Knolly Butler (Date of Birth: 3rd Aug 1931)
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Born in Mayaro, Trinidad on August 3rd 1931, Knolly Alan Butler attended primary school in San Fernando and St. Benedict’s College (now Presentation College), San Fernando. After his second year, he attended St. Mary’s College, Port of Spain and later won an Island Scholarship.
He studied medicine at London University, England. He qualified in 1956 and won the Internal Medicine Prize in his final year. He then trained in surgery obtaining the Hallet Prize in 1958 and the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1960.
He returned to the Caribbean in 1963 to assume the post of Senior Surgical Registrar at the University Hopital in Mona, Jamaica. His department head was the prominent Guyanese surgeon, Sir Harry Annamunthodo.
With strong support from Sir Harry, Butler returned to Trinidad in 1967 to start a medical training programme. He initiated and developed the Eastern Caribbean Medical Scheme and was the head administrator in Trinidad for 23 years.
Between 1970 and 1971, he pursued vascular surgery at St. Mary’s Hospital, London. He rose through the posts of Associate Dean, Vice Dean and later Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and was the Director of the School of Medicine at St. Augustine from 1983 to 1994. Two years after his retirement in 1995, he became the first Director of the Clinical Programme, a new UWI medical teaching programme in the Bahamas. He held the post until the end of 1999, one year after receiving the title Professor Emeritus.
Butler’s skills as a teacher were in demand in the Bahamas, Jamaica and Trinidad. His love for teaching and his high standard as an examiner have not allowed him any vacation from the task. He still lectures two afternoons a week at the Mt. Hope Medical Sciences Complex in Trinidad. He is an examiner for both the Mt. Hope and Mona medical faculties and the postgraduate school at Mona.
He is a founding member and present Chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Institute of the West Indies, a think tank, and a member of the Association of Caribbean Surgeons. In 1987, he received the Chaconia Medal (Gold) from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for his outstanding contribution.