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Jul 30, 1999

Streets of Belama named after popular personalities

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Belizeans have always had a fondness for honoring special people by naming something after him or her. There is the Leo Bradley Library, the Gwen Lizarraga High School, the Baron Bliss Lighthouse, the Raymond Parks Night Shelter and the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital just to name a few. Prompted by an intriguing street sign in Belama earlier this week, News Five decided to find out who else, or what else, is going to be immortalized by a little sign on a pole and by hundreds of people writing the name on their envelopes. Janelle Chanona reports.

Janelle Chanona

“While you may have heard the song before, you may not have heard that in Belize City, there is an Electric Avenue.”

The business of naming streets is a funny thing. Electric Avenue, which is in the Mahogany Street area, was given its name by the people living there and the City Council decided to go with the flow. Now the streets that had no names in Belama are being named but this time by the City Council.

Danny Madrid, City Council

“The way we did it is with consultation with the people in the division and the people of the P.U.P. Freetown Committee. We came together and found, looked at names, names that were suggested, and accepted by the committee, were put to the council as a resolution. The resolution was passed and now we have the names of the streets.”

Janelle Chanona

“While some streets were given the names of fruit trees and different types of wood, others were named for historical figures and local personalities. For example this street was named after Wilfred Peters of the Boom and Chime Band.”

We caught up with another famous personality who didn’t even know she had a street named after her until we told her.

Lauren Burgess, Comedian

“I just learned today that they have a crescent named Lauren Burgess Crescent which is a great honor. But I no know which part it is; I’m just here in Belama. I don’t know which part it is; it’s a whole jigsaw puzzle. We have to check the map.”

Lauren and I decided to put the pieces of the puzzle together to find her crescent. It took us a while but it was worth the trip.

Q: “Miss Lauren, what do you think about it?”

Lauren Burgess

“I think it’s wonderful to have a street, not a street, cause I mean they couldn’t just name a street after me, it had to be a crescent. It had to be something with a ring to it. So Lauren Burgess Crescent really sounds wonderful or in my own words, splendicious.”

Q: “Miss Lauren, you’ve just had a street named after you, what are you going to do now?”

Lauren Burgess

“I think the best thing I could go and do now at this moment in time is to go to the Lands Department, see the Minister and ask for a piece of land so that I can live where my name is.”

While we all can’t live on a street named after us, we could move to a street named after one of your favorite people such as Albert Hoy, Alejo Beni, Sir Sandy Hunter, Lord Rhaburn, Juliet Soberanis, Marcus Canul and Samuel Haynes. While they were all easily recognizable people, there is one street named after a place many of us love to visit.

Janelle Chanona

“Belizeans are the ones normally going to Chetumal but now Chetumal has come to Belize, in the form of a street that is.”

It was the only street to actually be renamed. Someone had called it McMillian Drive but as part of the sister city relationship with Chetumal, the Belize City Council decided to give Chetumal the honor. While the Chetumal Street signs are up, Madrid says the other signs will come slowly but surely. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting for a sign saying Channel Five Drive. Janelle Chanona for News Five.

If any of the residents of the area are interested in finding out the names of their streets, they can visit the City Council Office next week to obtain a copy of the new Belize City map with all the new additions.

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