This past weekend Pamela Hayling Hoffman and Patricia Hayling Price announced the passing of their beloved father, Dr. William “Bill” Hartley Hayling. Renowned obstetrician, founder of 100 Black Men, Korean War veteran, avid tennis player, long time Oak Bluffs resident and mentor to many, he was truly a remarkable individual.

On the Island he was a founder of the Oak Bluffs Tennis Club as well as the long celebrated Labor Day Tennis Tournament that attracted a national draw for fun, frivolity, parties and tennis. Bill and his younger brother Les who passed a few years ago were an integral part of the Age of Brooke that began in the 1950’s. The African American cohort at that time was built on the foundations of Black institutions like Dunbar High School, Howard University, fraternities and sororities, the Tuskegee Airmen and the like. Bill was a graduate of Howard Medical School and Les graduated from Howard Dental School and he was also a Tuskegee Airman.

Pamela and Patricia reminisced that the family cottage was on Shirley avenue near the Lobster Hatchery and that the family enjoyed friendships that have lasted a lifetime. Larry Smith, the last president of the Oak Bluffs Tennis Club, noted upon learning of Bill’s passing: “He was a terrific competitor, a strong leader and contributed over the years to the life and vitality of our club.”

In 2008 Bill was nominated for an honorary degree from his undergraduate alma mater Boston University by Dr. Esther Hopkins, a distinguished trustee and long time Vineyard resident. He not only received the honorary degree but he was the perfect baccalaureate speaker sharing his own struggles between sports and studies and encouraging the seniors to become mentors, reach out and help others.

Bill Hayling has left a lasting legacy on how to lead a purpose-driven life.

As the light grows dim on one Island champion it shines bright for yet another. Recently Dean Nitin Nohria of Harvard Business School announced that long time Oak Bluffs resident Dr. James I. Cash will have a building named after him on the HBS campus. Jim has had a remarkable career as a student athlete, academician, businessman and corporate director. After becoming an Academic All-American at Texas Christian University where he majored in math he went on to earn a PhD from Purdue University.

He became the first Black tenured professor at HBS where he ultimately became the chairman of the MBA Program among other leadership positions. His brilliance in management information systems and strategy earned him a seat on the corporate boards of Walmart, Microsoft, General Electric and more. He is also a part owner of the Boston Celtics and he raised millions of dollars for the Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

His name will replace that of Carter Glass, a former treasurer of the United States who went on to represent Virginia in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Mr. Nohria noted that Carter Glass actively promulgated segregationist policies including poll taxes and literacy requirements that prevented many thousands of Black citizens from voting. Glass House will now become Cash House.

Congratulations Jim.

Paradise on earth is living the Vineyard experience! Enjoy it as life is fleeting.