Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Defense, People & Places » Coast Guard Annual Luncheon & Award Ceremony 2020
Dec 18, 2020

Coast Guard Annual Luncheon & Award Ceremony 2020

Today, the Belize Coast Guard held one of its tradition – the annual Christmas luncheon and awards program.  The Christmas luncheon for military or service members is a long standing tradition first started in the Belize Defence Force and has since become a part of the Belize Coast Guard’s ritual.  It’s an event used to express gratitude to the men and women in the security forces.  News Five attended today’s event at the Belize Coast Guard’s headquarters.  Here’s a look at how that went:


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Belize Coast Guard held its annual luncheon and award ceremony today to recognize several officers for their outstanding performance on the job this past year. Because of the pandemic,the Coast Guard scaled down its activities but still managed to observetheir tradition where the men and women are served by the officers. Commander Gregory Soberanis says this day is as much about their members, as it is about their families.


Gregory Soberanis

Commander Gregory Soberanis, Acting Commandant, Belize Coast Guard

“Today, the Coast Guard celebrates this Christmas luncheon under the theme celebrating family for two reasons – one we celebrate the hard work that the men and women have done throughout the year, their service to country. And so as the leadership, as a form of servant leadership, today is the day where we serve the men and women under our command. And secondly we also recognize and honor their families, because, by extension their families as well make sacrifices as it relates to their significant other – husband, wife, being out at sea.”


One of the highlights of the day’s program is the distribution of awards, across multiple categories including best seaman, best engineer and best unit. Ensign Tiffara Welch received the award for the best Patrol Commander and Petty Officer Class Two Edwin Nunez was recognized with the award for Best Coxswain.


Tiffara Welch

Ens. Tiffara Welch, Best Patrol Commander Award

“I received the patrol commander of the year award and as they explained, it goes to the commander who showed professionalism within and outside the organization who has done their part, always operational ready and being a good leader for everyone.   I wasn’t expecting it but I guess the work that I have done over the past year spoke for itself, thank goodness and it was a surprise and I am very happy to have received it.   Over this past year I have dealt with many search and rescues whether it is retrieving or actually saving somebody or vessel groundings; multiple customs and immigration operations; and also drug operations. So it has been a very busy year.”


Edwin Nunez

Petty Officer II Edwin Nunez, Best Coxswain Award

“The award is coxswain of the year award and it is an award whereby you can navigate at sea during the day and at night. So, you can reach point A and point B without any issue or problem.”


Andrea Polanco

“What was that experience like for you this year?”


Petty Officer II Edwin Nunez

“Honestly, this year, I am shocked that I got it but basically I try my best to safely get my troops from point A to point B during the night or day without any issue or problem.”


Commander Gregory Soberanis says these awards go a long way recognizing the exceptional performance in the line of duty.


Commander Gregory Soberanis

“They have really gone as you would call it the extra mile when called upon for duty and for service. So, this is the time of the year that we recognize those efforts that they made throughout the year and they are given a special award for that. This year we extended the awards because of the flood operations and there were those who really exceeded the normal routine, duty and service that we would execute in the coast guard and so for that we gave them the humanitarian award.”


The awardees were joined by the Minister of State in the Ministry of National Defence and Border Security Oscar Mira and CEO in the Ministry Dario Tapia. As a former law enforcementofficer himself, Minister Mira shared in the traditional Christmas lunch and extended good tidings to the coast guard.


Oscar Mira

Oscar Mira, Minister of State, Ministry of National Defence & Border Security

“I think it is very important that we acknowledge the hard work and dedication that not only the coast guard but all our security forces have done over the past year. It is a tradition that we come and serve the men and women of our security forces in appreciation for what they have done the sacrifice that they have done. It is not an easy job. I was part of the security forces and I can tell you it’s not an easy job but we do it because we love what we do and it is just a sign of appreciation now.”


Several sailors were also promoted. They each received a pin for their new rank from the Commander of the Coast Guard. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed