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Sep 22, 2011

Musa says God led Price to liberate the Belizean people

George Price

You’ve heard testimonials about George Price from colleagues, and from those who came in contact with him over the nine decades of his life. But the man who succeeded him as the Leader of the P.U.P., Said Musa, took his turn today to speak about the man who taught him to lead. Musa said Price’s first calling was to the priesthood, but God led him to liberate the Belizean people. He also spoke about Price’s final resting.

Said Musa, Former Prime Minister

Said Musa

“I don’t see why as a party and as a people, we cannot still honor the memory of Mister Price by building another monument to him with an eternal flame at the grounds of the Price Center for Belizeans to visit whenever—on his birthday—as we honor other heroes in other parts of the world in a special place.”

Jose Sanchez

“Now that you’ve mentioned that; that sort of thing is left for icons which he is. He’s being honored by Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Honduras, the Caribbean, CARICOM and then you even have Jimmy Carter. He is revered by everyone outside Belize. What makes him an icon?”

Said Musa

“His originality—Mister price was an unique human being. Michael Manley once said that he sat with Mister Price at many conferences in Commonwealth and meetings of the United Nations and what struck him most about Mister Price was not only his humility, but his uniqueness that gave him that quality that distinguished him from other politicians. His iron integrity. Someone who will not promise what he can’t fulfill or what he does not intend to fulfill. And when he does hold out a hope to the Belizean people, he intends to see that through as indeed the hope that he offered way back in 1950: the goal of self determination, first self government then independence. He fought all his life for. I mean there’s so many things that can be said and have been said about George Price.”

Jose Sanchez

“You think his religious conviction that made him want to join the priesthood stayed with him throughout his life that is what kept him the way that he was—that made him so different?”

Said Musa

“Well for people who did not know Mister Price, they will only remember his style of living; what they read about—as a priestly type person; very acetic, very reserved. But in truth and in fact, there is the paradox there as well because although Mister Price was a very private person—certainly not interested in material things—he was also a very public persona in the sense that nothing gave him greater joy than to be mixing with the people: traveling around the country into Mayan villages, Garifuna homes, Mestizo having a lunch up there. He mixed with all the people because he was very concerned to see how they lived and to ensure than in his work, he would work to uplift the standard of living of the people. So he saw freedom—not for its own sake—but freedom tied into upliftment for the Belizean people. Like he always said; with independence will come more development. He really believed that indeed it was so. But to answer your question in more detail, I would say that perhaps some people would give the impression that Mister Price was a very simple man. Well the word simple can connote his lifestyle in the sense that yes, he didn’t go for the wealth and complicated things in life. He lived just what he needed. He spoke about the basic human needs and in that sense I suppose that is the priestly side, the Jesuit training. And as you pointed out, he was training for the priesthood, but the second world war came and we know that that never took place. But I do believe that his real calling was to liberate the Belizean people. As it turned out that is what the good lord god wanted him to do.”

We’ll have more of that one on one with Musa on Friday’s newscast. And today there were many more condolences to Price’s family and all Belizeans mourning his death. The latest tributes came from the Mayor’s Association, OCEANA, the Kriol Council, the National Garifuna Council, the Public Utilities Commission and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Those releases as well as previous statements can be viewed on the special page dedicated to George Price at channel5belize.com.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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