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Iaaf News

Former Bahamas Athletics Association president Butler dies

Arlington Butler, the former president of the Bahamas Athletics Association, died on Thursday (9) in Nassau at the age of 79.

Born in 1938, Butler attended Loughborough Training College in the UK and taught at the Government High School and Jordan Prince Williams High School in Nassau.

Butler later became president of the Bahamas Athletics Association and served until 1968.

Elected to Parliament in 1968, Butler became speaker of the house, serving from 1972 to 1977, and was the first speaker in an independent Bahamas. He also became an attorney while speaker of the house.

He served in the cabinet in several ministries, both in the Progressive Political Party and the Free National Movement, which he joined in 1977. He also served as Ambassador to the United States.

He served as president of the Bahamas Olympic Association from 1973 to 2008, one of the longest-serving presidents of any national Olympic committee in history.

During that time he was able to contribute to sports in the Central America and Caribbean area, the Pan American area and the Association of National Olympic Committees.

Butler was knighted in 1996 by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2013 he received the Pierre de Coubertin Award for his contribution to the Olympic movement.

Butler is survived by his wife Hazel and children Arvin, Arlington Gibao, Krystal Lafleur, and Kara Butler-Wright.

Alpheus Finlayson for the IAAF