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Nov 3, 2014

A Final Tribute to Paul Nabor

Earlier, we showed you the beautiful and poignant church farewell to the legendary parandero Paul Nabor. But for the undisputed king of paranda, that was only one stop on his final journey with his people. Mike Rudon has coverage from the Cemetery where Nabor’s family and friends paid tribute to him, and said ayo Nabi as he transitioned to Seiri.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

The body of Paul Nabor, in a coffin custom made for him, was carried into the cemetery on the shoulders of the Belize Defence Force. A final resting place had already been prepared for him. As the solemn procession made its way, the band played Nabor’s hit Naguya Nei, which he had written for his sister on her deathbed. He had asked for that song to be played at his own funeral. The life of this great man impacted many – so while his farewell was a celebration of life, there is also grief and sadness.

 

David Lino

David Lino, Grandson of Paul Nabor

“The entire family is feeling it because we know we lost a loved one – especially my mom. She’s taking it very serious. Right now to be honest and sincere I can’t find the words to describe what we feel and how we feel exactly because it is a great loss…and not only for us but for the entire Belize on a whole because everybody loved him.”

 

Aurelio Martinez

Aurelio Martinez, Parandero

“When I heard that it was almost like I was going to die too. Because Paul Nabor we knew he was sick and in the hospital. I talk to him by phone sometimes, but he told me he was going to try. He said I feel bad but I’m going to try. So I’m still waiting for him to try. Because we needed our partner in this project, international project for the Garifuna music, our Grandpa, our friend.”

 

Paul Nabor was eighty-six years old. He would have been eight-seven in January. This king of paranda was a prolific song writer and singer throughout his life, but he only gained regional and international recognition in his later years, when he and the legendary Andy Palacio, along with the Garifuna Collective, put Belize on the cultural map. So the sense of loss from his death is a tangible thing.

 

Paul Nabor

Aurelio Martinez

“It’s personal for me because we are close with Paul Nabor. When he comes to Honduras he lives in my house. When I come here I eat fish with him at his house so we are close. I am close with him, so it’s personal for me. And for our nation, the Garifuna nation, not just for the Belizean people – Paul Nabor represents the Garifuna nation. In an international way people know about the Garifuna music because of this project. Maybe we had many artists before, and many Garifuna singers, but the Garifuna music only started to be recognized a few years ago in an international way, and we started with Paul Nabor.”

 

P.U.P. Leader. Francis Fonseca. made the trip from Belize City to bid farewell to the musical giant. He says he had to, not only in his official capacity but because he knew and respected Paul Nabor.

 

Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, P.U.P. Leader

“One of the best memories I have of Paul Nabor is a day we spent together along with Andy Palacio in the village of Barranco when as the Minister of Culture I travelled to Barranco to participate in a ceremony designating Andy Palacio as a UNESCO Artist for Peace. Barranco is his home village so that’s where the ceremony took place. And Paul Nabor who considered Andy Palacio a sort of grandson was there. He was there to support him and to participate in this international recognition of this great Belizean artist Andy Palacio. And we spent the entire day together – in Barranco – we ate together, we talked about music, we talked about culture and life in Belize.”

 

The death of Paul Nabor has brought to life a sentiment that the country neglects its great artists who contribute so much and who proudly represent Belize. Nabor is the second of the Three Kings to die, but are we guilty of waiting until they’re dead to acknowledge their lives.

 

Francis Fonseca

“Many of these good gentlemen and the women who are in music and arts live from hand to mouth, quite literally. As you know we’ve made a big deal in Belize of talking about three kings. We lost Wilfred Peters and now we’ve lost Paul Nabor. The last remaining king is Florencio Mes. And both Mr. Peters and Paul Nabor essentially died with very little even though we hailed them as these great musical artists. I think as a society, as a nation, as a people we certainly have to do a lot better. We have to do a lot better in terms of appreciating these individuals, recognizing these individuals, but also in tangible ways demonstrating to them that there is value to the work they produce on behalf of this great country.”

 

Aurelio Martinez

“You know he told me something – you know I love to come to Honduras because the children have a lot of respect for me – everybody called him Grandpa. And sometimes in Dangriga or Hopkins or Peine, Paul is also the children don’t have the same kind of respect and he missed that because he was born in that kind of respect. We preserve that kind of respect in Honduras in our Garifuna village and Paul Nabor felt that.”

 

With the official ceremony completed, Nabor’s family and friends took over and said goodbye in the rich tradition of the Garifuna culture.

 

David Lino

“My grandfather all the time taught us discipline – to be humble, love yourself and respect others. No matter what you achieve in life or whatever you have, continue to be the same person – learn to interact with other people, communicate with other people without differences. I think that’s the biggest lesson he ever taught us and the nation. I know that he’s a loving person. He had a lot of love for himself and his family and everyone.”

 

Mike Rudon for News Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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