The Right Excellent Sir Milo Boughton Butler, NH, ON, GCMG, GCVO
National Hero; Former Governor-General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas
Sir Milo Butler was a former Governor-General of the Bahamas.
Early life and education
Sir Milo Boughton Butler was born in Nassau on 11 August 1906 to the late George Raleigh and Frances M. Butler. He was educated at the George Washington School, Florida; the public school at Rum Cay, Bahamas and the Boys’ Central School in Nassau. On 14 October 1928, he married the former Miss Caroline Loretta Watson of Morrisville, Long Island and that union produced seven sons and three daughters – Raleigh, Joseph, Milo Jr., Franklyn, Asa, Basil, Matthew, Edna, Emmaline and Juanita.
A veteran of more than 35 years in politics, Sir Milo began his political career in 1936 when he unsuccessfully contested the seat for the Western District of New Providence against the late Sir Harry Oakes. In the by-election of 1937, however, he was successful in winning the seat which he held until 1947. He again represented the Western District from 1956 – 1966 and from 1967 to 1973 he represented the constituency of Bain Town.
In 1956, Sir Milo tossed the Speaker’s hourglass through the window of the House of Assembly as a result of the Government’s introduction of a 12-minute rule to curb lengthy speeches in debate.
When the PLP party won the 1967 General Election which ushered in majority rule, Sir Milo became a member of the new Cabinet. He was appointed Minister of Health and Welfare in 1967 and in 1968 became Minister of Labour, Agriculture and Fisheries. In 1970 during a Cabinet reshuffle he was assigned the portfolio of Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. In 1972 he was appointed Minister without Portfolio.
Honours and awards
In June 1972 Sir Milo was honoured by Special Resolution of the Honourable House of Assembly and acclaimed a National Hero. On 1 August 1973 he was sworn in as the first Bahamian Governor-General. Knighted in the Birthday Honours 1973, Sir Milo was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of St. Michael and St. George. He was again honoured by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in February 1975 during her visit to Nassau when he was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.
In 2018, he was posthumously confered with the Order of National Hero (NH) and the Order of the Nation (ON).
Active in church affairs, Sir Milo served as a member of the Vestry of St. Matthew’s Anglican Church for 27 years and for five years as a member of the Anglican Synod.
For many years Sir Milo was among the leading merchants in New Providence and up to the time of his appointment as Cabinet Minister was President of Milo B. Butler and Sons Limited.
Death and Legacy
Following a lengthy period of ill health, Sir Milo succumbed on 22 January 1979.
On 22 January 1986 a large bronze sculpture of a life-size half figure of Sir Milo Butler was unveiled at Rawson Square. The stature which weighs over 500 lbs was modelled and crafted by Bahamian sculptor, Randolph W. Johnson. His portrait is on the Bahamas $20 note.