Robert Paul Hayward was born in Chengdu, China, in 1936 while his mom and dad were studying Chinese there before being posted to Kaiting (The Bacons were there at the same time.) After returning to China from furlough in Canada in 1947, Robert attended the Canadian School, along with his sister, Jean. Forced to leave China in 1949 when the Communists approached the mission, the family travelled to Hong Kong by transport plane, where they stayed for awhile waiting for a sea passage to Canada.
The first leg of the journey, from Hong Kong to Southampton in England was on the liner, Corfu. After another wait of a month which they used to travel from one end of England to Scotland and Wales and back again, and during which they saw every old castle in the British Isles (maybe it just seemed that way), they boarded the Aquitania and finally landed in Halifax.
The family settled in Sarnia, Ontario where Bob attended Sarnia Collegiate Institute. One notable event in that part of his life was playing a lead role in the school play about an invisible rabbit. This love of acting might have begun at the Canadian School.
Following high school, Bob obtained his Bachelor of Agriculture at the University of Guelph and then went on to University of Toronto to become a Mechanical Engineer.
Maybe it was the experience of travelling on the high seas to return to Canada, but Bob loved boats and soon had bought a 40’ cabin cruiser. He sailed it down to Jamaica, arriving on New Years’ Day. It wasn’t long before his future wife, Mary-Elaine George, found him there and so began the whole next stage of Bob’s life. They married in May of 1966. They had two children, a daughter, Roberta and a son, Colin.
Bob’s career included many years as a practicing Engineer, plus a sideline as the owner of a small carpet cleaning company. He was always dreaming of ways to make money. When he wasn’t running his business, he loved to dig in the mud in the back yard, and take driving vacations which brought him to Las Vegas and his other passion – trying to crack the Black Jack code.
Bob passed away in November, 1998. Mary-Elaine remained behind, but passed away in April, 2008.
Helen and Roberta Hayward