Nassau, Bahamas – Bahamians from all walks of life packed Christ Church Cathedral Monday to bid farewell to Milo Boughton Butler Jr., former Speaker of the House of Assembly.
The Official Funeral Service reflected upon the life of Milo Butler Jr. in special tributes, music, prayers, and scripture readings.
Among those bringing tributes was Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham who said Mr. Butler came out of a tradition that encompasses the values of hard work, personal development, enterprise and generosity of service.
“While his independence of thought and devotion to certain principles did not always make him a political favourite, his contributions and capabilities did not allow for him to be overlooked,” said the Prime Minister.
He described Mr. Butler as a “nation builder”, a “freedom fighter”, a “progressive thinker” and, a man with “a passion for the progress of his people.”
Also giving tributes were Elder Basil Butler, brother; Godfrey Eneas, family friend; the Hon. Pierre Dupuch, parliamentary colleague; Sir Arlington Butler, family friend; the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, leader of the Opposition and Rev. Dr. James Moultrie, rector of St. Matthew’s Anglican Church.
In all of the tributes Mr. Butler was referred to as an “agitator” for the people, a “modest” gentleman, a “giant of a man”, and an outstanding “fair-minded” man who loved his church and family.
He described Mr. Butler as one who had “immense power”, “gentleness”, “unbending courage”, “deep compassion” and “great intellect”.
Mr. Butler, the third son and sixth child of the late Sir Milo B. Butler Sr., and Lady Caroline Butler, was born on 30th November, 1936 in the City of Nassau, New Providence.
He made his first bid for Parliament as a Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) candidate during the 1967 general elections for the City of Nassau. He served as Chairman of the PLP in 1969. He was a Senator from 1969 to 1974, and served as Vice President of the Senate from 1972 to 1974.
In August 1974 Mr. Butler became the first Bahamian Consul-General, serving in Miami, Florida, from 1974 through 1977.
During his tenure in Parliament, Mr. Butler served as Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly from 1987 to 1991 and as Speaker of the House of Assembly from 1991 until the General Election of 1992.
Mr. Butler was a faithful member of St. Matthew’s Anglican Church and served as a member of the Vestry, the Bishop’s Council, the Synod and the Provincial Synod.
Mr. Butler is survived by his sons, Milo III, Godwin and Jevon; daughters, Angela and Bernadette; former wives, Winfred, and Comfort Baker; brothers, Raleigh Sr., Elder Basil and Matthew, sister, Juanita; 3 grandsons, 4 granddaughters, 4 sisters-in-law, 3 aunts, 20 nephews, and 16 nieces including the Hon. Loretta Butler-Turner.
Following a funeral procession led by the combined choirs of Matthew’s Church, Parliamentary pallbearers, members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Mr. Butler’s body was interred in the Eastern Cemetery, Dowdeswell Street.