Nassau, BAHAMAS – By all accounts the late Francis Alexander Garraway was a man well ahead of his time. The consummate professional land surveyor, Mr. Garraway’s resourcefulness, creativity and insatiable desire for knowledge will be memorialized through a special endowment established in his name at The College of The Bahamas.
In a lasting tribute to his memory and legacy, Mr. Garraway’s family recently gave a generous $100,000 gift to The College of The Bahamas to establish the Francis Alexander Garraway Memorial Endowment. The endowment will fund scholarships in perpetuity for undergraduate engineering students at The College.
“Daddy always stressed the need for more qualified surveyors in The Bahamas and encouraged those he worked with to get formal qualifications and become certified. It was this lack of national capacity that brought my father and many other qualified West Indian surveyors to The Bahamas, in the first place,” Mrs. Eleanor Philips recalled about her father, a native of Dominica. “But the role of COB can’t be understated in the national development of our human resources in this country… and this scholarship and endowment will do a lot to encourage students to enter the [surveying] field.”
Mr. Garraway migrated to The Bahamas from Dominica in 1955 to join the Crown Lands Department, now the Department of Lands and Surveys. During his career, he remained committed to lifelong learning and often encouraged colleagues and his children to pursue higher learning and professional certifications. That is why the endowment to fund scholarships at The College is such a fitting tribute.
The College of The Bahamas accepts a $100,000 gift from the Garraway family to fund scholarships for engineering students through the Francis A. Garraway Memorial Endowment. From left are: Dr. Carlton Watson, Chair, School of Mathematics, Physics and Technology; Mr. Lionel Johnson, Dean, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences; Dr. Betsy Boze, College President; Mrs. Anne Garraway, wife of the late Francis A. Garraway; Mrs. Eleanor Phillips, Mrs. Isla Dean, Mr. Michael Garraway and Mr. Gregory Garraway, children of Francis Garraway. (Photo courtesy of The Office of Communication.)
“Daddy always taught us to give back, and this is what today is all about. Education was very important to my father and he ensured through great personal sacrifice that we all received a university education. All four of the Garraway children attended COB and we are all in some way, shape or form affiliated with The College,” Mrs. Philips added.
Mr. Garraway’s family and closest friends gathered at the Chapter One bookstore at COB for a special private announcement of the gift, a collective contribution from his wife, children and extended family members. Beginning Fall 2012, the endowment will fund four-year scholarships for full-time civil engineering majors with an interest in land surveying and who demonstrate financial need.
President of The College of The Bahamas, Dr. Betsy Vogel-Boze, was delighted to receive the gift and noted that it was representative of two very important things nation building and philanthropy.
“We appreciate this gift today as it is an investment in this College and the nation. We are grateful to his friends and family for their tremendous generosity and their vote of confidence in The College, our present and our future,” said Dr. Boze. “This endowment will support and foster scholarships and innovation in the areas of land surveying and civil engineering, which Mr. Garraway loved, and held dear. And it will touch the lives of many people in tertiary education in perpetuity.”
Mr. Stafford Coakley, President of the Land Surveyors Association, fondly remembered the passion and ingenuity of his former colleague and friend.
“He had a knack for simplicity; the most complex astrology problem, trigonometry and math problems were simplified using his approach. I and many others were recipients of that simplicity,” he recalled. “The thing that stands out about Francis is that he was a surveyor’s surveyor. Anything that you wanted to know, he had the solution or he knew where to find the solution. When people were talking about satellite dishes, he was building them.”
The endowment will facilitate harnessing the creativity and ingenuity of a new generation of trailblazers in the engineering field, while preserving Mr. Garraway’s legacy.