Edward St George
The Daily Telegraph & telegraph.co.uk
Edward St George, who died in Houston, Texas, on December 20 aged 76, was a prominent figure in the life of the Bahamas and well known in the British racing world as owner of the Lucayan Stud at Newmarket.
Having served as Chief Magistrate (and for a time acting Solicitor General) in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, from 1956 to 1960, St George returned there in 1967 to set up in legal practice and to work with Sir Charles Hayward, a principal shareholder in the Grand Bahama Port Authority.
A decade later, St George and Sir Charles's son, Sir "Union" Jack Hayward, took over the management of the Port Authority, which, as a subsidiary of an American company since the 1940s, had been established as a concern with a bright future by the American businessman Wallace Groves.
Thanks to Grove's foresight and negotiating skills, the Port Authority had obtained the benefit of decades-long exemption, in the Grand Bahama Freeport and the Lucaya area of the island, from all import duties and from all taxes on income, property, capital gains, dividends and other receipts.
In 1979, in the space of a hectic 30 days, Edward St George and Jack Hayward succeeded in raising $42 million to buy out Wallace Grove's 42 per cent shareholding in the Port Authority. Subsequently, having borrowed a further $70 million, they turned the Authority into a private company.
As co-chairman, St George designed a new courthouse for Grand Bahama, and also Port Lucaya, a Bahamian-style port-side complex of shops, bars and restaurants. In partnership with Hutchison Whampoa, of Hong Kong, the Authority also constructed a new industrial harbour for large container ships, with the largest dry dock in the world, the extensive Our Lucaya complex of hotels, shops and casino, and a new international airport.
As a result of these developments, Grand Bahama became the commercial centre of the Bahamas, and the achievements of the Port Authority provided a model for the working of private enterprise in co-operation with government. Having visited Grand Bahama in 2003, Thabo Mbeki, the President of South Africa, invited St George to share the benefit of his experience with the South African business community.
On the Turf, the name St George was for many years associated with Charles St George, Edward's elder brother. After Charles's death in 1992, Edward, a lifelong racing enthusiast, kept on his brother's Sefton Lodge stables at Newmarket, leasing the yard, as the Lucayan Stud, to David Loder, and adopting his brother's black and white chevron silks.
Initially, St George sent Loder 12 horses to train; later he was to have as many as 25 horses in training, among them Desert Prince, winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in 1998. A shrewd judge of ability - and of form - St George engaged the services of Frankie Dettori and Olivier Peslier long before those two became household names. Never a good loser, St George saw to it that his racing enterprises paid for themselves.
Edward Gerald Patrick St George was born at Lija, on Malta, on March 6 1928, a son of the Marquis Zimmerman-Barbaro St George. Paddling in the sea during a childhood holiday with his nanny at Camaiore in Italy, young Teddy was patted on the head by Il Duce; but he was lucky to come through the Second World War unscathed.
Bicycling along a road on Malta, he was strafed by a Luftwaffe fighter pilot in a Messerschmitt, and the convoy in which he was subsequently sent to England, for boarding school, came under regular night attack by U-boats.
Teddy was fortunate, too, to survive his primitive preparatory school, a bleak Roman Catholic establishment run by cane-wielding monks. He did not see his mother for four years. Downside followed and then Merton College, Oxford, where he took a First in Jurisprudence. He was called to the Bar by Inner Temple in 1951.
His cosmopolitan circle of friends at university had included two members of Bhutan's royal family. After Oxford, during a two-year world tour, St George visited Bhutan and Nepal and later, when in practice at the Bar in London, he acted for a time as a legal adviser to the King of Bhutan.
St George was 28 when he was appointed Chief Magistrate in Nassau, one of the least onerous Colonial Service posts available. During his tour in the Bahamas, he sent no one to prison, but became a popular fourth at the bridge tables in the prosperous residential neighbourhood of Lyford Cay. After Nassau, from 1960 to 1967, St George worked as a legal adviser to the United Nations Organisation, based in Beirut. His duties took him to North Africa, the Middle East, Fiji, the Philippines, Indonesia and elsewhere.
St George always maintained his links with Malta, taking his family back for reunions with their many cousins on the island. He was honorary president of the Sta Maria and Lourdes band clubs at Qrendi, and would be carried shoulder-high through the streets there during noisy feast-day processions.
Besides racing, his sporting interests included American football; he was a director of the American Superbowl championships, and he negotiated the move of the LA Rams to Missouri as the St Louis Rams. He was also an avid collector of art, coins and jade, and at one point considered buying Christie's, the fine art auctioneers, and Spink's, the coin specialists.
St George married first, in 1954, Kathleen Hill, a daughter of William Hill, the bookmaker; they had two daughters. After his first wife's death, St George married secondly, in 1968, Mary Mullen, an American; they had a daughter. He married thirdly, in 1979, Lady Henrietta FitzRoy, a daughter of the present Duke of Grafton; they had a son and a daughter.
With Lady Henrietta, St George founded the Grand Bahama Children's Home, the Beacon School for handicapped children, and various other institutions concerned with education and the provision of social relief.
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