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Aug 4, 2021

Belize at Forty; Hopeful Hearts; Steady Hands; Together We Rise

This morning, the September Celebrations Commission launched the theme for the 2021 celebrations.  Present were the winners of the annual competition during which the best slogan is selected.  Led by Minister of Education and Culture Francis Fonseca, the brief ceremony was held at the House of Culture.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Francis Fonseca, Chair, September Celebrations Commission

“Belize at forty; hopeful hearts; steady hands; together we rise.”  I think it’s a wonderful theme.”


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

September Celebrations 2021 will be no different from last year, as Belize continues to battle a surge in COVID-19 cases.  This means that many of the events being planned in the weeks ahead will be held virtually.


Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca

“This year we celebrate an important milestone, forty years as an independent nation.  There is something special about forty.  At forty we should be mature enough to learn the lessons of our past.  We have made mistakes along the way, but hopefully we have learned from those mistakes.  At forty, we have a better sense of what works and what doesn’t work for Belize.”


Since gaining independence in 1981, Belize continues to grow as a country, in population size, as well as maturity.  To commemorate that important event forty years ago, the anniversary of the beginning of our political freedom will be observed through a series of national activities reflecting this year’s theme.


Francis Fonseca

“I am truly excited about some of the new creative initiatives we have on this year’s calendar.  Forty trees planted in each of our municipalities; forty, one thousand dollar art and culture grants for innovative projects; forty musical items; four concerts over four nights, ten musical items per night in four different districts.  The Belize at Forty prizes for cultural and creative excellence, one example is the Andy Palacio Prize for original Belizean music.”


Speaking of original Belizean composition, this morning a new September Celebrations song was introduced along with this year’s theme.


Stuart Leslie

Stuart Leslie, Office of the Prime Minister

“When Carlo and I started working on this song after I spoke with Minister Fonseca, we were thinking about who do we want to use, what is it that we’re going to do here and he thought that TR Shine would be a great person, but then he said to me, “we want to do something a little bit different from what is done in Belize.  Let us go with kind of a rock ballad.”  And I was thinking to myself, “Well, TR Shine?  Hmm I noh know.”  And then he said, “Trust me Stu, trust me.”  So I said okay Carlo, let’s go with TR Shine as the lead singer and then he put together a collective of some incredible voices.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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