RT Honorable George Cadle Price Jan 15, 1919- September 19, 2011

This page is dedicated to the RT Honorable George Cadle Price (Jan 15, 1919- September 19, 2011.  He is the father of the nation of Belize.  He led Belize to Independence 30 years ago, September 21, 1981.

Death Announcement of RT Honorable George Cadle Price

This is a video of his death announcement on Lovefm.

 

Preparations for Funeral by Lovefm

 

Preparations continue to be made for the State Funeral of the former Prime Minister of Belize Rt. Hon. George Price. According to coordinators of the event, a decision has been made to move up the time of the departure of Mr. Price’s body from the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The plan now is for the procession to move off from the KHMH Morgue at seven o’clock tomorrow morning. The route of the procession remains the same. The body will Lie in State just inside the entrance of the Bliss Centre . For those wishing to pay their last respects, the viewing will begin at eight o’clock tomorrow morning. A tent will be set up in the parking lot in front of the Albert Cattouse Building where members of the public are being asked to gather in the queue to pass in single file past the casket. It will be a closed casket. At three o’clock tomorrow afternoon, the body will be taken over to the Holy Redeemer Cathedral for a private Mass. Upon leaving the Cathedral tomorrow evening, the body will be taken by motorcade to Belmopan. The government of Belize has requested that all church bells toll at six thirty on Monday morning, the time when Mr. Price died on Monday of last week. Love FM and Love Television will have extensive coverage of the State Funeral, starting tomorrow morning at six o’clock. The Love FM/Love Television broadcast team will be anchored by veteran broadcaster Patrick Jones and will include Ava Diaz Sosa, Julia Carrillo and Armin Arana.

 

Belize mourns the death of Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price

Posted: 23/09/2011 - 10:18 AM
Author: Stacey Kelly

As Belize prepares for its 30th anniversary of Independence on Wednesday, September 21, 2011, the death of the Right Honorable George Cadle Price, 92, two days short of this milestone achievement – Belize’s Independence - has inevitably cast a blanket of sorrow over the festivities. 
  
Mr. Price was the first Prime Minister of Belize and one of the founders of the People’s United Party and who pioneered our move from a British colony, British Honduras, into an independent country - Belize.
  
George Price, or as many would refer to him, “The Father of Belize’s Independence,” died at approximately 6:30 a.m. today at the Belize Health Care Partners. Different affiliates of the Price family told us that he died “with his family by his side.
  
As the news of his death took center stage in the media, citizens, friends and colleagues countrywide began to mourn, and there was an enormous outpouring of sorrow and support for his family. The focus was on this “giant of a man” and all that he had done for us as a people, and as a nation.
  
We spoke with a number of high-ranking politicians, including the Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow, and the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. John Briceño. We asked them to elaborate on the life of Price and their interactions with him in their capacity as politicians.
  
Barrow told us that he was always amazed at the complexity of Price and his ability to maintain a humble persona: “He is an architect of Independence; he was a visionary; over the years I have known him through his public life. My conversations with him have been very limited, but I have always been impressed by the complexity of the man.”
  
Barrow told us that during his high school years he first met Price during one of the school’s road trips. Barrow explained that he first learnt of Price’s death around 7:00 a.m. this morning via a text message from a colleague.
  
According to the Prime Minister, the Belize flag will continue to fly at half-mast in Mr. Price’s honour until September 26, 2011, with the exception of Independence Day, September 21. 
  
PUP Leader Johnny Briceño told the media, during a press briefing held at the PUP headquarters on Queen Street, that he would surely miss the man he said was his mentor.
   
Briceño told us that one of his fondest memories of Price was during a dinner at Price’s family home during the months leading up to Independence, September 21, 1981: “We were having dinner. I remember him looking at me and he started to speak in Spanish, and he asked me, if I knew how to speak in Spanish, and I said yes.
  
He said it is important to learn two languages. He said we have a unique opportunity in Belize because English is our first language, but we need to recognize that we are surrounded by Spanish- speaking countries. It is important for us as a nation, to speak also in Spanish because the future of Belize lies with the Caribbean, butalso with Central America.”
Briceño also expressed his condolences to the Price family, and told the media that he had been visiting Price throughout his time at the Belize Health Care Partners Hospital, where, he said, he and his family prayed for Price’s recovery.
  
Today, we are here saddened by the news of the passing of Mr. Price, who passed away this morning around 6:30 a.m., surrounded by his family. On behalf of the People’s United Party and of all Belizeans, we want to express our sincere condolences to the Price family and to the entire nation as we mourn the passing of the ‘Father of the Nation’, the Right Honorable George Price.
  
We are very grateful for what Mr. Price has done for us as a nation, for all the Belizean people, the fight from the colonial masters to self-government to Independence, where he forged a new country in the Caribbean and Central America, a country that is known as Belize, and where we Belizeans have an identity as Belizeans.
  
One of the many important achievements of Mr. Price was the whole idea of this identity as Belizeans, whereby he successfully fought the colonial masters who were dividing us a people. He was one of the first leaders that started to talk about Belizeans being one — we are one, we are all Belizeans.”
           
According to a family friend, on Wednesday, September 14, Price slipped in the bathroom at his home on Pickstock Street sometime between 5:00 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. He suffered a head injury which reportedly caused the formation of a blood clot in his head.
  
At the time of this unfortunate fall, Price’s caretaker, Herman Requeña, who had been taking care of Price for a little over a decade, was not there since he was not scheduled to be at the home with him until 8:00 a.m.
  
Requeña told us on Friday, September 16, that he was in total shock that this had happened. He said that this was the second time that Price had fallen outside of his caretaking hours, which were from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Mondays to Sundays.
           
He explained that Price lived alone upstairs of a two-storey house, and his sister resided in the bottom flat.
  
According to Requeña, Price was a father-figure to him. He also told us that the last time he saw him was the day before his fall, on Tuesday, a little after 5:00 p.m. Requeña said that he was leaving for home and “He [Price] was doing okay. He walked me to the door and told me to take care, and said, ‘I will see you tomorrow.’”
   
Since the death of Price, the Father of Independence, Belize has been receiving an outpouring of condolences from many countries, including Mexico; other condolences to Price’s family were sent from many NGOs and organizations.
  
Also, since Price’s death an overwhelming number of citizens have been posting their comments and condolences via Facebook. One such resident of the Cayo District said, “A legend, a simple man, a hero that led a piece of land and a people to a nation in the making.
           
A humble spirit that always put the people first, even when it cost him his own money and time. You, kind sir, have left a legacy that cannot be matched; you have left for us a nation with a great future.
  
According to an official government release, the former Prime Minister’s funeral services will be held at the Independence Plaza in Belmopan on Monday, September 26, commencing at 9:00 a.m. Mr. Price’s body will be transported from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital at 7:30 a.m., on Saturday, September 24, to the Bliss Center For the Performing Arts, and the body will lie in state from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
 
On Sunday, September 25, 2011, Price’s body will be taken to lie in state at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development in Belmopan from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. 

Honoring RT Honorable George Cadle Price at the Bliss on September 24, 2011

Here are some photos and a video taken on that day.  The video is the procession of the body, family and friends of George Price from the Bliss to Holy Redemeer Cathedral.

 

 

 

Tribute to RT. Hon. George Cadle Price by Prime Minister of Belize given at his funeral

 

TRIBUTE TO RT. HON. GEORGE CADLE PRICE BY PRIME MINISTER OF BELIZE


Address by Hon. Dean O. Barrow Prime Minister of Belize, HONORING Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, Father of the Nation State Funeral Service, Belmopan September 26, 2011
I look out at this great crowd of mourners today. I think of all those that have filed past the casket, signed the tribute books, lined the streets, and thronged the Cathedral on Saturday. And I know this is exactly the way it should be. Thousands of grateful Belizeans saying goodbye to the avatar of the nation! It is destiny fulfilled. What Mr Price strove for all his life, he has been able to produce in his death. We are now a country totally united. United in homage to our National Hero, and his creed of one Belize.
I see the members of Mr. Price's family. I see the sisters, and the nieces and the nephews, and the grand-nieces and the grand-nephews, and it is to them I speak first. I am reminded that this clan of which Mr Price was the foremost exemplar, is a very distinguished one. As political and national leader, no one could surpass Mr Price. But other members of this family, in their own right, are and have been fine contributors to our country, successes in their various professions and callings, similar to Mr Price in his. The point I am trying to make is that he must have been just as proud of you as you were of him. My heartfelt condolences to all of you!
Then I recognize the presence of the foreign dignitaries, the Ministers and Ambassadors come to pay their respects. I also contemplate the many messages of sympathy and solidarity sent by Heads of State, Heads of Government and Heads of International Institutions. These include President Alvaro Colom of Guatemala; President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua; President Raul Castro of Cuba; President Bharrat Jagdeo of Guyana; Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham of the Bahamas; Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica; ex-President Jimmy Carter of the US; former Prime Minister PJ Patterson of Jamaica; and IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. And all of this causes me to recollect that Mr. Price was as much global as he was local. The leaders in Central America, in the Caribbean, in the Commonwealth, in the Non-Aligned, in the Group of 77-they all knew and respected and admired George Price. If the struggle for independence locally defined George Price for us, that same struggle internationally identified him for the world. At home and abroad, then, this was THE outstanding Belizean.
In trying to reflect on the man that he was, I had recourse to a sketch of British Honduras titled "The Ultimate Colony", and written in 1969 by Nobel Laureate VS Naipaul. Among Naipaul's barbs, inevitable from that acid pen, lie wonderful little nuggets- vignettes and insights into the style, personality and vision of then Premier Price. Naipaul accompanies Mr, Price on one of his weekly, early morning tours in his trademark Land Rover, and describes the Premier's interaction with the people: his lilting greetings to everyone, calling them by name. I certainly remember him on Kut Avenue when I was growing up: "hello, Mr. Jimmy; mawning, Miss Leonie". He walked my, and every, neighbourhood, had a phenomenal memory, fantastic powers of concentration. In Naipaul's recounting, we get a clear sense of his iron discipline, of Mr. Price's huge efforts of will at making himself one with his people. It was the intensest kind of leadership, personal in the extreme and designed to make each Belizean feel individually cared for and looked after by their Premier. He was determined to be the emerging nation's staff and guide and shepherd and comforter. That is what resulted in his legendary attention to the smallest of details, including the potholes in the road that needed to be filled and the broken down PWD trucks that needed to be fixed. That is what resulted in his descending upon households, enfolding all in his benediction, insisting on visiting the kitchen and partaking of whatever the family meal was, the humbler the better.
Also, there was the Spartan nature of his personal life and his remarkable unity of activism and contemplation. "He says his prayers before going to bed", Naipaul tells us. "He is up at five and goes to mass at 5.30. He does not worry through to political decisions; they come to him after a night of prayer and rest; and he is in his office punctually at eight". Even his enemies, according to Naipaul, admitted that neither age nor power changed George Price. He was not interested in money; he was known to give away money. And, of course, he was ceaselessly touring the country in that Land Rover, always greeting, always checking.
Is it any wonder that he came to be called the Father of the Nation? Visionary that he was, George Price himself tells us that he fixed his mind on independence from the time in 1949 when the Governor used his Reserve Power to devalue the British Honduras dollar. To understand just how much of a seer this made him, we have to recollect that this was well before decolonization came into vogue; well before the seminal 1960 UN Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. He was way ahead of his time and it was only the security obstacles thrown up by the Guatemalan claim that prevented him from early realizing his dream; and prevented Belize from becoming part of that first great wave that swept so many new nations into being in the 60s and 70s. But the arch-nationalist in George Price never let go of the struggle for freedom. When finally we won independence, it was after a hard-fought internationalization campaign and in circumstances that were peculiar in the post-colonial world. I speak, of course, of the defense guarantee that Mr. Price succeeded in wresting, against all odds, from the British.
For the record, I want to rehearse some of the historical high points of this unparalleled career. George Price was the country's only First Minister (1961-1963); the country's only Premier (1964-1981). He entered politics in 1944, and lost his first election. But he'd been bitten by the bug. And as he put it, at that point even if a Doctor had told him he needed to give up politics for his health, he wouldn't have done so. He won six terms to the Belize Town Council after that first defeat. Together with Johnny Smith, Leigh Richardson and our other National Hero Philip Goldson, he formed the People's United Party on 29th September, 1950. He was leader from 1956 to 1996. Of course, he was our first Prime Minister from 1981 to 1984, and again from 1989 to 1993. He built this Capital City of Belmopan, and he established Social Security in Belize. After Mr. Price retired from electoral politics, he became Vice-Chairman of the Council of Democratic Leaders of the Americas, headquartered at the Carter center in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to the Order of the National Hero of Belize, Mr Price was awarded national honours of Mexico, Venezuela, and Honduras; and the Order of the Caribbean Community.
My closest encounter with George Price was when we were together on a bi-partisan delegation. We had travelled to Roatan to meet with Guatemala as part of the effort to negotiate an end to the territorial claim, and I remember being struck by two things. First, the trouble he took to engage the staff at the hotel we were staying. He would greet all the front desk people each morning, shake hands with the bell captains and waiters, and actually enquire after their families. Now he was running for no office in Honduras, and these people could mean nothing to him politically. That's when I realized that George Price was, above all, the most compassionate of men, interested in people for their own sake, invested in humanity everywhere.
The second thing I took away from that trip was how complex and canny he was as a leader. He was disarmingly simple in his exchanges with the Guatemalan President- I think it was Vinicio Cerezo. But his charm belied a steel trap mind that absorbed every detail of what the Guatemalans were saying. He would immediately catch them up if they displayed the slightest inconsistency in their positions. He was also immovable on any point of contention that he thought did not favour Belize.
I have already suggested that Mr. Price was able to combine immersion in the daily business of running a country and shaping a nation, with an unceasing intellectual curiosity. And his search for new knowledge and new ideas, was never limited to the purely political. Actually, he was something of a renaissance man. He wrote poetry, played the piano, loved classical music and the arts, and read widely in the sciences, theology, philosophy and literature. The PUP will never have another leader like George Price. But then the country will never have another Prime Minister like George Price.
I cannot end this short reflection on Mr. Price without some comment on his complete faith in God. While he didn't wear his piety on his sleeve, his belief was  absolute. Graham Greene was, as I understand it, one of his favourite authors and an acquaintance and perhaps even occasional correspondent. But the tortured questionings and falls from grace of Greene's whiskey priest, were not for Mr. Price. He had no doubt of the need to always do right, and of the omniscience and omnipotence of his eternal Creator.
Naipaul closes that 1969 piece with a story from Mr Price. "I have this recurring dream. I am in church. Someone is saying mass-Turton, my old employer, or Pinks, one of his managers-and I wonder why I, who would so much like to be up there, am not, and that old sinner is"
Well, let no one doubt that Mr. Price is up there now, united at long last and saying mass with his Almighty God. 

Frankie Reneau's Hymn to Belize becomes instant classic

 

Frankie Reneau's Hymn to Belize becomes instant classic

Monday, 26.09.2011, 07:47pm (GMT-6)


   Belize’s musical phenomenon, Francis Reneau, has  produced  a symphonic Hymn to Belize, which was performed for the first time to thunderous applause to honour the 30th anniversary of Belize’s independence.
As the tribute ended with breathtaking crescendo of drum, brass, string, and wind instruments and an ensemble of 96 massed voices drawn from every corner of Belize.
The singers came from the Belize Choral Society, the  St. John’s Cathedral Choir, the Wesley Choir, reinforced withand singing groups from Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo, Belize City and Dangriga.
The captivated audience rose to its feet with one accord, cheered and clapped for a full minute. 
“I believe it is my best work to date”, Francis later told The Reporter. “I feel truly proud of it”.
And proud he should be, because everybody else who heard the inspired music and the powerful lyrics was captivated beyond words.
The miracle is that such a work could be performed in Belize in the first place. The string section, bolstered by the violins and cellos of the Pallotti String Orchestra, performed magnificently, taking the melody and celebrating with it.
The brass section, which was challenging because of some of the high notes and  counterpoint rhythm, proved magnificent.
The drums and cymbals, including a prominent steel band bass, put on quite a show, and the massed choir gave such a spectacular performance it reminded many of Handel’s Messiah, not in melody but in rhythm and the powerful blend of voices and instruments.
Later Frankie confessed that he had been moved to tears while composing the words and music.
“I knew what I had, but I did not know how it was going to turn out,” he said.
“I wasn’t sure I would find the talent in Belize to produce it.”
Not only did he find the talent, he discovered new ones in the person of Mr. Felix Hernandez, a music teacher at Pallotti, who produced a tenor voice of such clarity and resonance that  he shone like a leading man. His companion, Mrs. Claudia Henderson, a housewife from Belmopan, rose to the occasion as leading lady.
The lyrics, composed by Frankie Reneau, powerful in themselves, provided a new dimension when combined with the massed choir and the  symphony of sounds.
Frankie spoke of the possibility of producing a CD, maybe even a DVD, but there are no immediate plans for this.
A Hymn to Belize
by Francis Reneau         
Arise ye Sons of the Baymen
Put on your armour
To God we offer thanks & praise
With heart and soul and voice we sing.
Arise, arise you sons and daughters
Arise and sing, Children of Belize
In celebration let us sing
Sing with gladness to celebrate this day
This day we thank our nation and our people
Long live Belize!
In acclamation we are gathered Here to honour you
Honour with our songs of thanks and praise.
Give thanks to God for all His blessings
His many blessings,
Thanks be to God
Give thanks for all his children here
We give thanks that the future generations shall inherit.
That future generations shall inherit
That future generations shall this land inherit.
I pledge to thee my country
My love and loyalty I give Land of my birth, my home
Deep in my heart you live.
Forward from strength to strength you go
Your many blessings here I do proclaim
With heads held high and hearts aglow
We proudly sing your name.
Belize, beloved copuntry We freely give ourselves to you
In deep humility
We stand before you
Belize my home, my country
O land from which all blessings flow
United all we stand
Together, hand in hand
We greet the dawning of a better day
Throughout this land!
Land of peace
Land so beautiful
God’s blessings on this nation
And its people
That we may all united be!
Jaguera libre laru barana!
Land of the free by the Carib Sea  
Tierra de la libertad!
One in strength!
One in pride in our heritage
And diversity
We shall never be divided
As we build our nation Strong and free.
The people call your name
We celebrate and sing today.
       Da fi you
       Da fi me
       D fi me
       Da fi you
       Da fu we!
Da fu you, da di me, The people call your name, Belize.

George Price: Politician who guided Belize to a state of stable independence

 

By Tam Dalyell

 

George Price: Politician who guided Belize to a state of stable independence

 

By Tam Dalyell

Monday October 3, 2011


 

The population of Belize is about a third of a million, composed mainly of Creoles and indigenous Mayans.

 

They regard themselves as guardians of some of the most luxuriant and pristine rainforest in all the Americas. In centuries gone by, the steamy port of Belize City was famous as being the entrepôt for the highest quality mahogany. Wandering round the cemetery of the Anglican and Church of Scotland churches, I was moved by the familiar British names on the gravestones of scores of young men snatched away in their late teens and early 20s by the dreaded yellow fever, and who paid with their lives for their involvement in the lucrative mahogany trade.

In 1970, the seat of government moved out of Belize City to a new capital being constructed at higher altitude in the foothills, at Belmopan. It was here one evening in 1977, days after a meeting of the European Parliament/Latin American Parliamentary group in Mexico City, that I was taken by the British High Commissioner for an evening at the home of George Price, who was then Premier under the system of internal self-rule, and later became Prime Minister of Belize, as an independent state within the Commonwealth, from 1981-1984 and again from 1989-93. An indelible memory of this bachelor's modest home is a variety of simple Mayan mementos, and how his guarded reception had suddenly warmed on hearing that I had made a point of going to the great Mayan remains at Chichen Itza on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.

Price's mother, Irene Secilia Escalante, a proud descendent of Mayans, whose empire had dominated Central America, had imbued Price with a sense of his Central American heritage. Twenty years younger than his Creole father William Price, she imbued him with a sense of the splendour of the civilisations of pre-conquest America. At his home that night he was to ignite my lifelong interest in pre-Columbian art through his explanation of the relevance of his far-from-costly artefacts.

His parents sent him to the Holy Redeemer primary school run by the Jesuits in Belize City – "the Jesuits caught me young, and actually I owe my strict and occasionally cruel teachers a lot. They gave me a good grounding before I went to St John's College High School, and an interest in Catholic social justice as encapsulated in the encyclical Rerum Novarum."

On leaving school in 1935, he became a private secretary and errand boy to a timber trader, Robert Sydney Turton, who later generously gave him time off to train for the Jesuit priesthood at seminary in Mississippi and later in Guatemala City. However, Price and a group of his former St John's classmates were caught up in the protests of timber and banana workers against their meagre rewards and conditions and decided to participate in politics rather than following his intention of becoming a Jesuit priest.

In 1947 Price and some of his friends won seats on the Belize City Council. They created a newspaper, the Belize Billboard, and gained the influential sympathy of Arthur Creech Jones, Colonial Secretary in the Atlee government. The importance of the support he gained from Fenner Brockway and other like-minded Labour politicians, he told me, could not have been exaggerated. They gave him the confidence to found a Peoples Unity Party, taking in Creoles, indigenous Mayans and a number of minorities.

In 1954 in Belize's first general election following adult suffrage the PUP swept the board. I quizzed Price on his relations with Guatemala, whose insurgents were the cause of the presence of British troops in significant numbers. He was coy. "I knew the Guatemalans well," he said. "I had studied under the Jesuits in Guatemala City. They are not the enemy you British think they are. I had good relations with them at that time."

In 1957, during the negotiations on constitutional reform, it became apparent that Price was in secret contact with the Guatemalans, and therefore he had an uneasy relationship with successive – somewhat unimaginative, it has to be said – British governors of British Honduras, as the state of Belize then was.

In 1979 Price sought and obtained a mandate for full independence, and a conference was held two years later in which Price made concessions to Guatemala which were not acceptable to a significant part of the population when he returned home. Price was forced to renege on the Heads of Agreement, the document proposing a solution to the Guatemalan claim to Belizean territory, which had been laboriously worked out in London, and it was hardly surprising that the Guatemalans broke off relations and put military pressure on the border with the young Commonwealth state.

Price told me in a letter that part of the trouble was that his old friends in Guatemala City had either died off or had lost influence and office. Uncomfortable though it was, he had to rely on the presence of some 2,000 British troops posted on the Guatemalan border. (When I visited the British units, the commanding officer told me there was no better jungle training: some of the squaddies were more picturesque in their language, referring to the snakes and insects which were part of their daily lives.)

In 1981 Price became the first Prime Minister of the new Commonwealth country (he was made a Privy Councillor in 1982), only to be defeated by his conservative opposition in 1984. Yet he reformed his party and swept all before him in 1989, remaining Prime Minister until 1993. From 1998 to 2003 he held the emeritus position of senior minister in the PUP administration of Said Musa. George Price will go down in the history of the Commonwealth as the architect of the metamorphosis of the colony of British Honduras into the generally successful independent Belize.

George Cadle Price, politician: born Belize City 15 January 1919; Prime Minister of Belize 1981-84 and 1989-93; died Belize City 19 September 2011.

 

 

Memorial Mass to honor Rt Honorable George Cadle Price

 

 

Flag, National Anthem and Prayer



Belizean Flag

National Anthem

O. Land of the Free by the Carib Sea,
Our manhood we pledge to thy liberty!
No tyrants here linger, despots must flee
This tranquil haven of democracy
The blood of our sires which hallows the sod,
Brought freedom from slavery oppression's rod,
By the might of truth and the grace of God,
No longer shall we be hewers of wood.

Arise! ye sons of the Baymen's clan,
Put on your armour, clear the land!
Drive back the tyrants, let despots flee -
Land of the Free by the Carib Sea!

Nature has blessed thee with wealth untold,
O'er mountains and valleys where prairies roll;
Our fathers, the Baymen, valiant and bold
Drove back the invader; this heritage hold
From proud Rio Hondo to old Sarstoon,
Through coral isle, over blue lagoon;
Keep watch with the angels, the stars and moon;
For freedom comes tomorrow's noon.

National Prayer

Almighty and Eternal God, who through Jesus Christ
has revealed Your Glory to all nations, please protect
and preserve Belize, our beloved country.

God of might, wisdom and justice, please assist our
Belizean government and people with your Holy Spirit
of counsel and fortitude.

Let your light of Your divine wisdom direct their plans
and endeavours so that with Your help we may attain
our just objectives. With Your guidance, may all our
endeavours tend to peace, social justice, liberty, national
happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety and useful knowledge.

We pray, O God of Mercy, for all of us that we may be
blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the
observance of Your most holy law, that we may be
preserved in union and in peace which the world
itself cannot give. And, after enjoying the blessings of
this life, please admit us, dear Lord, to that eternal
reward that You have prepared for those who love You.

Amen.

 This is the article with the photographs.  Linda Crawford thanks for featuring the father of our nation as your September 2010 Spotlight.

Click here

 

Monday, September 20, 2010

BELIZEAN SPOTLIGHT-SEPTEMBER 2010

This is a segment to honor and recognize outstanding Belizeans and their descendants for their accomplishment and contributions to life.  As a proud Belizean, I believe it is imperative that we support and promote Belizeans both at home and abroad. You are an important part of our community. We hope we can inspire our children to reach for the stars.
You can nominate a candidate for Belizean Spotlight that you believe has excelled or contributed to our life. 

 

Previous “Spotlight of the Month” can be found in the archives.

RT.HON GEORGE CADLE PRICE

 

On September 21, 2010, the nation of Belize will be celebrating its 29th year of independence from Great Britain.  To commemorate this occasion, I have decided to “Spotlight” the Hon. George Cadle Price, first Prime Minister of Belize. Prime Minister Price, the Father of Our Nation is well respected for his visionary leadership and arduous contributions made to Belize’s history. As a young politician, Honorable Price led the peaceful and constructive Belizean revolution that paved the way to self-government, determined the idea of Belize as a state, and eventually Belize became an independent nation. May our first prime minister continue to be blessed with good health and longevity.

 

 

Pre-Independence Flag

Post-Independence Flag

 

Belize, with the help of God and the support of it's people, will stand upright and will do it's duty and help bring peace, stability and prosperity to our region and to wider circles of our planet Earth. 

 

This is our wish and our prayers as we wish all at home and abroad a very happyIndependence Day!

 

 

 

Hon. George Cadle Price: Belmopan, Belize September 21, 1981

 

On September 19, 2006, the Belize Post Office released a set of 5 stamps to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Belize’s Independence. Each of the stamps carries the logo of the September Celebrations. Of special note is the 25c stamp depicting the Father of Belizean Independence, the RT. Hon. George Cadle Price. This is the first time an image of a living Belizean has been placed on a stamp.

Mr. Price as a young boy

As a young man in the 1940's

At the Seminary

 

Born on January 15, 1919 in a family that would have constituted a full football team, George was the third of eleven children. His early schooling at Holy Redeemer and St. John’s Collegein Belize and St. Augustine Minor Seminary in Mississippi, USA consolidated a Christian upbringing. When he miraculously survived when a wall of his boarding school nearly crashed on him during the 1931 Hurricane, his father was prophetic in his opinion that “George’s life was spared for a higher calling”. It seemed certain that this higher calling was to be associated with the completion of his studies in Theology at the University of Rome. But it was literally torpedoed by the intervention of World War II. George Price was diverted to el Mayor Seminario Conciliar in Guatemala City, where after nine months he opted to return toBelize to be near to his family during his father’s dying days. This divine intervention as it were, changed the trajectory of his life but not its impact.

 

 

The Mother of Mr. Price

 

 

George Price entered into politics in 1944. With three days of preparation, he lost his first election. In 1947 however, he was elected to the Belize City Council and from 1958 to 1962 he was the Mayor of that Capital.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In protest against the devaluation of the British Honduran dollar in 1949, a few citizens, George Price included, formed the People’s Committee. Here was the start of the Peaceful, Constructive, Belizean Revolution. It was the forerunner of the Peoples United Party, officially established on September 29, 1950. 6 Years later, George Price was elected Party Leader. After leading the PUP to unprecedented 9 out of 11 electoral victories, George Price stepped aside as party leader in 1986, passing the mantle of a strong cohesive political force to his successor Said Musa, who led the party to victory at the polls in 1998 and 2003. His current title of Leader Emeritus is neither far-fetched nor unjustified. It is merited as much for his political feats as for his colossus of integrity, adoration and respect from a nation united in its diversity: a leadership model.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Price in the Pickstock Division of Belize City

 

 

Shaking hands with a lady on her steps

 

 

 

Wading through a river in Southern Belize

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1958, the British authorities attempted to erode Mr. Price’s populism and popularity with charges of sedition. George Price, like the biblical David, fought back. The charges turned out to be a storm in a teacup, contributing further to his surging image and influence.

 

 

 

 

In the early 1960s, George Price advocated for moving the capital from Belize to Belmopan. He was viewed as a dreamer and a spoiler. Today, the City of Belmopan, protected from the vagaries of national disasters to which the rest of the country is exposed, not only houses the seat of government administrative offices, but is developing into a thriving city.

 Mr. Price Addressing the United Nations

 

 

 

The Guatemala territorial claim has haunted his entire career. It severely tested his diplomatic options but not his hemispheric design. It is a measure of his political resilience that the claim gradually provided a cause for consolidating national building, and a source of bringing the people of Belize closer to the people of the Caribbean. Ironically, it was the restructured Caribbean integration movement of independent states, which Price advocated since early 1950, that would, thirty years later, play a pivotal role in engineering the removal of the Guatemalan hurdle to Belize’s eventual independence and acquisition of membership in the United Nations in 1981.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaking hands with boy at the Progresso Lagoon 1982

 

Mr. Price in a canoe

Pre-occupation with external relations was a constant from the outset of George Price’s political life. He envisioned an orientation to external entities that was much more complex than the colonial relationship with Britain and the regional relationship with the Anglophone Caribbean. Closer relationships with the United States, Mexico, and the Central American countries figured prominently as well in his calculations of the many-sided relationships that promised to increase Belize’s economic development and geo-political options. In brief, Price conceived of a nationalist mould that was more hemispheric than simply post imperial in which the future of Belize was to be cast. He was seized – to a greater extent than most other Caribbean leaders of his time – of the potential importance of hemispheric relations. In a sense, he was ahead of his time.

 

George Price’s attributes, including his personification of Belize’s uniqueness in the Caribbean Basis as a meeting place of two distinct cultural worlds has reinforcedBelize’s claim to be the country best qualified to interpret either the Caribbean or the Central American sub-region for the other. Indeed, he changed a country, Belize, of which Adolph Huxley had said “If the world had two ends, Belize would have been one of them” from its backwardness to a stage where it is capable of performing a strategic role in the efforts of Central America and the Caribbean Community to expand and strengthen their relations.

 In Mexico City 1964

 

A rare photo of Mr. Price

Mr. Price in the 1970's

Riding his horse

 

Intertwined in his political quests is a soul that expresses itself in poetry and prose, equally committed to the cause of a self-reliant people. George Price’s penchant for poetry reveals a spiritual and romantic side of which the latter in real terms always seemed to have been subsumed by the former. His inventory of poetry and plays is quite astonishing and would be worthwhile as an anthology, if only we could persuade his modesty to ‘take a break’. It would no doubt begin or end with his charge to Belizeto Unite and Build Our Nation, immortalized as an ode to Belizean independence.

Mr. Price the avid reader

 

Working at his desk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Price at the Crooked Tree Village Lagoon the 1970's

 

At the Crooked Tree Village Community Center with Chairman Rudolph Crawford 1970's 

 

 

 

A twist of fate delivered the political platform rather than the pulpit as his instrument for serving the people of Belize and the Region. His commitment to the principles of Christian democracy, nationalism and designs for a Region as an Oasis of peace remains unequivocal. For his outstanding contribution to the development of the Caribbean Region, the Caribbean Community conferred on the Hon. George Price the Order of the Caribbean Community (OCC). He became Belize’s very first National Hero when he was presented the Order of Belize Award by Prime Minister Said Musa in September 2000.

 

 

 

 

RT. Hon. George Cadle Price with Belizean kids at 92 years old

 

I would like to thank Yasser Musa at The Image Factory for providing access to the materials and photos. I would also like to thank Mr. Elston Wade, Jr. for three of the photos.

 

 

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