It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Sir Albert Miller this afternoon. He was an extraordinary Bahamian whose life bore the marks of high distinction, first as a law enforcement officer of legendary courage, intelligence and integrity and then, in the second part of his life, as an iconic indigenous leader of the growth and development of the City of Freeport.
Sir Albert, a native of Long Island, joined the ranks of the Royal Bahamas Police Force in his teens, and in the ensuing decades earned the respect and admiration of his fellow officers and the general public alike for his fearlessness and intelligence in fighting crime. He was a tough cop from the old school, a policeman of outstanding ability and incorruptibility; a policeman who, at the same time, carried himself with utmost dignity and decorum. Indeed he was a born leader whose personal example inspired successive generations of police recruits. At the time of his retirement, he had risen to the post of Deputy Commissioner of Police.
The second part of Sir Albert’s life was no less distinguished. He was destined to become the President of the Grand Bahama Port Authority and a major figure in the civic and business leadership of Freeport. As the highest-ranking indigenous Bahamian in the Port Authority, Sir Albert was enormously influential in helping the Port adapt to the changing times and to better understand its larger responsibility for the social and economic development of Grand Bahama. Far more than just the most prominent local face in the hierarchy of the Port, Sir Albert was, together with the late Edward St. George and Sir Jack Hayward, an indispensable member of the triumvirate that held sway for decades over the nation’s second city.
Sir Albert was also a mentor and trusted advisor to successive governments, going all the way back to the government of the late Sir Roland Symonette, continuing under the Pindling and Ingraham regimes successively, and during my own non-consecutive terms as Prime Minister. He was a man of incredible wisdom and profound insight whose patriotism was never in any doubt.
Speaking for myself personally, I should like to record my debt of gratitude to Sir Albert for all his many years of friendship and wise counsel to me as Prime Minister.
On behalf of the Government of The Bahamas and on my own behalf, I extend profound condolences to Sir Albert’s widow, Lady Miller, and to his children and wider family, including the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the people of Freeport and of Grand Bahama as a whole.
With Sir Albert’s passing, we have lost one of our most accomplished and devoted nation-builders.
May the soul of this great Bahamian rest in peace.