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Aug 13, 2003

Agripino Cawich laid to rest in state funeral

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It was a send off the likes of which are rarely seen in the nation of Belize, let alone its sweltering capital. Official business came to a halt this morning as the country paused for the state funeral of Cayo South Area Representative, Agripino Cawich. News 5′s Patrick Jones reports.

Patrick Jones, Reporting

Hundreds of friends, well-wishers and dignitaries converged on the George Price Centre to pay their last respects to the fallen politician. Funeral ceremonies were con celebrated by religious leaders from the different churches in the Cayo South area.

Friends of Pino Cawich offered words of comfort to the family and paid tribute to the two-term representative. Leader of the Opposition Dean Barrow, remembered Cawich as a humble statesman.

Dean Barrow, U.D.P. Leader

“He was never course or insulting and was always respectfully and indeed collegial in his dealings with our side of the House. He was an educated man in the broad sense of the word. And thus, the sort of humanist who realized that differences of creed or politics could not in the end take away from the central commonality of our species. He was clearly a nationalist too and this also enabled him to put aside partisanship whenever the larger enterprise of being Belizean so required. The fact of our humanity carries with it the twin fact of our mortality and death is of course the great leveller. Prince or pauper, parliamentarian or plebeian we all go to meet out maker some day. We take nothing with us and nothing of what we leave behind is ultimately of any value except our good works and our good name.”

Acting Prime Minister Johnny Briceño eulogized his colleague as a true son of the soil, a gentleman and a patriot.

Johnny Briceño, Acting Prime Minister

Pino was a people-centred person and believed that development can only occur by placing people at its centre. He also believed the crucial role that women played in the overall development of this country, and worked tirelessly to ensure that they also got involved in decision-making…He died with the assurance that the things he worked hard to achieve will endure. He has left us with the binding faith in the people and the nation he cared for so deeply. Our nation will long remember in gratitude this humble man whose leadership, courage and essential humanity made him a giant amongst men.”

Under the sweltering sun, the flag draped coffin was slow-marched to the Belmopan Cemetery where Cawich was buried with full honours, including a twenty-one-gun salute… As the grieving family and friends watched, Pino Cawich was laid to rest.

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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