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#13754 - 02/15/01 03:36 PM Price conferred with Order of CARICOM
SP Daily Offline
In Belize he has already been
bestowed with the nation's
highest honour, that of National
Hero. Today George Price stood
front and centre on the regional
stage where he was conferred
with the Order of CARICOM, the
most prestigious recognition
that regional body has to offer. The ceremony,
which formed part of the opening of the CARICOM
Summit in Barbados, has only recently been
completed. Here is what it looked like.

Announcer
"Membership of this prestigious order is reserved
exclusively for CARICOM nationals who have made
outstanding contributions to the political, cultural and
social development of the community, and therefore
to the quality of life of the peoples of the Caribbean.
Members of the Order of the Caribbean Community,
are CARICOM nationals who have strengthened and
enhanced the Caribbean identity within the community
and in the diaspora, and who have projected the
excellence of Caribbean people on the world scene."

Tony Cave, Orator
"Right Honourable George Price. His passion for the
Caribbean cradled the Central American state of Belize
into the arms of the community. His hemispheric
vision of a closer relationship with the United States
of America, Mexico and Central America, predated
globalisation and NAFTA, but embraced the spirit of
regional economic viability. His commitment to
regionalism nurtured the Caribbean spirit in Belize and
widened the Caribbean space in the international
arena. He is the acknowledged Father of the Nation of
Belize."

"Born on January fifteenth, 1919 into a family that
would have constituted a full cricket team, George
was the third of eleven children. When he miraculously
survived demolition by a crashing wall at his boarding
school during the 1931 hurricane, his father was
prophetic in his opinion that George's life was spared
for a higher calling. It seemed certain that this higher
calling was to be associated with his studies in
theology at the University of Rome, but it was
torpedoed by the intervention of World War II."

"His entry into politics in 1944 followed a path:
political journeyman, leader in the anti-colonial
struggles, founding member of the People's United
Party, Mayor of Belize, member of the Executive
Council, Premier, Prime Minister, who guided his
nation to independence, and currently Senior Minister
of Government and revered statesman. After leading
the PUP to an unprecedented nine of eleven electoral
victories, George Price stepped aside as party leader
in 1996, passing his mantle to Said Musa, who led the
party to a landslide victory at the polls in 1998."

"When in the early 1950's George Price was a voice
against the creation of a West Indies Federation,
before a formal guarantee of independence for the
individual states, he became one of the few outliers.
History would absolve him when indeed the issue of
independence was at the root of the dissolution of the
federation."

"When in 1958 the British authorities attempted to
erode his populism and his popularity with charges of
sedition, George Price, like the biblical David, fought
back. The charges turned out to be a storm in a
teacup, contributing further to his surging image and
influence."

"When in the early 1960's George Price advocated
moving the capital city from Belize to Belmopan, he
was viewed as a dreamer and spoiler. Today,
Belmopan, protected from vagaries of natural disaster
to which the rest of the country is exposed, not only
houses the seat of government, but is developing into
a thriving city."

"Then there is the Guatemala territorial claim, his
nemesis, which has haunted his entire career,
severely testing his diplomatic options, but never his
hemispheric design. Preoccupation with external
relations was a constant from the beginning of George
Price's political life. He envisioned an orientation to
external entities that was much more complex than
the colonial relationship with Britain and the regional
relationship with the Anglophone Caribbean. Closer
relationships with the United States, Mexico and
Central American countries figured prominently as well
in his calculations of the many-sided relationships
that promised to increased Belize's economic
development and geo-political options."

"In short, Price conceived a nationalism that was
more hemispheric than simply post-imperial in which
the future of Belize was to be cast. He understood,
perhaps better than any other Caribbean leaders of his
time, the potential which resided in strong
hemispheric relations. In a sense, he was ahead of
his time."

"The celebrated writer Aldous Huxley once said, "If
the world had two ends, Belize would have been one
of them." George Price changed the country from
backwardness to a stage where it is capable of
performing a strategic role in the efforts of Central
America and the Caribbean Community to expand and
to strengthen their relations."

"Intertwined in his political quest is a soul that
expresses itself in poetry and prose, equally
committed to the cause of a self-relying people. His
collection of poetry and plays is quiet astonishing and
would be of great worth as an anthology, if only we
could persuade him to break with his modesty."

"George Price was anti-federation, but never
anti-Caribbean. A twist of faith delivered the political
platform rather than the pulpit as his instrument of
service to the people of Belize and the region. His
commitment to the principles of Christian democracy,
nationalism and design for a region as an oasis of
peace remains unequivocal."

"Today we honour the dream, the attributes and the
achievements of this outstanding, this unique
Caribbean man. For his immeasurable contribution to
the development of the Caribbean region, the
Caribbean Community salutes its distinguished son,
the Right Honourable George Price, by conferring upon
him the Order of the Caribbean Community."

George Price
"Many thanks for the award. I like to think that the
honour of the Caribbean Community is also an honour
for the people of Belize. CARICOM has had much
importance in the history of Belize. The regional
services and its bank have been and are of great help.
CARICOM led the international struggle that attained
our political independence. This won support of the
Commonwealth, the Non Aligned Movement and the
United Nations. We continue to need this support in
maintaining our sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Belize took CARICOM into Central America and laid
part of the groundwork for the Association for
Caribbean States. Formidable economic and financial
forces stride across the globe. In the developing
nations many people experience hard and difficult
times. We must continue to struggle for an equitable
share in global benefits. We ask God to bless
CARICOM as we say again, many, many, thanks to
all."

Other recipients this evening of the Order of
CARICOM were PAHO director, Sir George Alleyne
and Calypsonian, the Mighty Sparrow.
Representing Belize at the CARICOM Summit is
Prime Minister Said Musa. Today he was among
those heads of government in Bridgetown who
signed the document creating the Caribbean Court
of Justice. Although we have agreed to eventually
accept the court's jurisdiction, it will be some time
before the court will replace the Privy Council as
Belize's final court of appeal.

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#13755 - 02/17/01 02:46 AM Re: Price conferred with Order of CARICOM
calypso Offline
Thanks for posting this wonderful news about
The Rt. Honourable George C. Price... He is indeed an extraordinary and wonderful man that has been a great influence to his people, and country Belize... I so happy to hear of the honours he has received from Belize, and CARICOM....He rightfully deserve these honours..
I really enjoyed reading the great news, he is someone I really admire and know......
_________________________
I like the new feature of the message board..It is a more appropriate format for safe and friendly discussions..Good luck, and hope everything works out for the best, Marty..Thanks...

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