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Ray Lightburn
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Poster Short Offline
Posted 07/20/10 10:50 PM
On October 7th, 2009 Ray Lightburn died in a tragic traffic accident.

Lightburn was once a successful union activist, politician and writer. He was a former editor of the Belize Times, and in the 1960’s, as acting President of the General Workers Union, convinced that organization to support Belize’s right to self-determination and Independence.

In his later years, he served the PUP as the manager and editor of The Belize Times. Himself a gifted writer, Ray formed his own newspaper, the Tribune, but the paper did not survive the vicissitudes that challenge small newspapers in the crown colony of British Honduras. Ray’s star would not go out, however, and he was soon involved in another venture in which his considerable talent proved useful. This time the writer decided to put down the pen for the chef’s apron, and he opened his restaurant, Chef Ramon, right next to The Belize Times.

Ray was also a founding member of the Conscious Youth Development Program (CYDP), along with Dean Barrow (now Belize’s Prime Minister) Nuri Mohamed, Jorge Espat, and others.

Ray Lightburn was also the first chairman of the Lands Committee under Minister Florencio Marin. He was a former politician who ran as the PUP standard bearer for the Mesopotamia Division. Notably, Ray was also a former chairman of WASA. In Nothing to Lose he explained that when he lost the chairmanship of WASA, his decline began, as he became dependent on drugs to alleviate the pain of his broken life.

On July 16th, three months before his death, Lightburn launched his book, “Nothing to Lose,” published by the Image Factory. The book is a recollection of the history of Belize through his eyes, and he said that he wanted young people to know about the struggle and the sacrifices that were made to gain Independence.

From his book Nothing to Lose: “The vicissitudes of life, business, and politics are harsh realities. My take on it is this: ‘I started off being honest with everything and everyone on the square, but you cannot fool with the golden rule in a crowd that won’t play fair,’ to quote my favorite song writer and poet Bob Dylan. I came into the world with nothing and I will leave with nothing, as such, ‘I have nothing to lose.’”

Ray Lightburn, 1941 -2009
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#488652 - 03/27/14 06:11 AM Re: Ray Lightburn [Re: Short]
PULU Offline
In the early Sixties, my older brother Ray Lightburn took me on a ride that I am still on. The horse's name was "REVOLUTION". Every organization in town was lead by an Englishman, "Brittania Rules the Waves". George Price was the savior of the Nation, "Lindey" Rodgers was the godfather of the South. Ray Lightburn was the man of the hour.

They sent him to the ports of Belize to change the face of the nation. The Steveadors were making a little more than 30 cents an hour. After ten days of strike they were making more than 80 cents an hour. We moved to the North and then to the South. Sugar Cane was under fire, we called it "Huerta" (Fire). The Heat was on, the oranges and the bananas were spoiling and Ray Lightburn was at the head at the storm. We recruited future leaders of the peaceful revolution: David McCoy, Jesus Ken, Florenso Marin and everybody named Briceno - young and old.

Eventually we ended up in Gallon Jug to overthrow the BEC Mahogony industry. There were trains taking the Mahogony to Hill Bank. We burnt the staves under the train track, nothing moved. We were getting ready to head back to Belize on the afternoon flight to the Municipal Airport when we got the word from the brothers that the commissioner of Police, another Englishman was waiting for us.

The Brothers in Gallon Jug then smuggled us to Hill Bank by train and then to Orange Walk by boat through the New River Lagoon. We saw Lamanai when it was still a baby crocodile. Finally they put us in a truck with cows and pigs to the Pound Yard Bridge where we were picked up by a taxi which took us back to "THE TEMPLE", 81 West Canal where the smell of shit was sweet!

I came into this world with nothing and when I leave I will take nothing, but by God when I go I will leave you with Something! If Dogs run free, why not we? Mad dogs and Englishmen,

Clinton "PULU" Lightburn in the name of Ray Lightburn, the baddest dude that never was!!!

#488669 - 03/27/14 12:08 PM Re: Ray Lightburn [Re: Short]
Katie Valk Offline
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