The Bahamas Postal Service on February 11 issued a set of commemorative stamps to highlight the 50th anniversary of the Victor Sassoon Heart Foundation. The stamps are being issued in denominations of 15 cents, 50 cents, 65 cents and 70 cents.
The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation has helped thousands of children in The Bahamas who suffer from heart disease. It has provided clinics to identify heart problems in children and when needed, the Foundation has paid for the heart surgeries that have meant a full life for many.
The Foundation was created after Sir Victor Sassoon Bart GBE died from heart complications in l961. His widow, Lady Sassoon requested that in lieu of flowers, donations were to be made to the local heart associations in his memory. After finding out from the Princess Margaret Hospital that such associations did not exist in The Bahamas, Lady Sassoon took it upon herself to create one. In addition to paying for life saving surgeries for children, the Foundation has purchased diagnostic machines and items to promote heart care for the hospital. The Sassoon Heart Foundation is an all-volunteer organisation.
As a part of fundraising efforts, the Foundation hosts the annual Heart Ball. The ball has been held every February for the past 47 years.
Sir Victor was born to a family of merchants and bankers who lived in India and England. In the l920s, Victor Sassoon moved to Shanghai, China, where he established most of his own business enterprises. War broke out in the late l930s and he was forced to flee, traveling throughout the world. After the war, Sir Victor re-established his business empire in The Bahamas, England and South America. He also dedicated himself to his passion for horse racing. He was very successful at this endeavour and his horses won the English Derby four times in eight years. He married the former Evelyn Barnes (Lady Sassoon) in l959.