- 86 years old
- Date of birth: Nov 20, 1929
- Date of passing: Dec 22, 2015
|Never give up!|
This memorial website was created in loving memory of Dr. Robert B. Hayling, 86, born on November 20, 1929 and passed away on December 22, 2015. We will remember his commitment to justice and the sacrifices he made on our behalf.
And we will miss his smile.
"I came along 30 years after Dr. Hayling and the fantastic coalition he led and coordinated burst on the scene as the leading edge that helped St. Augustine propel the nation to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. When Dr. Hayling moved to St. Augustine to take over a dental practice, I'm sure the last thing he expected to do was commit himself to helping protect young people from the ills of alcohol, drugs, delinquency, teen pregnancy and a sense of hopelessness as youth director of the local NAACP. But Dr. Hayling -- much like my other lifetime hero -- Dr. King, was unable to not engage, not push for excellence and self-sufficiency, to look the other way when people were hurting and our nation was failing to live up to the high morals it professed to be built upon. He could have seen the struggle for civil rights and human dignity as someone else's fight. After all, he was handsome, highly educated and already successful. But Dr. Hayling was willing to risk it all, his career, his reputation, even his precious family, for a cause he was willing to die for. I feel incredibly blessed to have had the special pleasure of getting to know Dr. Haying, Kat Twine, and other phenomenal unsung heroes and sheroes. They transformational contributions pushed me to document their amazing stories. And of the dozens I've been able to meet and chronicle over the past 20 years, none impacted me like Dr. Robert Hayling. Still ramrod straight when I met him in his late sixties in 1997, he epitomized black manhood for me. Much like his colleague, King's field general, Rev. Hosea Williams, Hayling exemplified an uncommon courage and resolve that encouraged and strengthened those he led, while eventually convincing those who opposed him that he was unwilling to back down. My only regret is that I had not been able to spend anytime with him, be present for any of the times he was honored, during the past few years. I had long planned and looked forward to bringing him to Atlanta to be honored at an institute to honor the foot soldiers, as well as produce a film about his life. My thoughts, prayers and deeply sincerely thanks go out to his family and friends. As someone who is blessed to speak to young people at colleges and universities frequently, I am committed to sharing his rich legacy to future generations every chance I get. I will never forget him and forever thank God for allowing me to be inspired and shaped by his life."
"I was fortunate to spend a week with Dr Hayling, the last week of March, 1964, observing his leadership and bravery during those early, transformative moments of the movement there - that would lead to passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
A few months ago, after 51 years I learned of his address. The day before Thanksgiving, 2015, I wrote him a letter that ended with this paragraph:
"So, at this time of Thanksgiving, I feel honored to have known you and witnessed your actions first-hand, and I am pleased to thank you again for your leadership, foresight, and courageous perseverance in the civil rights movement of the United States.""
"An amazing general like no other. Straight as an arrow. A patriot who loved his people. His was NOT a fight to keep company with folk who didn't want it. His was to serve his tribe and ensure they could follow their tax dollars wherever they were spent. Be it meeting with public officials, playing on public beaches, protesting on public squares, or dining where profits were made possible by public sidewalks and streets. Rest on Dr. Hayling. In my book you will always be our Hannibal. Clennon L. King, Documentary Film Director
"Passage at St. Augustine" ©2015"
"My life and the lives of so many are better today due to the courage, love for mankind and the devotion of Dr. Robert B. Hayling. Not only is St. Augustine a beneficiary of Dr. Hayling's fight for humanity, but our entire country. He "fought a good fight." My his legacy live on."
"I grew in up in Detroit, MI in the 1960's, and have always had a passion for history. In Particular, history as it relates to African Americans. I became familiar with Dr. Hayling from attending the annual ACCORD Freedom Trail Luncheons. I felt honored to be in the presence of Dr. Hayling and the other dignitaries and speakers who attended those luncheons. I was in the presence of greatness, true American heroes. Put simply, Dr. Hayling and the St. Augustine Four were not only fighting for the freedom and equality of the people in St. Augustine, he was also fighting on my behalf, all of those miles away in Detroit. I am truly moved and truly grateful for that. No doubt the Lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant."
"Jesus Christ said that, "...greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends...", Dr. Robert B. Hayling had that kind of love. He wanted all men and women to be treated fairly and equally under the laws of the Constitution of the United States of America. If the laws, were unjust, then he fought to change those laws, that discriminated against a race of people based on the color of one's skin. He along with others went so far as to put their lives on the line for their friends and generations yet to be born. It was his hope that his efforts and those of his colleagues who fought non-violently during the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement made the wheels of justice turn a little more fairly bringing freedom to all mankind.
Dr. Hayling was a great man and will be greatly missed. He adopted our family as his own and we likewise. The day that I received notice of his passing, by his sister, a Christmas package arrived at my home from him to our family. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his daughters Robin, Tamara, & Crystal; grandsons, Roman and Avery; sister, Yvonne; brother, Charles; adopted sister Mary Elizabeth Nasby; nieces, Nicollete & Melanie; and family, in Jesus Christ Name.
Mrs. Gwendolyn Duncan, President Emerita
(ACCORD) Anniversary to Commemorate the
Civil Rights Demonstrations, Inc.
"Remembering, Recognizing, & Honoring..."
79 Bridge Street
St. Augustine, FL 32084"
"I came to know Dr. Hayling in the 1970s when I was writing about St. Augustine's racial past. It was a fortuitous occasion for me. He helped me understand the Movement and its aspirations. More importantly, he taught me how to live a life of meaning. We were blessed to have him with us as long as we did, and those of us who knew him will never forget his concern for others, his decency as a human being, and his warmth and generosity to all. I am thankful to have known him and thankful for his willingness to lead us on the path to Freedom."
"Thank you for all you did for our brother Samuel White one of the St.Augustine four you will truly be missed but never forgotten. And thank to your family you are in my prayers. The White family."
"I am so glad to have joined veterans of the St. Augustine movement for the 50-year commemoration in 2014. St. Augustine was one of the most stalwart, persecuted, and under-appreciated campaigns of the civil rights era. Dr. Robert Hayling led it with strength and courage. He will be dearly missed"
"Dr. Hayling, thank you for making a difference in Saint Augustine and the world. Your legacy lives on!! Rest in Peace!!"
"He did so much for St Augustine & by that for all in the US. His stature & grace & courage led to Pres. Barack Obama"
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