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Jul 3, 2008

George Betson offered refuge by councilor/deputy mayor

Story PictureIt is often said that there’s a silver lining behind every dark cloud and today George Betson saw his blessing three days after he was evicted from the property he had been occupying for thirty-five years. The saga began on Monday night when Betson’s humble abode, a plywood structure, was dismantled on orders from the Court of Appeals two weeks ago. But following a huge public outcry and mounting sympathy for Betson, two Belize City Councilors have stepped up to offer Betson help where it matters most. Deputy Mayor, Anthony Michael and Councillor Mark King have located a temporary apartment and will work to provide him with more permanent housing.

George Betson, Receives Temporary Housing
“I thought I was abandoned. Mister King and Councillor Michael, they came and they took me and showed me a house which was totally, for me in my mind, wasn’t presentable due to the environment as much as I needed it. They said no problem and they took me to another area which is very satisfactory and I appreciate it. My prayers have been answered because as I said, I thought I was abandoned because no one called, no one said nothing until this morning. Praise God for that.”

Marion Ali
“In terms of the land that you lost in the court of Appeals to Mister Marin, I understand that there is another motion that you’ll now approach the Privy Council through your lawyer?”

George Betson
“Yes that is correct. My lawyer is going to the Privy Council and as far as I know from the last time I spoke to him, which was Monday, he was in court trying to get permission from this court we have to get to proceed over there.”

Mark King, Belize City Councillor
“I woke up this morning, I called the deputy mayor and we got together and we started looking for Mr. Betson. We went to the dumpsite; he wasn’t there, we went to his work; he wasn’t there, we called his phone; we couldn’t get him. And then one of my employees told me she knows where Mister Betson is and we came here and we met him and his wife sitting in the middle of wreckage, the wreckage as can see over there, holding each other trembling and crying Marion. That is what our Belizean citizen is going through. Between myself and the deputy mayor, we made some calls and we got about three houses we could have visited and we took them to visit the three places. Out of the three places they decided that … we got an offer from Munchy above M.J.’s from one of the apartments. We showed them the apartment and they liked it and they said this is great if they can stay there. Between me and the deputy mayor, we will be paying out of our pockets Marion, the monies for Mister Betson to stay in that apartment for three months. And after that—from now until that time, myself and the deputy mayor will be seeking, along with the minister and the Minister of Housing, other ways we may be able to put mister Betson and his family in a nice house. Tomorrow morning at ten-thirty we will be moving in there. The City Council will come in and will assist him with moving in there and we believe that this is something whereby I want to further extend to the Belizean public, Mister Betson doesn’t only need a house; Mister Betson needs help to try and fight his case.”

Marion Ali
“This is all a human interest effort? And I base that question on the fact that elections are only a few months away.”

Mark King
“I can clearly tell you Marion, that we have not even started to consider anything for election in terms of campaigning and so forth. So this is definitely whereby you reach out to your Belizeans. And I di seh to everybody right now, unnu no worry bout no politics. Come out and help di man because ih need help Marion. Dis da weh part yoh si if Marion lose ih house right now and outta door tomorrow, who will be there for you?”

King is appealing to the public to assist Betson to take his case all the way the Privy Council in London. An expensive proposal for the cash strapped Betson who can be reached at 627-6811. Betson, an employee of the City Council, will also get a few days off to get his life back together.

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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