Book Chronicles Life And Times Of Sir Milo
NASSAU, The Bahamas – A non-partisan approach to honouring the country’s first Bahamian-born Governor-General the late Sir Milo B. Butler, was evident as officials congratulated writer Patricia Patterson for writing about the life and times of the national hero.
The book, a biography entitled: Sir Milo, “A Call to Service”, was launched Thursday, September 20, in a ceremony in Rawson Square, in front of the Bust of Sir Milo.
Participating in the ceremony were His Excellency Sir Arthur Foulkes, Governor General; Perry Christie, Prime Minister; Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration; Loretta Butler-Turner, Deputy Leader of the Opposition Free National Movement and granddaughter; and Brent Symonette, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“We look back and remember him. We remember who he was, what he did in his lifetime and what he means to our Bahamas,” Sir Arthur said.
He said that the book was aptly named because that was what the life of Milo Boughton Butler was all about.
“It is an invaluable contribution to the history of the making of our Commonwealth. It is an inspiring story of a man who was uncompromising in his just demands for his people, and a man who, throughout and to the end, was uncompromised in his integrity,” Sir Arthur said.
Sir Milo was born in Nassau on August 11, 1906 to the late George Raleigh and Frances Butler.
His political career span the period 1936 to 1972, when he was honoured by Special Resolution of the House of Assembly and acclaimed a National Hero. On August 1, 1973, he was sworn in as the first Bahamian Governor-General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
As a young man, Sir Milo learnt about the history of the black Africans and their descendants in the New World, the gross indignities they suffered, the never-ending tribulations they endured and the daunting challenges they confronted. The book also recalls 1938, when Sir Milo started his fight for blacks to work in banks downtown.
“He refused to be a victim of an elaborate and diabolical system of brainwashing designed to inculcate feelings of inferiority among people of African descent,” Sir Arthur said.
Outside the House of Assembly and the political arena, Sir Milo is described as a mild-mannered, soft-spoken gentleman.
Sir Arthur recalled that at the Constitutional Conference in London, when Sir Milo, who had already been designated to become the first Bahamian Governor-General, approached the four Opposition delegates at the end of the table and asked if “we” were being treated properly.
The Prime Minister, acknowledging the book, said knowing the history gives people a sense of accomplishment.
“Knowing your history gives you the strength that you are heading in the right direction. We are paying a disservice to our country by not writing our story; there are going to be mixed-up versions,” he said.
As the book launching reflected on the life of Sir Milo, he commended Sir Milo’s descendants for carrying on his legacy.
Mr. Mitchell, who spoke on behalf of Loftus Roker, former PLP Cabinet Minister, focused on the period 1942 to 1973 – the Burma Road Riot to Independence.
“Milo Boughton Butler was to a large extent the star of that show,” Mr. Mitchell said.
By LINDSAY THOMPSON
BAHAMAS INFORMATION SERVICES
Caption: The book, a biography entitled: Sir Milo “A Call to Service”, was launched Thursday, September 20, 2012 in a ceremony in Rawson Square, in front of the Bust of Sir Milo Butler. Pictured, talking are Perry Christie, Prime Minister and Loretta Butler-Turner, Deputy Leader of the Opposition Free National Movement and granddaughter, Sir Milo. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)books, history, politician