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Jun 5, 2017

Burrell Boom Day Returns

Residents of Burrell Boom, Belize District revived an old tradition this past Saturday with “Burrell Boom Day,” an occasion to celebrate and recall the history of the village located about fifteen miles from Belize City. Its roots are in forestry, but it shifted to agriculture and much later, tourism. But one thing residents say it has never lost is a spirit of community. News Five’s Aaron Humes found out more.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

Ever wondered how Burrell Boom got its name? Wonder no more – long-standing resident Lincoln Gillett knows the answer.

 

Lincoln Gillett

Lincoln Gillett, Burrell Boom Resident

“The Burrells…you had the original settlers here, was one Mary Burrell, spelt the same way. And the ‘boom’ is actually the same chain that you see right here, that used to hold the logs together – they called that a boom. Burrell’s Boom. And the lady was a Portuguese woman, and that family was actually the family that actually put Burrell Boom on the map. So when we look back at that particular aspect of the history of Burrell Boom, you begin to see that it had to do with the activity that was responsible for the establishment of this community.”

 

Gillett’s ancestors formed part of the original settlement, now numbering about seven thousand. It is that link that the community hopes to strengthen with the return of “Burrell Boom Day.”

 

Erlene Baptist-Pandy

Erlene Baptist-Pandy, Chair, Burrell Boom Village Council

“We haven’t had this for the past twenty-six years; I was a chairperson at that time, and we had a big event right out here, it was very big, so we expect today to be the same thing. We want to do it now annually; we want to continue it after today, the first Saturday in June every year from here on.  Burrell Boom is known to be cashew wine land; we have a lot of cashew trees, so if you look out here today, you will be seeing stewed cashew, cashew seed, soupa, cashew wine, berry wine, you name it; a variety of stuff will be out here today.”

 

True to her word, we found two local vendors on the village ground peddling their wares. Turns out it’s not that difficult to make wines and preserves from local Belizean delicacies such as sorrel, “soupa”, blackberry, cashew and golden plum – and they have lots of time to do it in.

 

Anna Quiroz

Anna Quiroz, Anna’s Wines and Preserves

“Each one of the wines are made different. For example with sorrel you have to boil the fruit; with blackberry we soak the seeds; with the cashew you have squeeze the cashew and it takes a period of time to ferment – you set it with the sugar and the yeast to ferment. So after fermentation, to make a perfect wine it’s called racking – you keep straining and straining from one container to the next until your wine is nice and clear, because you need to release all the settlements and stuff out of it.”

 

Anne Gillett, ArtisAnn

“As far back as I can remember I like to mingle in the kitchen; but I just started oding the wine about three years.”

 

Reporter

“Do you have any particular – not to share, but any particular secret behind the work that you do, the preserves and so?”

 

Anne Gillett

Anne Gillett

“No. Just fruit and sugar. I don’t put in a whole of thing – the same thing with the wine, I put in blackberry juice and sugar, that’s it.”

 

Reporter

“So all very healthy and so?”

 

Anne Gillett

“Healthy and basic. Basic – No whole lot of anything.”

 

From Burrell Boom, Belize District, Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

Burrell Boom Day is expected to become an annual event and fundraiser for the village.

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