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Stuart Hayward (1942–2022): a determined campaigner on behalf of ordinary people

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Stuart Hayward enjoying Admiralty House Park (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Environmental crusader, broadcaster and one-time independent MP Stuart Hayward was also dedicated to his community, his wife said.

“One of the things that I admired most about Stuart was that he was a man of action,” Jamie Bacon told The Royal Gazette.

“Rather than complain about how things were, Stuart took steps to fix them.”

Mr Hayward proved a political upsetter in 1989 when he ousted Clarence James, of the ruling United Bermuda Party, from the strong seat of Pembroke West Central.

As the island’s last MP to win a constituency without the backing of a political party, Mr Hayward’s example gave hope to other mavericks.

Mr Hayward’s single term marked the first election of an independent to the House of Assembly in decades.

More recently, he championed the environment as founder of the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Task Force in 2007.

But Dr Bacon said that while Mr Hayward was synonymous to many with green advocacy, he was a determined campaigner on behalf of ordinary people.

She highlighted her husband’s mission to preserve Admiralty House as a park — challenging the Government in 1974 with a two-day concert at the Spanish Point property against plans to develop it as a hotel college.

Stuart Hayward in 1990 during his tenure as MP of Pembroke West Central (File photograph)
The Bermuda Entertainment Union pays tribute

The Bermuda Entertainment Union extends our sincere condolences to the family of Stuart Jackson Hayward. We are deeply saddened by his loss.

The BEU will forever be indebted to Stuart for his herculean efforts in 2005 when he was commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, to provide a report on musicians and the entertainment industry in Bermuda.

He galvanised the then Bermuda Federation of Musicians and Variety Artists to have a long overdue general meeting to elect a new executive committee to move the union forward.

We were pleased to note that along with his many accolades he was an accomplished musician as well.

We will truly miss our dear brother Stuart. May he rest in peace and rise in power.

Mr Hayward pioneered Transcendental Meditation in Bermuda, opening a centre teaching the meditation technique.

He was also certified in effectiveness training, helping others to enhance their communications, decision-making and relationship-building skills.

In 2000, Mr Hayward co-founded and chaired the Bermuda Leadership Forum, which called for a more civil tone in the island’s public discourse.

An accomplished musician — he was the son of jazz legend Lance Hayward, who died in 1991 — Mr Hayward led the hard-hitting 2005 report “Musicians and the Entertainment Industry in Bermuda”, highlighting the decline in the island’s once-thriving music scene.

Stuart Hayward (File photograph)

He pushed back against the overdevelopment of the island as a member of the Government’s Roads Advisory Council.

He became chairman of the Bermuda National Trust’s environmental committee, and founded Save Open Spaces in 1982.

For his life’s work on behalf of the environment, the Catholic Church in Bermuda honoured Mr Hayward with its Peace and Justice award in 2019.

At the time he said he was inspired to the cause in part because “Bermuda was such a near-perfect environment when I grew up”.

He credited his mother, Mary, for instilling strong environmental values in the family.

Stuart Hayward (File photograph)

Mr Hayward readily admitted to an unruly childhood, which got him sent to Grenada at age 14 to live with a Bermuda family, Albert and Violet Lightbourne.

He was placed in a boys’ boarding school, but ran away after an argument with the headteacher.

After getting sent home, Mr Hayward was one of the first to register at the Bermuda Technical Institute, with engineering studies to follow at Howard University.

From 1979, Mr Hayward became a prolific columnist as well as a radio broadcaster.

He took an extended break from Bermuda during the 1990s to obtain a master’s degree in environmental studies, and met his wife in 2000 as the keynote speaker of an environmental conference at the Bermuda College.

Dr Bacon, an expert on Bermuda’s amphibian life, said her husband became “a vortex” when he set his mind to a cause.

She added that after Mr Hayward’s last unsuccessful election bid in 2003, some branded him “a has-been, a political washout”.

“Oh, little did they know that the vortex was just catching his breath, and that he’d come back stronger than ever with the advent of BEST.”

· Stuart Jackson Hayward, a former independent MP and environmental activist, was born on May 19, 1942. He died on June 28, 2022, aged 80.

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Published June 30, 2022 at 4:14 pm (Updated June 30, 2022 at 4:14 pm)

Stuart Hayward (1942–2022): a determined campaigner on behalf of ordinary people

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