Frank Albert Hanna II

Frank Albert Hanna II

4/15/2016 2:03:56 PM
On Friday, 5th March 1937, in the settlement of Nicholls Town, Andros, a handsome baby boy was born to the parentage of the late Frank Hanna I, and the late Adrianna Bowleg-Hanna. I was that handsome chap. Because I was the splitting image of my father, they named me Frank Albert Hanna II. I was the third of eight siblings, two of my sisters died at a very young age and my oldest brother, Stanley passed away in 2009.

I received my early education at the Nicholls Town All Age School, which was located a few feet away from our family home. I always had a keen interest in boats and spent many days by the water. Sir Francis Francis grew very fond of me and wanted me to accompany his family to the Berry Islands where I would be able to learn a trade. At the age of 12, I sought and received my father’s blessings to travel to the Berry Islands. My dad, who was ill at the time, granted his blessings telling me that I may not see him again, but that I never forget that ‘manners and respect would take me through the world’. I left that day with a piece of Johnnie cake in my hand and tears in my eyes. My father passed away that same year in 1949 while I was away.

My mother relocated to the Berry Islands where she, my brother Willie and I all worked for Sir Francis Francis. I began as a Garden Helper and worked my way up to Butler in the Francis Estate. In 1955 after saving sufficient money, I hit the road. My journey took me to New York where I found employment as a Butler in East Hampton, a summer resort for wealthy families.

In East Hampton is where I met my first love, Rosa Nicholson. We were married on April 3rd 1957. Our union produced one son, whom we named Frank Albert Hanna III. He was called home to be with the Lord on Thursday, 24th March 2016.

It was in East Hampton that I noticed that the cleaning firms hired from New York handled specialized jobs only and it took a number of different companies to completely prepare a house for summer arrivals. This is where I got the idea to start a firm that would be able to handle everything.

I started out with $10 in my pocket and a two-seater Fiat car; I was determined to make it.  The fruit of my hard work and long hours soon paid off as word of my excellent work got around. Bit by bit my business grew and I was able to enlist more employees and add vehicles one by one to my fleet. I faced many challenges, but managed to make a name for myself and establish a loyal and returning customer base that would book my services time and time again, year after year. Frank Hanna Cleaning Company was called when it was time to get the houses ready for the summer arrivals. We would clean and polish the estates from top to bottom moving from house to house.

I managed to start my company in the U.S. in a time when blacks were still very much segregated and seen as second-class people. At a time when Martin Luther King Jr. and African Americans were still fighting and marching for equal rights, I managed to succeed and build an impressive customer base. My employees were made up of Greeks, Germans, Italians, Spanish and Americans. They were loyal to me and believed in my vision. They worked hard along side me because they saw that I would not let them perform any task that I wouldn’t perform myself. They did not work for me but with me.

In 1962 I branched out and began operations in West Palm Beach, Florida. Within months I had three trucks on the road.

In 1966, I returned to the Bahamas to establish a branch in my own country, as there was a great need. Back then there were only two other cleaning companies in New Providence. I began through Carew Street and was assisted by my sister Mary, Maureen Rahming, and the late Earl Rahming in getting the business up and running. During the early years of operation in the Bahamas, I jetted to New York twice a week and had to also fit in trips to Florida to keep up with my busy schedule.

Frank Hanna Cleaning Company has been a fixture in the Bahamian business world from its inception. The company was located on Nassau Street for many years before relocating to its present location on Collins Avenue. From the beginning we have been privileged to clean countless government agencies, private firms, banks, churches, private homes and estates, commercial buildings, commercial shops, medical offices and more throughout the entire Bahamas. I faced many ups and downs and survived a number of trying times. One of the things that contributed to my success was my drive and willingness to go above and beyond to ensure that the job was done to perfection.  I was a man who was proud of my work and did not settle for less than perfection. My pride in giving exemplary service and in delivering 100% was important for the survival of my business.

In the early 1970’s I met my soul mate, Ulla. We spent many, many years together and she was by my side when I ventured out into new business enterprises in Andros. Our union produced two beautiful daughters, Francis and Katrin.

According to a Philosopher on the meaning of names, persons named Frank have a rather intense quality of independence. This name creates a desire to be a leader, to pioneer new undertakings, and to try new ideas in practical, creative endeavors that provide an outlet for their versatility and imagination. This is a true description of me, wouldn’t you agree J? I returned to the island and settlement of my birth, Nicholls Town, Andros, and established various businesses namely a hardware store, furniture store, grocery store, gas station and shipping company; thus providing employment for native Androsians. One of my ships was named ‘The Adrianna’ after my mother. In Eleuthera another branch of the cleaning company was operated for a few years. Additionally a second branch existed in New Providence in The Golden Gates Shopping Plaza. Presently a branch is still operating on the island of Exuma. 

In 1987 I married Ms. Naomi Johnson-Miller. We enjoyed many years of marital bliss and remained friends even after our marriage ended.

Blessed with a big heart and an even bigger personality, I have always tried to be a blessing to others. I believed that no act of kindness no matter how small was ever wasted.  I established myself as a philanthropist who gave selflessly to churches, organizations, Family Island events, regattas and anyone in need.

Amidst my dedication to my company, I found time to pursue my number one passion on many weekends, ‘FISHING’. This pass time brought so much pleasure and relaxation. It was always a joy to spend time on the open seas fishing. I always felt at peace as soon as I was in a boat on the water. I taught my son, my daughter, my nephews, my grandsons and many friends how to fish, competed in many fishing tournaments, and just simply fished for the fun of it. I enjoyed being able to share my catch with my family and friends. 

My joy for fishing was closely followed by my love for gardening. On many occasions you could find me in my garden, planting flowers, beautifying my yard or tending to my vegetables. I was very proud of my crops and showed them off to everyone.

My love for culture and things Bahamian was evident at my home and in my office. I have many of my prize possessions displayed: sharks, mahi-mahis, snappers, mackerels, lobsters, crabs, sponges, starfish, and more.  

Each year, I looked forward to National Family Island Regatta events. They were a favorite pastime; even the ugly man contests. In 2007 the organizing committee of the All Andros Regatta renamed it ‘The Frank Hanna All Andros Regatta’. They felt that I was a pioneer who had made a significant contribution to the regatta throughout the years. I was proud to have such an honour bestowed upon me.

Although I had only obtained an elementary school education, I was able to converse with people at all levels of society. I believed it was my years of working in high society homes that gave me my cultured voice.

For many years I have been known as the man with the pretty pants. My signature attire consist of a pair of slacks with a psychedelic pattern, matching necktie and pocket piece, white shirt adorned with black or navy blazer and black flow shine shoes. I didn’t just have pretty pants; I also rocked the same style in shorts J. I became very fond of Androsia prints and sometimes wore it with my pretty pants. Some people thought that I was strange – but I was just being me.

I received many honours throughout my 79 years on earth. I say thank you to all persons, churches, organizations, and Islands for their accolades; they were all appreciated. I’ve lived a full life. I have touched many lives through my living and my giving. I could only live a meaningful life by enriching the lives of others for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. My living has not been in vain. Some persons called me a hero but I always believed that I was put on earth to be a blessing to others. God saw fit to take me home to be with him on April 14th 2016 after a short illness; which meant that my assignment on earth was done. I fulfilled my purpose. My family and friends rest assured that I am in heaven as I made my peace with God.

 Resting In Peace

Frank Albert Hanna II

Remembrance Wall (1) Add Comment Add Comment
Posted By: Lee on 4/16/2016 1:24:44 PM
Mr Hannas shoes will be difficult to be filled. May God grant you peace everlasting

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