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Mar 9, 2011

Belize’s Heroes and Benefactors Exhibit

An art exhibition showcasing notable Belizeans and their many contributions to Belize was officially launched this morning at the House of Culture to coincide with Baron Bliss Day, now known as Heroes and Benefactors Day.  Baron Bliss is among eleven national heroes being celebrated by the Institute of Social and Cultural Research through NICH.  According to Nigel Encalada, the exhibit serves as a reintroduction to the younger generation of these outstanding men and women who have shaped Belize’s history. Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Nigel Encalada, Director, Institute for Social & Cultural Research, NICH

Nigel Encalada

“The exhibit is called Belize’s Heroes and Benefactors.  The name might be a bit misleading so I guess this is an opportunity to clarify.  The exhibit features Belize’s two main national heroes George Price and Philip Goldson as well as the benefactor Baron Bliss.  Now as you know there are many other people who have made contributions to Belize and we regard them as unsung heroes.  So what this exhibit is geared at doing is to honor our national heroes as well as through the process of having gathered data on these other individuals to put them in public spotlight to try and to reintroduce maybe and to remind people who are some of the people who have made significant contributions in Belize hence the name Belize’s Heroes and Benefactors.”

The list of faces highlighted in the exhibit is a who’s who of Belizean history.  From the Father of the Nation to the founder of Garifuna Settlement Day and the composer of the national anthem everyone is present.

Nigel Encalada

“These are only a few of the many individuals who have made contributions.  It doesn’t mean that the ones here are not national heroes or might not be named national heroes but the idea is to bring them to the forefront so that people begin to appreciate that we too have heroes of our own in our short, short years of independence.  We too have heroes, we have people that we can look to as examples.  People who have made significant contributions to the development of Belize and so this is what this exhibit is about, targeting our primary and secondary school students.  Targeting the public, whoever wants to come they can come and visit and learn about who these individuals are.”

While the names and faces might be familiar to some a majority of students do not know who Belize’s national heroes are, nor do they know the contributions they have made to shaping the Jewel into what it is today.

Nigel Encalada

“People are more familiar, I guess, with Baron Bliss because the name was previously Baron Bliss Day and which is good, people know that he is one of our main benefactors and has made significant contributions.  But I think what has to happen again it’s hard to pinpoint where it is or isn’t being taught in schools because we do know from some of the data we’ve been gathering that Belizean history is not being taught in many of our schools especially in secondary schools, you know, where students might be more open to a more detailed discussion of persons of this nature so I think what has to happen in terms of at least with NICH we are going to continue to push programs that promote national understanding.”

The exhibition is currently being held at the House of Culture in Belize City and is opened to the general public at no cost. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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7 Responses for “Belize’s Heroes and Benefactors Exhibit”

  1. Earl Grey says:

    Then……..THEY NEED TO PUT THIS ON THE INTERNET FOR THE BELIZEAN DIASPORA and THEIR OFFSPRING.

  2. Belizean for Bliss says:

    It is a GREAT INSULT to Baron Bliss to have had his name removed from HIS DAY. He gave everything he had for the benefit of all Belizeans. He made sure that the money could not be stolen by the crooked politicians and that only the interest was used. Many hospitals, libraries and other projects have been completed in Belize with the great Baron Bliss money.
    Now his name is removed from his holiday and joined with people like Price & Goldson. PLEASE! They might have helped form Belize which is great…BUT at the same time they are POLITICIANS who lined their own pockets with the money of the Belizean people. Baron Bliss never took a cent from Belize but gave all of his to Belize. A TRUE HERO & BENEFACTOR not a corrupt politician!
    BELIZEANS DEMAND THAT THE HOLIDAY BE CHANGED BACK TO “BARON BLISS DAY”

  3. Ocaso says:

    The change of name for the cherished 9th of March holiday may come as a sting to many, but it is also long overdue. No one denies the goodwill that The Baron showed when he bestowed us with his wealth but come on! There are umpteen number of heroes, both men and women who have given their all to make Belize a better place, and even faced scorn and rejection for doing so.
    The re-naming of the day is a good fist step but the government should go even further and create a Hall of Heroes for all those men and women who have dedicated their lives to improving the country. Big up to people like the Black Cross Nurses, Isaiah Morter, Henry Fairweather, Marcus Canul and Jesus Ken! We owe it to them to keep their legacy alive.

  4. Darlene says:

    Belizean for Bliss I agree with you on this one. Baron Bliss loved Belize so much, he left all the money he had for this country but he was a very smart man, he left that money in a trust fund. I never knew this until I did my research and I was born and raised in Belize.

  5. Jedi Knight says:

    Ever heard of …..ERNEST LYON

  6. james says:

    it is good for students to know about our benefactors and heoros

  7. Mr. Chuc says:

    It’s good that they are recognizing Belizean heroes …Hope that one day they recognize the Maya the hero and fighter Marcus Canul leader of the Icaiche Maya .Who was in all his right to defend the land of the ancestors from the invaders. Long live to Marcus Canul And the Icaiche Maya

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