The Most Honourable Sir Henry Milton Taylor, ON, Kt, JP
Former Governor General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas
Sir Henry Milton Taylor was the third Governor-General of the Bahamas.
Early life and education
His Excellency Sir Henry Milton Taylor, Kt., J.P., former Governor-General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and adopted son of Joseph J. Taylor and Evelyn Taylor, was born on 4 November 1903, at Clarence Town, Long Island.
He attended the government school on Long Island and took correspondence courses from London. He taught at public school in Roses, Long Island, from 1924 to 1924; in Pompey Bay, Acklins, from 1925 to 1926; and in Clarence Town, Long Island, from 1933 to 1934.
In 1949, he successfully contested an election for the Long Island and Ragged Island seat in the legislature.
In November 1953, he co-founded and organized the Progressive Liberal Party of The Bahamas, the first united political party in the country.
Between 1953 and 1963, Sir Henry was unanimously elected each year as national party chairman by the National General Council of the PLP. In 1963, when he relinquished the post of national party chairman, he was unanimously elected honorary chairman of the party for life.
In July, 1956 Sir Henry was instrumental in having Mr. Lynden O. Pindling elected by the National General Council as the first Parliamentary Leader. Mr. Pindling went on to become Prime Minister the Right Honourable Sir Lynden Pindling.
In that year, Sir Henry successfully led the first citizen's delegation to London from The Bahamas. He was accompanied by Sir Lynden and the late Sir Milo Butler, who became the first Bahamian Governor-General of The Bahamas. The purpose of that meeting was to discuss political conditions in the then colony.
On 20 May 1960, Sir Henry successfully contested an election in the Eastern District of New Providence, receiving more votes than any candidate in any previous Bahamian election. In November of that year, Sir Henry led another successful delegation to London. This time, he was championing the right of women to vote in Bahamian elections. He was accompanied by the late Dame Dr. Doris Johnson and Mrs. Eugenia Lockhart. Shortly after their return, women received the right to vote and exercised it in the 1962 general election.
In 1961 and 1962, Sir Henry was appointed a member of the Development (Tourist) Board. He accompanied the chairman of the Board on two occasions to Britain and the Continent in the interest of increased tourism to The Bahamas.
In 1966, he was presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her first visit to The Bahamas.
Between 1968 and 1978, Sir Henry resided in Florida where he began work on his memoirs. At the PLP's silver jubilee convention in November 1978, he was honoured for co-founding the party.
In February 1979, he was appointed by The Bahamas government to the post of editor of the Hansard.
On 24 July 1981, he was appointed Deputy to the Governor-General of The Bahamas, while His Excellency Sir Gerald Cash, the then Governor-General attended the royal wedding of Prince Charles.
Sir Henry also served as Deputy to the Governor-General on several occasions, between 1981 and 1988, when Sir Gerald was out of the country.
On 25 June 1988, Sir Henry was appointed Acting Governor-General of The Bahamas on the retirement of Sir Gerald. He was sworn in as Acting Governor-General by Chief Justice Telford Georges on 26 June 1988.
Nearly three years later, on 8 April 1991, Sir Henry was sworn in by Chief Justice Joaquim Gonsalves-Sabola as Governor-General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, becoming the third Bahamian to hold this post. Sir Henry retired on 1 January 1992.
Honours and awards
Sir Henry was awarded the honour of Knight Bachelor on 1 January 1980, in the Queen's New Years Honour's List. This honour, conferred on him by the Queen at Buckingham Palace, London, on 25 July carried with it the title of "Sir".
In 2018, he was awarded the Order of the Nation (ON).
Sir Henry was married in 1962 to the former Elua Mae Sisco of Acadia, Florida. He has four daughters by a previous marriage.
Sir Henry died on 24 February 1994. He was 90.