" If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." Matthew 17:20
Lady Jacqueline Fawkes, wife of Sir Randol F. Fawkes and immediate past president of the Bahamas YWCA, was born in West End, Grand Bahama in 1930. A lively and energetic child, she was ever willing to lend assistance to her parents in the raising of their ten children.
At the age of twelve, Lady Fawkes exhausted the limited educational opportunities that were afforded her on this tiny family island settlement and became a teacher at the West End All Age School, a position that she held for three years.
It was in 1946 that her parents, Leonard and Joanna Bethel, on learning that the Anglican Diocese was opening a high school in Nassau, made a decision to uproot their family from West End and move to the Capital. Lady Fawkes was among the first students to enroll in St. John’s College and bestowed on her was the honor of becoming the first Head Girl of that institution.
Upon graduation, Jacqueline found employment in the law offices of Randol Fawkes, a young barrister who had been called to the bar in 1948 and shortly thereafter, he was retained by the Bahamas YWCA to be their attorney-at-law.
After their marriage in 1951, it was Sir Randol who encouraged his wife to lend support to the work of this charitable association.
Contribution to the YWCA
From 1962-1964, Lady Fawkes served as President of the Adult Group of the YWCA and worked along with the then National President, Mrs. Dora Sands, under whose leadership the YWCA’s headquarters and Activity Centre was built.
After an absence of twelve years, Lady Fawkes was invited in 1986 to return to the YWCA; she accepted the offer and became the National President in 1987. Lady Fawkes said that when she commenced her term of office, it became apparent to her that along with the creation of community programs, a financial infrastructure was required to ensure the continuity and sustaining of the YWCA movement in The Bahamas. Consequently, after constructing a basketball and tennis complex, the membership embarked on the affordable housing project.
In 2003, the YWCA made the final payment on the housing project which currently serves two vital purposes: affordable housing for those in need and the generating of revenue to fund the work of the local YWCA Association.
Lady Fawkes remains actively involved in Phase 3 of the Affordable Housing Program which is a work currently in progress.
Sir Randol (deceased) and Lady Fawkes are the proud parents of three sons and a daughter.