The lure of the Bahamas natural attractions & duty-free shopping is so great in Nassau that historically important figures & places in the Bahamas past are often overlooked. Only a couple of blocks from the cruise ship piers you will find at least 2 statues of persons important in the history of the Bahamas.
The first square you will come to is Rawson Square, a nice little park with greenery, benches and a bust of Sir Milo Butler, the first Bahamian-born Governor-General of the Bahamas (1973-1979). Rawson Square itself was named after another Governor, R. W. Rawson, who held the title from 1864-1868.
From Rawson Square cross Bay Street directly over to Parliament Square which is distinct for its pink buildings and the statue of Queen Victoria placed here in 1905. These British Colonial pink buildings are the Assembly House and Senate of the Bahamas. Although the Bahamas gained their independence on July 10, 1973, and have a Bahamian Constitution, the islands are still part of the British Commonwealth. The Prime Minister is an elected official, but the Governor-General is an appointed position that is in fact a representative of the Queen of England. The British infuence is evident not only in the form of government, but the form of judiciary, architecture, speech and even the ceremonial "Changing of the Guard"!!
This square is a point to relax and have a lunch break. At the harbour side the local Tourist Office is located and at the other side the Queen Elizabeth Statue, the House of Assembly and the Supreme Courthouse located in the back can be seen.
A bronze statue of Sir Milo Butler stands at Rawson Square. He was the first Bahamian Governor-General of the Bahamas.
The plaque reads:
Sir Milo Boughton Butler, K.C.M.G., G.C.V.O.
Born at New Providence, August 11, 1906.
Son of George and Francis Butler.
Married Caroline Watson and was father of ten children; served as vestryman, synodsman, businessman, and politician. Elected to House of Assembly in 1937 for the Western District. Served until 1949. Elected 1956 for Baintown. Served until 1973. Served as Minister of Health & Welfare, Minister of Labour & Welfare, Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries. Twice honoured by Her Majesty the Queen. Sworn in Aug. 1, 1973 as first Bahamian Governor-General in an independent Bahamas. He died January 22, 1979.
This is a nice little park where you can just sit down on a bench and relax. There isn't very much else to do here except watch tourists pass by, since it's right in front of the Wharf. It's really unnecessary to spend more than five minutes here. This includes time to read the inscriptions on the statues.
Rawson Square is the heart of Nassau, located across from Parliament Square. Here you will find some tourism info and can see the Churchill House (office of the Prime Minister), and the Treasury building. It has also been the scene of demonstrations.