The Making of a Hero
It has been about two months since the late Hon. Dr. Rosita B. Butterfield was laid to rest on the 5th February, 2015 following a State Funeral, and it is with great humility that I write this article after a long layoff, not as her Grandson, but an engaged Turks and Caicos Islander. I write to make the case, or should I say state the obvious, that Dr. Butterfield should be the Turks and Caicos Islands next National Hero. Many have had the thought but few have voiced it publicly, save for Dr. Lillian Boyce in her closing remarks at the memorial service held in Dr. Butterfield’s honor.
Looking at this case, neither emotionally nor politically biased, but critically, there is no doubt that she is worthy of such an honor. By any measure, real, imagined or even yet to be imagined, she passes the litmus test. In my view the following are some of the qualities which should be displayed by a National Hero: Leadership; Integrity; Courage; Honor; Longevity; Service to country; and lastly he/she should be someone whom most people would themselves aspire to be like or have as a role model for their children. Dr. Butterfield possessed all of these qualities.
As speaker of the House of Assembly, she ruled with integrity and impartiality, to the point where some of the more junior members of her very own party treated her with disdain at house sittings. She would end her tenure as speaker early rather than compromise her moral standing because of others. Also, under her leadership as chairman of the select committee on the Employment Bill from 1987 to 1988, she and her team would shape positive employment trends still having its impact today.
Both locally and internationally, Dr. Butterfield represented the spirit of her country on numerous occasions, be it in Bermuda where she presented on “Migration and Immigration in the Turks and Caicos Islands” or in the House of Lords or the Isle of Man as a member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Her Leadership qualities were well recognized and unquestionable.
Want someone who illustrated their belief in education? She maximized all education opportunities afforded her and won numerous nursing awards such as the Surgeons’ Prize for the most efficient operating theatre surgical student nurse. She would not only use her time to develop education within the TCI but also to put her money where her mouth was by sponsoring our National Spelling Bee for many many years plus giving financial help to numerous families. Besides, Dr. Butterfield and her husband’s role in the development of Providenciales and wider TCI by extension, has been far reaching and can easily be verified.
So much has already been written about Dr. Butterfield’s tremendous contribution in service to our country that I need not repeat it here. Click: www.sppdtci.com for more documentation. To emphasize my point about how special and rare this lady was, not even her husband, Dr. A. V. Butterfield, will be afforded a State Funeral which is reserved Heads of Government or a Speakers of the House, despite his equally devoted service in the development of our country.
So I conclude with one question to all the members of the National Awards Committee: if not the Hon. Dr. Rosita Beatrice Missick-Butterfield, then whom?
By: Jamell R. Robinson