued, “But Charles is gone now, Mr. Speaker, and I agree with all those who said he left a legacy behind.
“He was an enthusiastic, vibrant, young man who easily connected with others, who was something of a leader in his own right and who would get his contemporaries and peers to think the way he did.”
Nottage said during the days of the CDR, Maynard “had my back and I had his”.
Prime Minister Christie echoed similar sentiments, adding that Maynard had “great promise”.
“We do not measure life in terms of quantity of years served, passed or lived, but what you do within that time,” Christie said.
Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin said that although she and Maynard used to cross swords during his time in Parliament, they always stayed good friends outside of politics.
A date for Maynard’s funeral has not yet been set, according to his family.