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Jan 17, 2022

Leaders Reflect on The Man – George Price

Saturday was celebrated as a public and bank holiday. And, while many took it simply as an extra day of rest and relaxation, government leaders attended a tribute to the late George Price. Prime Minister John Briceño and Minister of Culture, Francis Fonseca, shared their thoughts about Mr. Price at the opening of an exhibition at the House of Culture entitled, “George Price – The Man Versus the Politician.” Here’s News Five’s Marion Ali with a report on Saturday’s event.


Marion Ali, Reporting

The exhibition shares glimpses of Mr. Price’s early life, from childhood to priesthood, and rare images at different parts along his journey. But while Price’s family has graciously shared these images with the public, it is the stories about what he stood for that distinguishes him and many feel should be preserved for posterity.


John Briceno

Prime Minister John Briceno

“A man who described himself as a labourer, but yet he was doing great things for this country – turning a colony where people never thought that we could have become a country. They were saying none of the qualities to become a country. Yet he was steadfast in his beliefs that Belize can become a modern country in the Caribbean and in Central America and can one day play a critical role in this region. That man never lost sight of what he was destined to accomplish.”


Among the many things he accomplished were Self-Government from Great Britain in 1964, followed by Independence in 1981. But while he was on the world stage striving for these national goals, he also found the time to meet with the man on the street. It was on one of these occasions that Prime Minister John Briceno met him. The PM shared personal anecdotes about the Belizean legend.


Prime Minister John Briceno

“I remember when he was at my house during a campaign and again, I was a little boy. I was in standard six. And he was taking time to speak to a standard six kid. And he started to ask me about school, and how you’re doing and what is it that you want to study. Of course, I had no clue, and then he said, “Remember to speak Spanish.” He said, “Es importante que sigas hablande en Espanol, porque Espanol es el future de Belice.” And here we are now where things have turned around, that our Spanish is becoming more and more important in our daily lives in this country. That’s a visionary, but a visionary that is prepared to sit with a little kid and talk to him and explain to him about what’s happening and what can happen in the future.”


What can happen in Belize’s future is grounded in the foundations laid in the past. George Price was a chief sculptor of that past, and his legacy is something that Minister of Culture, Francis Fonseca says we must be preserve.


Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Culture

“At N.I.C.H., we understand and appreciate that we have a special duty and responsibility to this country to preserve the legacy of George Price, to build on that legacy and to make sure that the generations that come after us will know about George Price, will know not only what they read in books, but will understand and appreciate this great man’s life’s work of service to our nation.”


George Price was born on January fifteenth, 1919 and died on September nineteenth, 2011. He was Belize First Minister, only Premier, and first Prime Minister, a title he held twice from 1981 to 1984 and again from 1989 to 1993. His tomb is located at the Lord’s Ridge Cemetery.


The exhibition at the House of Culture is open to the public through the end of the month.

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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