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Sep 20, 2022

Remembering George Price Eleven Years Later

George Price

He is called the Father of the Nation for all that he did in his life to defy colonialism and fight for Belize’s political Independence. The late George Price, one of the founders of the ruling People’s United Party is remembered each year on September nineteenth, the date when he died eleven years ago in 2011. And on Monday, his party, the Acting Governor-General Stuart Leslie, and the Leader of the Opposition, Shyne Barrow, laid wreaths at his tomb in honour of his contributions to the development of Belize. Marion Ali was there and filed the following report.

 

Marion Ali, Reporting

The laying of wreaths at the gravesite of the late George Price on National Service Day reflects the gratitude that is paid each year for the sacrifices he made in helping to build Belize. At a ceremony attended by dignitaries and aided by the Belize Defense Force, the Father of the Nation was remembered for standing up against Colonial masters, for being a founding member of the People’s Committee at a time when our dollar faced threat of devaluation, and for fighting for Self-Government in 1964 and eventually for Belize’s political Independence in 1981. Minister of the Public Service, Henry Charles Usher reminded all that his grand-uncle promoted social justice.

 

Henry Charles Usher

Henry Charles Usher, Grand nephew of George Price

“Uncle George was always fund of saying that it was our duty as Christians and good Belizeans to lift up the poor, to help the less fortunate and down-trodden, to build a nation Belize where we work together, look out for each other, and share in the wealth untold that God has bestowed upon us. His greatest effort was to engender in all of us a social conscience. “There are wrongs that need attention,” he would say. “There are poor people who need our help and we have a responsibility to them and to our country.”

 

Retired politician Ralph Fonseca recalled when his father and Price worked together in the seventies.

 

Ralph Fonseca

Ralph Fonseca, Former Minister of Finance

“As kids, we went to sleep and woke up hearing Premier Price and our dad working on the phone, discussing agrarian land reform, the budget, building Hattieville, and then Belmopan, and planning the Independence and development of Belize. At formal ceremonies, my mother, Gertrude Fonseca was always there with these two public servants as they carried out their roles.”

 

Mayor Bernard Wagner, who also delivered an address on National Service Day, reminded those in attendance that when we strive to do things to help others, it is the greatest honour we can give to George Price.

 

Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Mayor, Belize City

“On a day like today when we muster in sincere camaraderie to celebrate his undying legacy, may we all reset our compass and renew our marching orders to fulfill his encouragement. Be it extensive or limited, any review of the life he lived suffices to establish that George Price’s spirit was innately destined for service to Belize.”

 

Prime Minister John Briceño echoed the very sentiment that the service that Price began for his fellow Belizeans must continue.

 

Prime Minister John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“The peaceful, constructive, Belizean revolution can only be fulfilled when we truly become a nation of free people whose heart beats with social justice. To achieve this, we need to build a kinder nation where our children do not live in fear and our society is truly living out the preamble of the Constitution that says we must build a nation of people who can achieve their God-given potential.”

 

George Price served as the head of government of Belize from 1961 to 1984 and from 1989 to 1993. He served as First Minister and Premier under British rule until independence in 1981 and was Belize’s first prime minister after independence that year. Marion Ali for News Five.


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