Lady Jacqueline Fawkes
1930 – 2019
Photo courtesy: http://www.sirrandolfawkes.com/
By Hadassah Deleveaux (née Hall)
Condolences to my seventh grade English teacher, Rosalie Fawkes and her family as their dear mother, Lady Jacqueline Fawkes, wife of the late freedom fighter, Sir Randol Fawkes, passed away yesterday.
Although I did not have the privilege of interviewing Lady Fawkes, during my interview with her daughter for this blog, I realized that the wife of Sir Randol was not in the forefront of the battle for equal rights, but she certainly was a quiet force and helpmate, strategically moving behind the scenes to support her husband’s quest for equality for all. She was truly his backbone.
When I drove through the gates of La Campanella (The Bells), situated on John F. Kennedy Drive just a few months ago, immediately to the right stood the house of Sir Randol and Lady Fawkes. I really wish I was able to have a conversation with her, but respected it was not possible at that time.
Nevertheless, I was taken down history lane and learned so much about the Fawkes family who once lived on McPherson Street in Grants Town, over the hill. My former English teacher really is a treasure trove of information about the history behind a revolutionary movement that saw her father involved in the 1958 general strike for better wages and working conditions; later, an arrest and a charge of trespassing was brought forth, and finally there was the sedition trial.
Although Ms. Fawkes mentioned the “firestorm” her father encountered during his years of activism, she revealed that for the most part, her parents shielded the children from the tumult that swirled around them in their formative years.
“My parents kept us occupied with piano lessons and almost daily visits of the Fort Hill and we were not burdened by the battles fought by my father. I wish that I had known then that history was being made…I would have tried to be more observant,” she said.
Currently, Ms. Fawkes serves as General Secretary of the the Young Women’s Christian Association of The Bahamas (YWCA). She informed me that she started attending YWCA meetings with her mother in 1960 and in 1986 when Lady Fawkes was invited to return to the Y, she went along with her mother and supported her presidency of which the major initiative was the introduction of the Affordable Housing Program; it is an ongoing and expanding project. It will definitely be remembered as a major part of Lady Fawkes’ legacy.
Ms. Fawkes and her mother, Lady Jacqueline Fawkes, proudly stand in front of the Affordable Housing Program at the YWCA Dolphin Drive, which was initiated during her mother’s presidency.
Photo courtesy: Rosalie Fawkes
May the family be comforted by the Lord.