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May 27, 2003

Four receive national honours

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The highlight of last night’s ceremonies was the presentation of special national awards to four people who have made extraordinary efforts to improve the life of Belizeans and their peers throughout the region.

Sir Shridath Ramphal, Order of Belize

“I cherish this honour Prime Minister. I cherish it with pride and humility. It is from a very full heart that I thank you and through you all Belizeans for this very special moment in my Caribbean journey.”

O. Nigel Bolland, Order of Distinction

“You’ve all got the programs and you can see on the second page where it says “whereas this and whereas that”, it says that all of us did these things at great sacrifice to themselves. Well, I’m not going to speak for the others, but all I can say is I never felt this to be a sacrifice. I have enjoyed every minute of what I’ve been doing and this is the best moment of the whole lot. Thank you everybody very much.”

Mary Valdes, Order of Distinction (File video)

“On this journey of ours, through this often dry and forsaken life of ours, we need beauty. So I think it is something really necessary for everyone in life, the arts.”

(Beverly Smith Lopez, posthumously awarded Order of Distinction)

Andrew Lopez, Husband

“Indeed this is an honour that is fitting for a woman who worked assiduously…a true Belizean who worked diligently, perseveringly and with great intensity, without counting the cost to serve this country that she loved to dearly in areas of arts, entertainment and culture. And so we are grateful for this honour…we are very grateful for this moment. Indeed, this is the moment that we will cherish as long as the chords of memory shall lengthen.”

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