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Sep 19, 2017

6 Years On, Honors Accorded to George Price by Family, Party

George Price

It has been six years since the death of the Right Honorable George Cadle Price, architect of Belizean independence. In recognition of his service to his nation, September nineteenth has been designated National Service Day. This morning the members of his People’s United Party gathered at his grave site at Lords Ridge Cemetery to remember him as they have for the last five years. The tenor of their speeches focused on what they consider to be the unfinished remaking of Belize and Price’s guidance and counsel to the country he spent his entire life building. News Five’s Aaron Humes reports.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

Still keenly felt even after six years, the loss of the Right Honorable George Cadle Price after a full and active life falls mostly on his surviving family, themselves distinguished in many areas of public life, including politics. Grandnephew and chairman of the People’s United Party Henry Charles Usher reminded on this National Service Day that ‘Uncle George’, whose lifespan extended to the start of the digital age, would have exhorted Belizeans to favor the personal touch all the days of their lives.

 

Henry Charles Usher

Henry Charles Usher, George Price’s Grandnephew

“I ask that we all do our little part to be of service to our country and to our fellow Belizeans. It does not have to be anything big: we can pick up the garbage off the street; we can help the elderly get their groceries; we can read to our children; we can put away our phones and our tablets, and spend some quality time talking to our loved ones. Today, it is not about Facebook – it’s about face-to-face. Instead of Whatsapp, visit someone at their home and ask them, ‘What’s up?’ We must all serve others, and not ourselves, and in so doing build a better Belize.”

 

Gathered at his gravesite in Lords’ Ridge Cemetery two days before Independence Day, niece Dolores Balderamos Garcia pointed out that Belize would not have ultimately achieved its freedom had the great man not come along when he did.

 

Dolores Balderamos Garcia

Dolores Balderamos Garcia, George Price’s Niece

“Every day, the little mockingbird comes on the front lawn, as it does every single day. But today, I wonder if the little mockingbird knows that it is standing on ground that is free, sovereign, and independent.’ I share that poem with you because were it not for ‘Uncle George’, for George Price, we probably would not be standing on ground that is free, sovereign and independent. (Applause) May it always be so.”

 

Crossing the political divide was Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley, who said Price was about more than the sum of his many political accomplishments.

 

Darrell Bradley

Darrell Bradley, Mayor of Belize City

“But as much as he was, his greatness is not in what he did, or in his rank, but who he was: a humble gentleman, consumed by duty and the work of nation-building; guided supremely by his belief in God and by his devotion to principle; and dedicated to the singular purpose of the empowerment and service of others. He made Belize his life’s work, and we are all the better for it.”

 

Successors Said Musa and John Briceño both say that the work started by Mr. Price is not quite done yet, and it is up to the nation he left behind to reach its fullest potential.

 

Said Musa

Said Musa, Former Prime Minister

“Today, six years after the passing of our great leader, this generation, who are the inheritors of the peaceful constructive Belizean revolution led by Mr. Price, must once again gird our loins and be prepared to engage in a new phase of this revolution. The promise of independence is yet to be fulfilled; it is a work in progress. Our National Anthem proclaims: “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.” That part of the Anthem is the inspiration, but the Anthem is also a call to action.”

 

John Briceño

John Briceño,  P.U.P. Leader

“In the sixties and seventies, Mr. Price traveled across our country, speaking to young people about his revolution. In Stann Creek, he spoke of the new Belizean man and woman, strong and sturdy, fully prepared for nation-building. In Toledo, he taught about Belizean values. He always believed that Belizean values are at its core are Christian and democratic. He sought to build, and proclaimed, our political philosophy as one that he referred to as Christian democracy. Let us never forget our duty to our family, our community and our nation. Let us do so in that tried and tested tradition of service to God and country, and let us together continue the task of building a Belize that works for everyone.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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