The son of Andrew (Dud) and Isadora Maynard, Charles Maynard’s earliest memories were filled with both the ideals and the struggles of nation building; the transforming love of country, the virtues of service and the kinds of hope and pride that can strengthen a whole people. When he was elected to the House of Assembly in 2007 for the people of Golden Isles, he realised the fullness of the many national ideals that shaped his early years.
He was just 9 years old when he first experienced a full all-out campaign. His father had taken him and his brother Andrew on the campaign trail to Eleuthera. Although even in the years that came later his father said Charles had never expressed an interest in one day becoming a Member of Parliament, his appeal and innate attraction to persons they met everywhere was evident from that very trip. The 9 year old Charles demonstrated a sociability and love of people well beyond his years and as he grew, so too did his passion of doing whatever he could to help better the lives of others. Especially those considered least fortunate.
As Charles got more involved in politics, he worked very hard; first alongside his father and later with others. Distinguishing himself and carving his own political identity, in the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), the Coalition for Democratic Reform (CDR) and finally in the Free National Movement (FNM). Former Prime Minister and former Leader of the FNM, Right Honourable Hubert A. Ingraham saw the magnitude of Charles’ potential. He demonstrated his trust and confidence in that potential when he gave Charles the opportunity and the platform to follow his passions. In May 2007 Charles was appointed Minister of State for Culture. A position he held until November 2009, then in December 2009 he was named Minister of Youth Sports and Culture.
When Charles spoke of his career in Government, he spoke of honour and gratitude, because for him, it was truly a privilege to hold so high an office, in representation of people who had shown their trust in him and had demonstrated their belief in his ideals when they elected him to office. He felt especially humbled when on the evening of May 26th he was elected Chairman of the Free National Movement. For him, it was an awesome privilege and he was eager to begin his work.
The joys and traits that defined Charles as a man were all qualities that followed him over the course of his whole life, from his days of early childhood. He was an incredibly likable person who was loved and regarded highly by many. His most constant accessory was his smile, his good natured spirit, the kindliness and warmth he brought to people. Described by close friends as having more charisma than most men they knew, Charles was a man of broad shoulders, with an uncanny ability to bring calm, reason and understanding to even the most contentious situations.
As a member of the Government, his portfolio of responsibilities included areas sometimes subject to controversy. Observers say that you always knew when Minister Maynard was about to speak in a meeting or gathering. You would hear lots of voices, sometimes seemingly all at once. Some raised, some angry. Then you would hear silence. That’s when you knew Charles was about to speak.
As a politician he often frustrated his campaign workers; staying in homes for hours on end, talking to constituents. Even if 3 out of 4 voters in a single household pledged their support to him and his party, he would remain in that home for as long as they’d allow, talking to that fourth individual. Once admonished by a campaign organiser that “sometimes you just can’t change people”, Charles replied in his signature jovial way, “Well I’ll die trying”.
As a husband, father, brother, uncle and son, his love and the love he received was enormous. Charles grew up in a home where emphasis on the importance of family and the importance of being a close-knit family, were daily lessons; lessons that he took with him when he started his own family.
There were special days, when he, his wife and three daughters all piled up and slept in he and Zelena’s bed. Just out of the sheer joy of having everyone together, having their dad to themselves instead of consumed by work. In the morning, Charles would rouse everyone with his special breakfasts of pancakes, Italian sausages, eggs and more; something that he simply enjoyed doing for and with his family. Like the ham he made for larger family get-togethers, when he, his wife and girls, parents, siblings and their families all got together. His nieces describe the ham as “perfectly heavenly”. In fact, with his wife and sister Nina he shared his secret fantasy of one day having a life like the host of the popular cable-television show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
His daughter Charlsea especially remembers a family holiday outing of boating, beaching and dominoes that he and his family shared with his closest friends Geoffrey and Lorne, their spouses and families.
His family describes a young Charles as someone who was always filled with ideas. Someone who was relentless in his pursuits and who even as a very young ‘Charlsie’, never accepted a given explanation no matter the situation. He was a thinker who always needed proof; or “poof” as he was only able to manage way back then.
They remember a little boy who collected odd little things, perhaps a nail, a marble, some seemingly random piece of iron or even a rock; things that he stored in a little treasure trove in his bedroom. A little boy who at barely 4 years of age decided he’d attempt to walk all the way home to the western end of the island from the home of a relative on the eastern end, because he didn’t feel taken seriously enough when he repeatedly said to his family that he was ready to go home. They remember a 2½ year old climbing a mango tree in the back yard. Each day he was collected from school, he was the dirtiest little boy one could imagine, but Charlie would tell you, that every stain and clump of mud on his school uniform every day, was the proof of a day fully explored and well lived.
His love of Junkanoo was also a defining characteristic of who he was, that emerged early in his life. At age 4 he cried and pleaded to be allowed to rush on Bay St. with his father who not only gave in to his plea, but had a special pair of cowbells made just for him. At his mother’s insistence however, his father got a length of rope; one end he tied around Charles’ waist and the other around his own, ensuring that he wouldn’t get lost in the crowd.
Close friend Phil Cooper, who was at his side throughout his political journey, first met a near 14 year old Charles, who on that day eagerly replied “yes sir, I want to rush with the Saxons” when Phil presented him with the opportunity that Charles at the time desired most. Charles’ mum Isadora pulled Phil to the side that day and told him “I am giving you my son, take care of him”. Those were the words that came back to him in the very early hour of that August 14th morning when minutes after leaving Blackwood in North Abaco, the man he loved like a son, as a brother, as a friend, died in his arms.
Charles Travelyn Maynard was born on June 6th in 1970 in New Providence, to Andrew (Dud) and Isadora, one day before their 7th wedding anniversary. Isadora describes the day of his birth as a glorious day, one she’ll never forget. On that day she said she felt in love with the world that had given her the second son she had prayed for. It was a happiness she said she never before felt and which she says has never been matched.
He was his wife’s best friend and a loving father to his children. Charles T. Maynard is survived by …
His loving wife, Zelena; Three daughters: Charlsea, Charnae & Joelise; Parents: Edward Andrew ‘Dud’ and Isadora Maynard; Siblings and their spouses: Nina, Edward Andrew II and Kathleen Maynard, Laverne and Mark Cartwright, Paul and Patrice, Christian Sr., Ednal and Onedia Maynard and Phillippa Sands; Nieces & Nephews: Karette, Kareem, Khandii, Edwina, Christopher, Pierre, Patricia, Christian Jr., Brandi, Aylsse, Oryonne Maynard, Tajhia and Tanaj Cartwright, Shonelle, Melanie, Maritsa and Miranda, Mathew & Makayla Walker, Tameko, Deja, Danielle, Stevenson Jr, Iesha, Conrad, Naja, Erinique Neymour, Lavanda and D’quel Coakley, Raynard and Carissa Wood, Sanchez and Michella Newbold, and Jared and Dyson Bain; Grand Nieces & Nephews: Dyllan, Charity, Kaelyn, Brandon, Kaydyn and Bella; Brothers and Sisters in- law: Juanita, Walter and Dianne , Stevenson Sr, Aaron, Joseph, Iris, Zippora, Delerease, and Mary Neymour; Best Friends and Brothers for thirty-seven years, their spouses and families: Lee Wallace, Lorne and Jennifer Basden, Reverend Lavardo and Camille Duncanson; Grand Uncles: Robert Thompson (Florida), Deacon Maxwell Stubbs; Uncles and Aunts: Irwin Stubbs, Dr. Norris and Eloise Stubbs, Eric and Nellie Marshall, Barbara Stubbs, Zoe Lady Maynard, Kathleen Smith, Louise Tynes; Cousins and their families: George and Michelle Miller, Dr. Peter and Dianne Maynard, Senator The Honourable Allyson and Maxwell Gibson, David and Tonia, Clement III and Heather Maynard, Georgette Maynard and family, Andrea Armbrister, Robert Maynard, Sonia and Percival “Vola” Francis, Eric and Sharon, Gregory, Andre, Stephen and Patrick (Eleuthera) Maynard, Louise Dawkins, Emil, Laverne and Patrick Maynard, Dr. Brian and Linda Tynes, Andrew, Ernest and Elizabeth Tynes, Georgiana and Wilbur Machurin, Michael Smith, Angela and Glen Smith, Mark and Kim Stubbs, Antoinette Russell, Greig Stubbs, Ervine and Anthony Moxey, Tammice Clarke, Orris and Veronica Marshall, Lolitta and Ricardo Rolle, Dwight Marshall, Todd and Shanna Marshall, Gia and Tyrone Minns, Quistal and Norman Cooper, Nadia and Giovanni Stubbs, Devlin Stubbs, Arbra Stubbs, Ivoine W. Ingraham, Kendall Ingraham, Dereck Roach, Suzette Culmer, Philip and Sharlamae Stubbs, Dainette and Ivan Cleare, Sharon and Lee Rahming, Marsha and Reverend Wesley Thompson, Neil Stubbs; Special friends: Geoffrey and Denise Thompson and Family, Gabriella Frazer and Family, Philip and Lana Cooper and Family, Reverend Alphonso and Lura Rolle and Family, Ronnie and Joan Thomas (Florida), Mrs. Audrey Evans, Nurse Gloria Strachan, Elwood Cephas and Family, Winston and Dalia Pinnock and Family, Jackie Adderley, The Right Honourable Hubert A and Delores Ingraham, The Honourable Bernard J. and Portia Nottage, The Bullard Family, Christopher Richardson, Unetha Sherman, Aileen Spenser, Glen Sherman, Jerome Sawyer, Hope Ratliffe, Ricardo Knowles, Ersley and Portia Johnson and Family, Phenton Neymour and Family, Sean and Kayla Dean and Family, Philip Lightbourne, The Basden Family, Philip and Sara Constantine and family, Donella Culmer and family, James Anderson and family, Sam and Patrice Brown and family, Brittney Dorsett, Effie and Tamika Edgecombe, The Management Team and staff of The Corner Hotel, and The Cool Spot Cafe, The Dog House Crew, Dennis Woodside, Officers and Members of the Golden Isles Constiuency Association, The leadership and entire Free National Movement family, The Golden Isles Family, The Saxson Superstars and the wider junkanoo community, The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Affiliate Columbus # 16 and the entire Prince Hall family, The staff of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Queens College Class of 1986, and a host of other relatives and friends too numerous to mention.