The Lyford Cay Community

Its Founder, His Plan, And The Poa

In 1969 a journalist wrote: “Taylor is really a special kind of artist. When you talk to him about his developments in Nassau, he speaks more in terms of environments than of money.” This statement was made in reference to Lyford Cay’s founder, E.P. Taylor.

Mr. Taylor and his wife first visited Nassau in 1945, returning every year thereafter. For many years Mr. Taylor was urged by Sir Harold Christie, of H.G. Christie Real Estate, Nassau, to join him as a partner in the development of some 3,000 acres at the western end of New Providence Island. Mr. Taylor declined Sir Harold's offers because he had strong reservations against partnerships, believing that "partnerships are bad for long-term developments”.

However, with extensive experience in real estate development, Mr. Taylor could visualize the possibilities of creating Lyford Cay as an exclusive residential community. He formed the Lyford Cay Development Company (later, the Lyford Cay Company) which took charge of the community's development.

From Vision to Reality

In a Canada-wide survey of daily newspaper editors, E.P. Taylor was voted Canada’s Outstanding Businessman, “...based on his innovative and entrepreneurial talents, ethics, and… contributions to the improvement of public attitudes toward business and to the betterment of society.” A report on the survey results noted: “The financier also was rated highly for his often-unpublicized role as a philanthropist. Mr. Taylor,” summed up a Toronto editor,”is that rare combination of a dreamer who had the practical ability to make dreams come true.”

Under Mr. Taylor's direction, the Lyford Cay Development Company undertook construction of the Lyford Cay community, and the construction of supporting facilities and infrastructure outside the community.

Mr. Taylor's master plan for Lyford Cay included a church, school, and a medical facility. He founded the Lyford Cay School, a private elementary school that began admitting students in January 1962. As devout Anglican, Mr. Taylor founded The Church of St. Christopher, having personally selected its location on Lyford Cay Drive for its high visibility to all who visited Lyford Cay. The church was dedicated on January 7, 1962 in the name of "Christopher, Patron Saint of Travelers." In 1966 Mr. Taylor established the Western Medical Center, now known as the Lyford Cay Hospital.

In 1962 Mr. Taylor had established the New Providence Development Company. Its principal functions included property development outside of Lyford Cay, providing the water supply and distribution to Lyford Cay and nearby areas, construction and landscaping services, and the production of aggregate and other building materials.

Mr. Taylor and his companies acquired over 5,000 acres outside of Lyford Cay, which were shown in a conceptual plan for a "New Town" to alleviate pressure on Nassau and to provide hotel and recreational facilities, residential areas, shopping districts, and office and industrial complexes. Although the full concept of a "New Town" never materialized, New Providence Development Company did develop South Ocean Village, South Ocean Hotel and Golf Course Waterloo Tracts, and the “Old Fort” residential area. Also, Mount Pleasant Village was established to provide housing for Bahamians working in Lyford Cay; Mr. Taylor offered them 90 percent mortgages with $2,000 down payments; he encouraged Lyford Cay property owners to help their staffs become homeowners.

Inception of the POA

Beginning in 1961, Mr. Taylor's was actively involved in guiding and directing the transition from developer control of the community to the establishment of an effective property owners association. He served on the POA Board as a Director from 1961 to 1978 and, through the Lyford Cay Company, supplemented its operating income until revenue from annual property assessments could support the Association's activities.