The 1960s was good to Sir Stafford Sands CBE, MP; that is, until 1967. In January 1967, the seat of government power was snatched out from under him and his United Bahamian Party government. Sands and the UBP had big plans in play for the Bahamas in the 1960s. Losing the government really put a major glitch in their arrangements to keep the Bahamas, in a long-held, minority rule stranglehold.
Up to that time however, Stafford Sands really had come into his own. He was the biggest player on the block and the block had been good to him. Much of the giddy heights Sands reached was kept secret from the Bahamian people. Land deals, bank deals, money deals, investment deals and international deals were flying across his private lawyer/ government minister desk with lightening speed. It really leads one to wonder where Sands found the time in the day, for all manner of skulduggery including, keeping the negro masses in their place.
One of the many questions that still lingers, is what did the big man do with all that money! Many have wondered what the master deal-maker, Sir Stafford Sands, did with all that money he billed, syphoned, strong armed, manipulated and corruptly took as a result of his position as a government minister.
Sands had amassed an untold fortune as a government minister and private lawyer to wealthy foreign investors, both in and outside, the Bahamas.
Sir Stafford had his hands in every money pot and purse there was in the Bahamas during his years in politics. To his credit though, Sands lived for a hundred people, and made the most of his time in government. He flew higher than Icarus did on feathers and wax wings.
After the United Bahamian Party, UBP, lost control of the Bahamas government in 1967, Nassau lawyer, kingpin, deal maker to every Bahamas foreign investor between 1950 to 1967, Finance Minister, Tourism Minister and Member of Parliament, Sir Stafford Sands, quit his MP seat.
In fact, in the wake of numerous allegations made about million dollar payoffs, under the table consultancy/lawyer fees, and losing his much coveted ministerial power, Sands was unwilling to live under a negro led Bahamian government. He quit the land of his birth for Madrid, Spain.
It was widely published that Sands went into retirement.
This was not entirely true.
Sir Stafford, the Bahamian tourism man, went into the hotel business in Italy.
1961 – DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE FOR SIR STAFFORD
By 1961, Stafford Sands had been granted a had divorced his first wife, Winifred Maude Sands nee Moore (1912-1989). He would go on to marry, divorcee, Finnish born, Ulli Castren (1921-2011) in December 1965. Stafford and Ulli,were married for six years.
(The Nassau Daily Tribune, Saturday July 8, 1961)
1966 – HOW TO MAKE MONEY IN THE BAHAMAS : SIMPLY CREATE A TRUST CORPORATION AND USE OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY
STAFFORD SANDS MADE DIRECTOR OF ROYAL BANK OF CANADA AFTER THE CREATION OF ROYWEST TRUST WHOSE MAJOR SHAREHOLDER WAS ROYAL BANK OF CANADA
The most important part of setting up a major trust company in the Bahamas, in the 1960s, was having Sir Stafford Sands on your side.
Royal Bank of Canada, Lyford Cay creator E. P. Taylor, government minister Sir Stafford Sands, the Rockefellers, and other monied elite, came up with a brilliant idea. They wanted to capitalise on all the wealth flowing through the Bahamas. There was no better way than to create a money management company with the biggest, whitest names and faces that could be had in private banking.
Setting up a Bahamas based trust company, in which hundreds of millions of dollars from wealthy people could be warehoused (tax free) and lent (high interest rates), in order to make money, in a hand over fist fashion, in the Bahamas, was a stroke of millionaire genius.
Roy West Banking Corp., born in 1965, with its headquarters in tax haven Bahamas was set up with the help of Stafford Sands.
By 1966, to keep Sir Stafford sweet, and to give him a say in how money was funnelled through the biggest bank in the Bahamas, Sands was appointed a Director of Royal Bank. All of this while Sands was a sitting minister of finance for the Bahamas government.
Royal Bank of Canada was a major shareholder in Roy West. Royal Bank was going to use its more than 50 branch offices across the British Caribbean as its feeder branches, pushing wealthy depositors, to put their large accounts into Roy West, Nassau. For Stafford, it was like being able to print your own money.
First port of call was Jamaica. They went to Jamaica offering loans.
(The Ottawa Citizen, Friday, 14 January 1966)
1965 CREATION OF ROYWEST BANKING CORPORATION WITH LYFORD CAY INVESTOR E. P. TAYLOR AS CHAIRMAN
(The Gazette, Canada, Friday 27 August, 1965)
Few people know that in Europe, Sir Stafford Sands, is announced as a former governor of the Bahamas, albeit in reference to his 1968 purchase of a famous Italian building from 1500s.
(Los Angeles Times, Sunday, February 14, 1988)
VILLA CORNÈR Della REGINA PURCHASED BY STAFFORD SANDS AND RESTORED IN 1968
Villa Cornèr della Regina is a Venetian villa started building in 1500 probably under the supervision of Vincenzo Scamozzi, underwent alterations in 1700 by Giovanni Cornèr, bishop of Castelfranco Veneto, who commissioned the architects Giovanni Miazzi, Muttoni and Preti. The Villa, with the addition of the Palladian style pronaos, then took on its appearance of today. The “barchesse” outbuildings were also built in the same period.
In 1918 the Villa was occupied by General Enrico Caviglia, commander of the VIII and X army corps.
In 1968, Sir Stafford Sands purchased Villa Cornèr from the Orefice family, after which the ex governor of the Bahamas restored it, adding the current swimming pool and tennis courts.
In 1980, an important Venetian family restored the Villa with the “Barchesse”, the park with 32 statues (works by Orazio Marinali) and 11 hectares of vineyards, taking special care with furnishing the elegant halls and rooms, restoring the villa to its original splendour and atmosphere of the glorious age of the Venetian Republic.
HISTORY of – Villa Corner della Regina History
The Villa is located in the Veneto plain, near Vedelego, and is commonly known as Villa della Regina, as property of Queen Cornaro. Built in the sixteenth century by the noble Venetian family of the Corner, the structure has undergone various interventions over the centuries, the most important of which is the eighteenth-century restoration in Palladian style wanted by the bishop of Castelfranco Veneto Giovanni Corner and curated by architect Francesco Maria Preti in the eighteenth century. In the same years we have the additions of barchesse and limonere giving the structure its current appearance. In 1810 the Villa passed into the hands of the Persico family who further embellished the rooms with fresco paintings and a general reinterpretation of the hall according to the nineteenth-century taste.
Passed in the hands of several owners in the last two centuries, during the First World War the Villa became the seat of the command of General Enrico Caviglia; a curiosity related to these times of war is that the poplars of the avenues to the north and south of the property were demolished by the general to erect trenches and fortifications on the famous war scenarios of the Piave and Monte Grappa.
Underwent further restoration in the late 1960s by the new owner Sir Stafford Sands, former governor of the Bahamas, the Villa was transformed at the end of the last century in the Country Hotel by the Counts Donà delle Rose after being restored to its former glory.
In this magnificent setting, Villa Corner della Regina offers 37 rooms, distributed between the central body, the barchesse and the pool area. Each room is fully furnished in the style of the period, but without any modern comfort, offering guests a stay full of history, art, style and comfort of a 4-star hotel.
The wide spaces of the Villa, including the wonderful park with ancient trees, green spaces and a swimming pool, are also proposed as a prestigious setting for any type of event, from wedding to business dinners, from conferences to workshops, all surrounded by a unique atmosphere and services of the highest level, with professionals able to propose solutions suitable for every need.
1970 Sir Stafford Sands and Mrs. Sands Entertain Movie Stars In Czechoslovakia