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Aug 10, 2011

Where the streets have new names

The City Council has embarked on a project to name new streets in the Old Capital, primarily in areas where the city has expanded. A number of Belizeans who have had distinguished careers in the public service will see their names affixed to the streets. Three hundred streets will be named and so far, one hundred and fifty have been completed. News Five’s Andrea Polanco shared the moment with some of the former public officers who served for more than three decades.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Fifteen public officers were honored today as a part of the Belize City Council’s Street Naming Project.

Zenaida Moya Flowers, Belize City Mayor

Zenaida Moya Flowers

“We honored thirteen nurses, one ex- police sergeant Mr. Gilbert Tablada and one career public officer. All of these individuals who have served at least thirty-five years.”

Andrea Polanco

“What does it feel like to be honored for all these years of service here today?”

Norma Ottley, Honoree

“It is really a good feeling and I must say that for me to accept this honor, you know you never come to something alone, it takes others. And so for me I would like to at least when I look at this, what you call it, certificate. I accept it on behalf of all my nursing colleagues alive and deceased, for the babies we deliver and for the patients we took care of and for the community we serve.”

Seventy seven year old Norma Ottley served as a nurse for thirty five years. Today she reminisces on the start of her long and productive career:

Norma Ottley

Norma Ottley

“When I was accepted as student nurse in nineteen fifty-five, when we entered it wasn’t easy. We had to go to classes in the Old Belize City Nurses Quarters; we did not have a nursing school as such. And then before we were qualified you had to be a professional and take your mid-wifery, then you were promoted as a staff nurse. And then we only had a few post and even though you’re qualified and finished your training you had to wait until there was a post available.”

During her years as a nurse Ottley worked in different parts of the country, and wore many hats in her field:

Norma Ottley

“It wasn’t easy because you had to be you’re what you call it, you had to be the supervisor, you had to be the mid-wife, you had to assist the doctors, and you had to take care of patients plus the staff and we were always short staffed.”

Ottley says the rewards are overwhelming in a profession that requires dedication and commitment:

Norma Ottley

“It wasn’t a bed of roses, it took love for what you were doing, sacrifice and apart from love you have to put your patients first. The good thing about nursing for me was when a patient comes in, in a critical condition and you see that patient walks through the door, that’s a big plus and satisfaction for you. I spent a lot of my nursing career on the maternity unit. I delivered a lot of babies. I don’t know how many. Sometimes I would walk on the street and people would come up to me ‘Matron you remember you delivered this baby?’ I said I have no idea but they remember. And these are some of the things that you get fulfillment from.”

Ottley is just one of many Belizean public officers to have streets named in their honor:

Norma Ottley

“We had over close to three hundred streets that needed naming. We’ve named over a hundred and fifty and we have over another hundred to name.”

Andrea Polanco

“Mayor I know like a month or two months back you had problem with the defacing of the new street signs. What has the progress been like in terms of keeping these signs up?”

Zenaida Moya Flowers

“We have been trying to educate individuals. It’s something very sad when we have these honored individuals and their street names, their signs are being yuh know individuals would run up to it and knock it for whatever reason very esteemed individuals. I appeal to the public at large to not just simply look at somebody deface in any way one of these street signs.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

The fifteen streets named today are in the Belama Phase Four Freetown Division.

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3 Responses for “Where the streets have new names”

  1. BE REEL says:

    WAYNE USHER definitely has not been a public servant for 35 years. being a city councillor or a paid politically appointed contract officer does not equal public service. This is an insult to all those hard working nurses and Sargaent Tablada. This clearly was payback to Wayne Usher from Z for supporting her last election bid. it is again a shame they had to spoil a good thing.

  2. me says:

    …nice U2 headline reference

  3. beca says:

    You should fix the streets that’s what you should do. It’s a shame no civic pride. The tourist come here and leave with a bad impression. I have heard so many tourists say Belize is an ugly place full of tugs. Truth hurt but its true. Please fix the streets our vehicles deteriorate too fast.

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