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Memoirs a fond look back at island life

Favourite stories: author and renowned conservationist Stuart Hayward has a new book in stores now

Renowned conservationist Stuart Hayward has taken a stroll down memory lane to share a collection of comic capers and treasured traditions from his childhood.

My Bermuda: Memoirs of an Island Boy is a collation of more than 100 columns Mr Hayward wrote for The Bermudian magazine between 1985 and 1994 looking back at his upbringing and family life.

The book, which hit the shelves in Bermuda this week, is the culmination of two years’ work; a remarkable achievement given that he embarked on the project just before his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.

“It has been harder; things take a lot longer for me to do these days,” Mr Hayward said. “Just the everyday internal content and routine that used to be automatic, now has to be learnt again.”

The idea for his first book since he co-edited and co-authored Bermuda’s Delicate Balance in 1981 came from a 70th birthday present from his sister, Sylvia Hayward-Harris.

Ms Hayward-Harris put together a small book of her own favourite stories written by her brother for The Bermudian. Just over a year later he started work on a more definitive collection.

“The thing that struck me reading back over them is what a saint my mother was,” Mr Hayward said. “I have really enjoyed looking back again; some of the stories still tickle me today.

“There’s tales about windsurfing, teaching my stepdaughter to ride her bike and getting caught in a hurricane with my father, who was blind.

“There’s a few old pictures too; some of which are very precious like the old ones of my dad.

“I am very glad to have completed the project and very proud too. It is a validation of sorts. Now all these stories are in one place, they can be read and shared again and again.”

Part of the proceeds of the book will go towards the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce, which Mr Hayward has continued to work for as president during the project.

The official launch of the book will take place at Brown & Co between 12pm and 2pm on Saturday.