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Sep 22, 2022

The Time to Save Your Country: Philip S. W. Goldson, Biography of a National Hero

Today, at the House of Culture in Belize City, a book that chronicles the life of one of Belize’s national heroes was officially launched. Commissioned back in 2016 by the National Institute of Culture and History, the publication is entitled “The Time to Save Your Country: Philip S.W. Goldson, Biography of a National Hero.”  Its author is career librarian Lawrence Vernon who using newspaper articles and testimonials from people who knew Goldson to capture his essence within the pages of the new book. A News Five reporter and cameraman team joined officials as well as family and friends of Goldson at today’s launch and Duane Moody files this report.


Philip Goldson

Duane Moody, Reporting

There is a new publication available that gives you a look into one of two of Belize’s national heroes, Philip Goldson. The reader-friendly book, a biography of Goldson, captures real life events that form part of Belizean history.  Well-known librarian, Lawrence Vernon, who is this year’s Zee Edgell Belize@41 awardee, took on the task back in 2016. During his research, Vernon unearthed several things that many did not know.


Lawrence Vernon

Lawrence Vernon, Author

“He was the first and only politician who went to jail for his belief. This was way back in 1952. And then he was aligned to at least four political parties during his career starting with the P.U.P., the National Independence Party, the U.D.P. and of course NABR, National Alliance for Belizean Rights. He was the first Belizean to make a speech to the United Nations; first politician in 1967. Some people thought it was George Price, but George Price didn’t make a speech to the UN until 1975. He was a great proponent of the Guatemalan claim to Belize. He stood up for that quite a lot in demonstrations and picketing so that at times he was even arrested again for holding demonstrations through the streets of Belize.”


The National Institute of Culture and History, through its Institute for Social and Cultural Research, commissioned the book. Patriotically, the launch is timely and the Minister of Culture and Chair of the National Celebrations Commission, Francis Fonseca, shares how critically important Goldson was to the democracy Belize enjoys at this time.


Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Culture

“In my view it is a most fitting title for a book about a man whose life was dedicated to the service of his people and the preservation of his country. Goldson was a patriot and Belizean nationalist in the true sense of those words. Goldson never seemed interested in political power except insofar as it would afford him the opportunity to advance the fundamental goals and principles which guided his life – service to country and people and territorial integrity. Belize has two formally designated national heroes, George Price and Philip Goldson and I suspect that that will remain the case for a very long time and in my view that is how it should be.”


In attendance were several relatives and friends of Goldson himself. Adrian Goldson, one of his sons who lives in the U.S., gave remarks on behalf of the family. He says that the book shares a perspective of his dad that he never knew growing up.


Adrian Goldson

Adrian Goldson, Son of Philip S. W. Goldson

“The idea of the book being a window into the life of someone from the point of view that I did not see that growing up and as the years developed, still recognising. As far as my dad, too much I am learning. I learn so much even today. I continue to learn with every video that I watch, things that he read and what others have said about him. I know that he planted so many seeds in so many areas it is just a vast road to cover. What I do know is I feel that passion. One of the things he said once in a video I watched is this appeal to Belizeans living abroad that we should see them as full citizens and welcome them back.”


The book retails for thirty dollars and is expected to be used by tertiary level institutions. Duane Moody for News Five.

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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