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IWHM President and Treasurer, Bernard Butler, passes away

  • Monday February 19, 2018

Bernard Butler and former Institution of Works and Highways Management (IWHM) President and Treasurer passed away on the 10th January and was laid to rest at Frensham’s St Marys church on the 2nd February. 

– perhaps the UK’s Oldest Treasurer of a UK Charity. 

Bernard was born into a large family in  Doncaster during February 1911.

He left home at the age of 16 and travelled to London for work and tried varies activities until gaining employment in the Local Government Sector where he remained until his retirement as a Senior Officer at 65.

For over 50 years Bernard Butler was a prominent member of the former Institution of Works and Highways Management and a leading light in the promotion of education and training. The IWHM supported and part funded the concept and development of Distance Learning in relation to Highways Design and Maintenance – now known as Highways Open Tech (HOT) – and incorporated into the City of Bath College distance learning programme.

He served as President of the IWHM and remained as a serving senior member until 1984 when he was recalled to the frontline to act as Treasurer as the Institutions funds had dwindled to £10,000. His shrew investment and financial controls soon had the books looking very healthy and by the early 90’s the assets were over £270,000 and increasing rapidly.

The IWHM Bernard Butler Trust Fund was set up in July 1997 from the IWHM funds (the IWHM was originally established in 1939) when its members voted to merge their IWHM ‘Learned Society’ activities and day to day membership with the Institution of Civil Engineers.

The new trust was set up by the 86-year-young Bernard Butler, now a retired Municipal Engineer, and the then President David Comber and the General Secretary Geoff Porter as they wanted to widen opportunities for young people to contribute to the development of engineering and technical services. 

The fund incorporated Bernard Butler in the title in recognition of his many years service to the IWHM, including two terms as Treasurer and one term as President in 1954 – 55.

Said Mr Butler at the time: ‘I enjoyed a busy and satisfying career in Municipal Engineering and know that the services it provides are essential to modern life’. Now I am concerned about the future and worried that not enough young people are entering the Engineering Profession. So we agreed, when the IWHM decided on a merger, to use its assets to do something to help.’

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