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Loretta Butler Turner bows to accept the National Heroes Award for Sir Milo Butler, her grandfather


Cynthia “Mother” Pratt received the award of Order of Merit


Lynden Pindling II, grandson of National Hero Sir Lynden Pindling; Craig Symonette, son of National Hero Sir Roland Symonette; and Loretta Butler Turner, granddaughter of National Hero Sir Milo Butler
The Governor General presents the award of Order of Merit to High Commissioner to India Lowell Mortimer


Leader of the Opposition Philip Davis, Cynthia” Mother” Pratt and the son of former MP James Sweeting

The first national honours of Bahamian vintage were formally conferred on National Heroes Day 8th October. The law which was passed in 2016 mandates that the awards are to be announced each year on Independence Day and conferred in a ceremony on National Heroes Day which is the second Monday in October.  What was interesting is that the awards caused adverse criticism when the Prime Minister chose to honour Sir Roland Symonette, the leader of the racist UBP regime which preceded the PLP in 1967, as a National Hero.  There was also some negative feedback because the Prime Minister Hubert Minnis was honoured with the honorific Most Honourable and given the award of Order of The Nation.  PLPs were incensed.  We agree that the Prime Minister should not have given Roland Symonette anything.  He is not deserving of an award.  To name him a national hero is a travesty.  The fact is the PLP passed the act though and gave the Prime Minister the power, so it hardly lies in the mouth of PLPs to complain, save to disagree with the exercise of he discretion.  On the issue of the Prime Minister’s award, the statute gives to all Prime Ministers present and former and Governors General, the award by right of office to Order of the Nation and the title Most Honourable.  Again, PLPs can hardly put it in their mouths to complain about that since it was our act that gave the right.  Former Prime Ministers Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie made a mistake in not taking the awards.  Mr. Christie was the Prime Minister who brought the act into force. Our view is that when the PLP comes to power it can exercise the discretion in the way which it wants.  Until then we have to do our best to give these local awards their legitimacy and support the honours system which the PLP put in place.  The political job we have is to remove the FNM from office and then we will know what to do when we give the next awards.