George was a man of many parts – farmer, fisher, ranger, horseman – to name but a few. He was also a cultural icon, St. James’ best kettle drum player of his era. He was fiercely nationalistic, refusing to leave his native land as other Butlers’ men did in the Windrush Generation. He even refused to live in neighbouring St. Kitts, when it was in vogue for Butlers’ men to head there to work in the sugar industry.
MEET GEORGE HENRY SUTTONDate of birth: Feb. 25, 1913Place of birth: Mannings Village, ButlersParents: James ‘Jimbo’ & Frederica ‘Nen’ Sutton.In contrast to his older brothers, he was the only one who didn’t have a biblical name.Siblings: John, David, Joseph, Ezekiel, Melvina, Lillian, Miriam, Baby (all deceased).Enjoyed going to Brown’s Bay where he learnt to swim.Cut wood in Brown’s Mountain and transported same by donkey to Croney’s House (Old Manor, Gingerland) where his father worked. He was tasked with packing the fireplace.Married: Winifred LiburdChildren: Moses, Josephine, Claudius, Wilson, Hortense, (Ornette & Georgette deceased).Furthest place of travel – Antigua. Made it his business to stay at home while his peers travelled to England. Vehemently refused to go to St. Kitts to cut sugarcane as many other Butlers men who didn’t go to England did. He reasoned “he didn’t plant any, so he not going to cut any.” He chose instead to plant, cut and sell his own sugarcane.Involved in various forms of agriculture: planting cotton, fishing and animal husbandry.Had several boats, one called ‘HOPEFUL’.Resident ranger at Eden Brown Estate for 41 years.Distinction: Also worked on every estate in Nevis.George the entertainer: great exponent of the kettle drum with Giant Despair of Pilgrim’s Progress fable (supporting his older brother David ‘Grey Beard’ Sutton). Mentor to current kettle drum maestro David ‘Juggo’ Brandy.Had an affinity for horses. He was a member of the Nevis Turf and Jockey Club. Horse racing was his favourite pastime. He often headed to the Indian Castle Race Track on foot, when he did not have a horse available. He clearly understood the symbolism of the horse: nobility, grace, beauty, power, freedom and strength, traits he embraced to ensure a long, successful and productive life.Other interests: Made rope using local natural resources, constructed his own fish pots, weaved turtle nets, repaired his own boat – a testament to his genius and resourcefulness.Gregarious by nature, had a strong love and passion for life.Died: Aug. 22, 2013.Age: 100(Photo credits: Hortense Sutton – daughter)