The People’s United Party has lost its first leader. Today, the party expressed its condolences to the family of John Smith, who died on Tuesday in Metairie, Louisiana. Smith, who was ninety-three years old, passed away at home with his wife, Consuelo and their children by his side. In Belize, Smith founded the People’s Committee in 1948 and became the first leader of the P.U.P. in 1950. Earlier in his political career, he was also a part of the Belize City Council for over ten years, including a term as mayor from 1947 to 1950. Smith was a member of the legislative assembly for six years, from 1948 to 1954. He subsequently migrated to the United States, but remained a proud Belizean. Smith is survived by Consuelo, his wife of sixty-five years, daughters: Jean Benard, Anne Angelle, Donna Bodin, and Patricia Smith; Sons-in-law, Gary Benard, Terry Angelle, and Russell Bodin as well as eight grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews. Funeral Services will be held at the St. Phillip Neri Church in Louisiana on Saturday. John Smith, dead at ninety-three.
The People’s United Party (PUP) first Party Leader, John Smith, has died. 93-year-old Smith passed away on Tuesday May 15th surrounded by his wife and children in his home in Metairie, Louisiana, U.S.A. The announcement was made by the PUP Secretariat on Wednesday May 16th in which the Party says that “The PUP pays tribute to the life of John A Smith.”
John Smith became the first Party Leader of the People’s United Party September 29th, 1950 after the People’s Committee was dissolved making way for the first political party in Belize’s history. Smith led the PUP for two years, up to 1952, after which Leigh Richardson took over up to 1956. Smith stepped aside as leader following differences within executive members of the PUP. Besides being the first PUP Leader Smith was a Legislator in the British Honduras Legislative Assembly, Mayor of Belize City, City Councilor, and Vice-President of the General Workers Union.
His contributions to the building of a new Belize are two many to mention as he laid one of the pillows of what Belize is today. Smith was a member of the Belize City Council from 1944 to 1955, elected Mayor of Belize City in 1947 and 1950, member of the Legislative Assembly from 1948 to 1954, the founder of the People’s Committee in 1948 and first PUP Party Leader. He was also Vice-President of the General Workers Union.
Smith eventually moved to live in the United States and according to the release even though he moved “he truly loved Belize and always proud to say he was a Belizean. He has passed this love for Belize on to his children.” In the press release from the PUP, it is stated that he always credits the education he received at St. John’s College for his success.
John Smith is survived by his wife, Consuelo Smith (Nee Riverol) and four daughters: Jean Benard, former Honorary Consul to Belize in New Orleans, Anne Angelle, Donna Bodin, and Patricia Smith; Sons-in-law, Gary Benard, Terry Angelle, and Russell Bodin; eight grandchildren, Tosha Benard Harris, John Angelle, Andy Angelle and Laine Bodin, Russell Bodin, Jr., Christina Bodin, and Connor and Ethan Bodin three great-grandchildren, McKenna Harris and Benard Harris, and Patrick Harris, and many nieces, nephews, and friends in both Belize and the U.S.A.
Funeral Services for the late John A Smith will be held in Metairie, La. at the St. Phillip Neri Church on Saturday, May 19th. The PUP Press Release ended by saying that “The People’s United Party expresses its condolences to the family of John Smith.”
John A. Smith, FMLI, CLU, LUTC was born on May 9th, 1919. The San Pedro Sun takes the opportunity to express condolences to the Smith family, the PUP and to all Belizeans.
San Pedro Sun
News has been received of the death of the former leader of the People’s United Party John Smith. According to information received, Smith, who was ninety three years old, died in the United States in the company of his wife and children. John A. Smith was a founding member of the PUP in 1950 and served as its first leader. Prior to his leadership of the PUP in 1950, Smith served as a member of the Belize City Council from 1944 to 1955 including as Mayor from 1947 to 1950. John Smith was a member of the Legislative Assembly from 1948 to 1954 and the founder of the People’s Committee in 1948, a precursor to the PUP which was formed two years later. John Smith was also a member of the General Workers Union and served as its Vice-President. Even though he lived in the United States observers say John Smith truly loved Belize and was always proud to say he was a Belizean. He has passed this love for Belize on to his children. Funeral Services for the late John A. Smith will be held on Saturday, May nineteenth in the US. He leaves to mourn his wife of sixty five years Consuelo Smith nee Riverol, four daughters and many other relatives and friends both in Belize and the United States.
Tonight, we note the passing of John Smith - the first leader of the People's United Party and one of the fathers of Belize's Nationalist Movement.
Smith died yesterday at the age of 93, in Louisiana with his wife and children.
Smith entered public life as a member of the Belize City Town Council in 1944, and was elected as Mayor in 1947. He was one of the founding members of the People's Committee in 1948 - which transitioned to the People's United Party in September of 1950.
He was party leader until 1952 when internal division led to his resignation from the party. Smith left the country a few years after, returning only to visit family.
Leigh Richardson became the next leader - and he too left the country in 1956 - handing over to George Price - who became leader for an unmatched 40 years.
With the passing of Smith - all five fathers of the nationalist movement have now passed on; they are, Phillip Goldson deceased 2001, Nick Pollard deceased 2003, Leigh Richardson deceased 2008, George Price deceased 2011 and John Smith deceased 2012.