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Sep 12, 2014

2014 National Heroes Recognized, Post Humus Awards for Orders of Distinction Bestowed

The National Heroes Award is held every year during the national celebrations to honor outstanding citizens from across the country. On Thursday night, seventeen citizens, some posthumously, made the cut. The two top awards: the Order of Belize went to former ambassador Fred Martinez while the Order of the Distinction went to another Orange Walk resident, also deceased: Ramon Cervantes Senior. Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The Government of Belize held its annual Heroes Award ceremony at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday night. The ceremony honored persons found to be influential in the country. The awardees are chosen by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister. According to the opening address made by former government minister, Carlos Perdomo, the awardees have provided great service to country.


Carlos Perdomo

Carlos Perdomo, Speaker

“The tribute to the Belizean patriots proclamation whereas the following persons have labored diligently on behalf of the improvement of Belize and to the benefit of our country and its people; and whereas, they have contributed their time, energy and intelligence often at great sacrifice to themselves to making Belize a better place for all our people.”


A total of eighteen awards were issued including sixteen meritorious service awards as well as the Order of Belize which went to former Ambassador to Guatemala, Alfredo Martinez and the Order of Distinction to Ramon Cervantes Senior.


Carlos Perdomo

“Ambassador Alfredo Martinez, the Order of Belize. Ramon Cervantes, the Order of Distinction; Lupita Quan, meritorious service award. Ethnelda Paulino, meritorious service award. Alberita Frances Enriquez, meritorious service award. Barrette Belisle, meritorious service award. Elda Sutherland, meritorious service award. Sylvia Vargas, meritorious service award. Felicitas Cantun nee Cocom, meritorious service award. Norma Veronica Sutherland, meritorious service award. Elsego Panti Sr., meritorious service award. Emil Eugene Mena, meritorious service award. Collin Thurton Junior, meritorious service award. Rudolph Crawford, meritorious service award. Eric Gilbert Neal, meritorious service award. Ernest “Jawmeighan” Meighan, meritorious service award. God save Belize. Given this eleventh day of September 2014 in the thirty-third year of the independence of Belize.”


Raphael Martinez

Of the awardees, approximately four are posthumous, including Cervantes Senior, Alfredo Martinez, Ernest Jawmeighan Meighan and Marina Woodye. Receiving the award on behalf of Ambassador Martinez was his wife.


Raphael Martinez, Master of Ceremonies

“Fred was a true nationalist at heart and a U.D.P. loyalist who had started his diplomatic career under the Esquivel administration and continued under the P.U.P. government during which time he was appointed Belize’s ambassador to Guatemala. At the time of his death, he was working with the U.D.P. government but it was abundantly clear that whatever he did was in the best interest of the nation of Belize. Above all, Fred was a wonderful person, he was quick-witted, he had tremendous accumulation of worthy anecdotes, possessed an excellent sense of humor and a caring heart for everyone he met.”


Another patriot was Orange Walk resident, Ramon Cervantes Senior, who also killed earlier this year.


Raphael Martinez

“Don Ramon Cervantes was born on July eighteen, 1942 to Florencia Madera Cervantes and Benedicto Cervantes in San Antonio, Rio Hondo. Born into a poor family, Don Ramon became familiar with hard work at a very young age. He assisted his family through his daily tasks of cutting firewood, fishing and selling bread which his mother baked. In San Antonio, Don Ramon completed his primary school education and then attended Muffles College before which he was a pupil teacher at the Catholic Mission. Don Ramon loved teaching and after graduating from Muffles College in 1962, he began his teaching career serving as principal and teacher mentor. In 1976, he furthered his studies at St. Francis Xavier University in Canada and later in Murray University in Scotland.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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