Harcourt Cambridge

Harcourt Cambridge

12/7/2016 10:24:25 AM

A time to be born
What did God do special on 14th September 1933?  Well, He did many special things. But one thing in particular He did that was so peculiar.  He blessed Arnold and Agnes Cambridge with one of the greatest gifts they ever had.  It was the birth of their youngest son and they named him Harcourt. Harcourt and his siblings were brought up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Harcourt’s father, Arnold was a Catechist in the Anglican Church. He was a God fearing man. On this special day Harcourt joined the family of Arnold and Agnes Cambridge, who were both of Gregory Town. It was a family of four sisters and three brothers – and he was the baby boy. He attended the Gregory Town all aged School where everyone had classes together; with curtains separating them.


Harcourt the Electrician
At the age of sixteen in 1949, Harcourt began to work for the Harrisville Company in Hatchet Bay (which supplied most of the Bahamas with poultry and milk back in those days) to learn a trade. He originally wanted to work in auto mechanics, but they had no room for him then, but God had a plan to establish him as a first-class electrician, so electrical work it was. Harcourt worked for the company for the next 3 years and as he was fascinated by electricity he also took a correspondence with International Correspondence School (ICS) in electrical maintenance.  The school’s slogan was “Earn while you learn” and their mantra was “When you study with us, the world is your limit”.

 In 1953 Harcourt moved to Nassau and continued his electrical career. He worked for a well-known electrician at the time by the name of Mr. K. S. Darling. When Mr. Darling realized Harcourt’s ability he was amazed.  Harcourt not only had the experience but had his qualifications from International Correspondence School.  One day Caterpillar called Mr. Darling enquiring of someone who knew about generators to which Mr. Darling replied “I have a young genius from Eleuthera”.  Of course when Caterpillar realized Harcourt’s abilities, they wanted to keep him but Mr. Darling said “No” to that.  After a few years Harcourt moved back to Eleuthera and went to work for the US Naval base where he did house wiring. 

Now back in Eleuthera Harcourt’s career went to another level when Caterpillar wanted to establish a power plant.  They told Harcourt if he could obtain a franchise from the government they would provide the backing for two power plants (one in James Cistern and one in Gregory Town).  Hence Eleuthera Power & Light (EPL) was birth and in 1964 for the first time 25 homes were lit up in Gregory Town and with similar activity in James Cistern.  Thus a new chapter was opened in Harcourt Cambridge life.  The EPL office was opened up and his beautiful wife Sylvia ran the office While Harcourt’s career continue to soar to heights.  The demand for the services allowed people to migrate from oil lamps to first class electricity and on daily basis it grew.  Northern Eleuthera wasn’t the only place being electrified but he and his team also took contracts in southern Eleuthera.  Such companies like American Airline Pioneer & South Eleuthera Developer acquired his services.  In Tarpum Bay linesmen work was being done and before Harcourt knew it, he was doing maintenance throughout Eleuthera.  In 1972 BEC expressed interest in being a service provider and negotiations began concerning EPL for the areas of James Cistern and Gregory Town. Even after partial retirement from the power business in later years, Harcourt still worked on behalf of EPL collecting bills and reading meters.

Harcourt the Family Man
Behind this successful man was the madam, the only thing that superseded his love for electricity. God said “Who can find a virtuous woman for her price is far above rubies” Proverbs 31: 10.  Sylvia brought joy to his life and fulfilled his need for a family. Their unique relationship is one to be marveled.  This chapter in Harcourt’s life rolled in order when he was a young man working at the Cotton Bay club in South Eleuthera.  Sylvia caught his eyes standing outside the Anglican Church in Gregory Town.  Their courtship began with the greatest challenge being the disapproval of Sylvia’s parents.  Harcourt would see her on weekends as he was located at the time in Rock Sound.  It was a secret love affair well deserving of their precious moments together.  Desperate times for desperate measures caused a desperate move to Nassau with their secret being with a few trusted friends and caused them to elope to Nassau.  It was like fairy tale story as love was in the air. In 1954 they were married at the Transfiguration Church in Nassau. Now they were soul mates and they would harmonize everything together.  When Eleuthera Power & Light came on stream in 1967 it would be Sylvia that would run the office.  Later when Cambridge Villas was birth in 1977 it would be would be Sylvia that would deal with reservations.  When Harcourt would get into politics as a nation builder it would be Sylvia that would provide the hospitality.  Of course when the family would expand with four sons and a daughter and adopted sons and daughters, Sylvia was providing the nurturing.  Harcourt’s soul mate brought joy and completeness to him which made him a well-balanced man.

 Harcourt the Nation Builder
Was Harcourt Cambridge just an electrician and a family man?  By all means…  No. In 1967 from the inception of the PLP Harcourt played a key role in the shaping of this nation throughout the island of Eleuthera. He would be a part of this party up until the time of his departure from this world.  He was appointed as Justice of the Peace for Gregory Town. Served as the chairman of the Local Government authority in politics and was senior advisor to the Honorable Philip Bethel, M.P for the Central Eleuthera constituency. Yes, Harcourt was instrumental in seeing this country grow from strength to strength from the days of oil lamps to first class electricity.  In 1977 as a nation builder Cambridge Villas was birth.  A new chapter in Harcourt’s life where Harcourt became a hotelier.  He would travel outside the country representing the Bahamas as a member of the Family Islands promotion board.  Cambridge Villas became the center of attraction throughout Eleuthera and made its mark throughout the Bahamas.  With tourism being our number one industry, Cambridge Villas was instrumental for many tourist all over the world to recognize Eleuthera in the days when there was no internet.  The island of Eleuthera evolved and as time brought changes, Harcourt also changed with age.  Passing 3 score and ten as was promised to him from his God, Harcourt prepared for the home stretch.  He and his soul mate had been Anglicans and well respected and honored their God remained faithful to the end.  On 13th May 2016 Harcourt’s soul mate departed this world to her eternal home in heaven after 58 years of marriage.  Birds of a feather flock together and not long afterwards on 16th November Harcourt did likewise to join his wife to be with their Lord.  His legacy lives on in the hearts of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Forever, together in the arms of the heavenly Father…May his soul rest in peace.


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