Wallace Groves comes together with Haywards

By Fred Sturrup | GB News Editor | [email protected]

Sir Jack Hayward died on January 13, in 2015. He was 91, and the last remaining member of the first big three, who history considers the prime investors/architects of Freeport and the wider Grand Bahama. It was not a planned union between the Haywards (Charles the father, and son Jack), and founding investor Wallace Groves. The American, Groves, who orchestrated the Hawksbill Creek Agreement with the then Bahamian Legislature back in 1955, was in deep financial trouble when the Haywards came on the scene, afterwards.
A whole lot of infrastructure had been put in place in the free port area and surrounding communities, including the east-most sector which was cut off by water from the far eastern settlements of Grand Bahama; and the Southern Shores and West Grand Bahama. Groves accomplished a lot, with other American investors. They turned marsh, mangrove-populated land into an advanced habitable environment.
Sir Jack, when I interviewed him several years before he died, once in his office at the Grand Bahama Port Authority, and on another occasion, over dinner at his home in Fortune Cay, informed, that one by one, Groves lost his early fellow investors. He was in dire financial shape when the Haywards came into the picture, Sir Jack told me.
Sir Charles liked what Groves had done with previous partners and opted to hitch his financial horse to Groves’ investment wagon. The rest is history, to be told in this ongoing GB News series. Sir Charles concentrated on the investment side, as a much-welcomed compliment to Groves, and the great transformation to what was later to be called the Magic City, began.
In the meantime, son Sir Jack became very much the leading socialite in the embryonic free port trade zone (later to be called formally Freeport). His interaction every evening with other more-social minded associates, led to another necessary aspect of a growing society. The social sector is an important element where, and whenever humans come together. Out of that came, eventually more sophisticated hangouts such as lounges and eating spots, and in particular, a social/news voice, called the Freeport News.
Sir Jack was indeed one of the founders of an institution, which was in the very fabric of Grand Bahama for 61 years, before official closure of the Freeport News on October 31, 2021. Although notably synonymous with the early Freeport and the evolving Grand Bahama Port Authority, Sir Jack was also considered the pioneer socialite. 

(The series continues in GB News. Watch for follow-up articles).

Dr. Hubert Minnis should give up seat to allow for totally new FNM leadership

(By Fred Sturrup | GB News Editor | [email protected])

Let’s be clear. Dr. Hubert Minnis will always be a shadow over Official Opposition Free National Movement Leader Michael Pintard’s head, as long as he remains in frontline politics. Dr. Minnis, who led the FNM to a lopsided defeat (7-32) at the hands of the incoming governing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) on September 16 last, succeeded in completely polarizing the organization that had opted for him in 2012. He got to lead the FNM almost by default, after the political heavyweight Hubert Ingraham resigned after three non-consecutive stints as prime minister of the country.

There was never a lot of confidence displayed in him (Dr. Minnis), but he just happened to be the best option at the time. His heavy-handed approach, seemingly his way or no other, had support only from those who were seen as his minions. Thankfully for the FNM, there were many others who advocated a more inclusive leadership style. Once the general elections of the aforementioned September 16, 2021, were over, and the dismal showing of the FNM was noted, there was a strong move to rid the party of Dr. Minnis in a leadership role.

The result was a one-day leadership convention on November 27. Pintard was opposed by two thought to be among the Dr. Minnis’ minions, Kwaisi Thompson and Iram Lewis. They didn’t stand a chance. Collectively, Pintard (297 votes), beat them handily (103) for Thompson and (44) for Lewis. They lost, in my firm view, particularly because of being associated with Dr. Minnis. On the other hand, Pintard was his own man.

He is of stern character, and has a fine political resume. Dr. Minnis, though, will continue to be somewhat of a distraction to the Pintard leadership once he keeps hanging around. Any slip-up by Pintard, will spur Dr. Minnis’ folks to apply inside party pressure. Make no mistake about it, Dr. Minnis is still a strong personality, as well.

The alternative, which we have to live with for the normal term, unless something unforeseen happens, was not all that compelling. Oh, but the people disdained Dr. Minnis. They wanted no part of him for another term and his colleagues, accordingly, suffered. He caused his Cabinet ministers and others down the line, hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries, that would have been sent to their accounts until May of next year. The snap election was a terrible strategy.
There definitely is a disconnection between Dr. Minnis and the FNM support base.
He should go altogether. That way, Pintard would have a good chance for a new-direction leadership.

Presenting Covid-19 Packages

Rotary of Sunset President Fred Sturrup and Grand Bahama Port Authority Chair Person Sarah St. George led an initiative, on Thursday Nov. 18, presenting COVID-18 packages to residents of Pelican Point. Along with Sturrup from Rotary Sunset was Past President Tony Miller.

Grand Bahama Port Authority an effective quasi-government

(By Fred Sturrup | GB News Editor | [email protected])

The Legislature of The Bahamas Islands, with the financial guru, Attorney Stafford Sands, a prominent spokesman on national business deals, leading the discussions, an arrangement with the late Wallace Groves, an American with a bit of a tainted past, was agreed to. The area of Grand Bahama situated in the center of the island was the focal point.
Thus came into being, the Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA). That signed document gave Grooves and his associates the right to control an area designated between Eight Mile Rock in the west and the lower end of East Grand Bahama, with free trade zone status. What evolved was a free port locale, later to be known as the City of Freeport. The Story of Freeport, is one of the special exclusive pieces of history to be found in this blog. 


Galaxy Lounge

Galaxy Lounge

Shaolin Rolle’s Galaxy Lounge is one of the popular spots in Grand Bahama. It is located on Oak Street, Freeport in the Commercial District. Pictured from left are: Roland Rolle, Gladstone’Moon’ McPhee, Cleveland Duncombe and Ernie Barr Jr.