G. C. M. G, G. C. V. O.

Governor-General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas
1973 - 1979

Sir Milo Boughton Butler was born in Nassau on August 11, 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.

Credit: © 2006 Microfilm and Photography, Department of Archives, The Bahamas Government

A veteran of more than thirty-five 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.

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.

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.

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.

“From the Pond to Government Hill” by Blind Blake,
“A Tribute to the Late Sir Milo B. Butler, G. C. M. G., G. C. V. O.
(First Governor-General of The Bahamas), The Nassau Guardian 21 January 1986

Sir Milo is our first Governor, and we all know that for sure.
There was a time he used to live in the pond, and run a Grocery store.
He was clever and ambitious, and the things he was will make one fight.
So he joined hand with Mr. Pindling on the road, yes! Just to make it right.

From the Pond to Government Hill, anybody can get there still.
With ambitious and a little will,
No matter who you are, you can get to Government Hill.

There were had the Quiet Revolution, all the world watched us rise
To an Independent Country, before everybody’s eyes.
Mr. Pindling is our Prime Minister and with the Government he did stand.
And everybody agreed with him the Sir Milo Is The Man.

Now the moral of this story is very plain to see.
With your ambition, and very hard work, there is a chance for you and me.
And nobody can be the Governor and keep on singing still,
Take a lesson from Sir Milo Butler who moved from the Pond to Government Hill.