Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham described Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Charles Maynard as a stubborn yet devoted man he became very close with during the course of his political career. Charles Maynard, 42, died from a massive heart attack on Tuesday morning. Ingraham said he was shocked and bewildered when he learned of Maynard's passing. "It's a big blow for the FNM," said Ingraham at the home of Maynard's parents on Wednesday. "There are not that many Charlies around. The party made a very good choice when it selected Charlie as the chairman. "Hopefully, the party will find somebody similar to Charlie, but Charlie is very difficult to replace.
He knows lots of people, and he is politically very well aware. [He had] good political instincts, one of the few persons I know who could stand up for an hour without a note in sight and make sense." According to the party, Maynard was riding in the Blackwood area of North Abaco with Secretary General Michael Foulkes right before he fell ill and died. The former minister of youth, sports and culture 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.
FNM officials said they suspended the North Abaco campaign until after Maynard's funeral. Maynard's family said funeral arrangements had not yet been finalized. Officials said Dr. Duane Sands or Darron Cash, both deputy chairmen of the party, will be appointed to act as chairman until a replacement is selected. The party said it would not hold a convention to select a new chairman, but would do so internally. "Charlie was an excellent choice to coordinate that activity for the party down there," Ingraham said. "It won't be easy to replace Charlie down there. There aren't many Charlies in the party quite frankly." Ingraham said he got the call about Maynard's death around 4 a.m. Tuesday from former speaker of the House Alvin Smith. "[I was] totally surprised," he said.
"I had no indication that Charlie was ill or had any ailment other than he didn't eat seafood. He was a very active person. When I would be walking in the morning down Cable Beach, Charlie would run past me, come back and pass me [again]; he was very active. "It's a great loss for us in The Bahamas. Charlie was a very devoted and committed soul, bright. "In fact, Charlie and I got very close. One of the things about Charlie was his stubbornness. If he had a point of view you couldn't change his mind and he would wear you down. "I liked him very much and I am very sad that Charlie is not with us." Ingraham said Maynard was one of his bright stars during his administration.
"It didn't take me long to figure out that Charlie was a person who stood out and as soon as the opportunity arose I made him a full minister," Ingraham said. "In fact, I suspect that (former Minister of State for Immigration) Branville McCartney left the FNM because I made Charlie a minister over him. "He thought he should have been minister instead of Charlie. I was very pleased with Charlie and his performance; he did an excellent job." Ingraham said Maynard's family should be proud of him. "I'm certainly very proud of him as his (now former) leader in the party," Ingraham said.
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