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#445656 - 09/01/12 07:43 AM Re: Belize’s September Celebrations 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More Mas Camp Craziness

If you are not in a Carnival Band - it's may be difficult to understand the psychology of a mas camp. But those who are in it know that it's about doing the impossible: making ornate eye-catching costumes with very little money - and then getting everyone wearing them mentally and physically ready to dance for hours in the blazing sun of Carnival Day.

Monica Bodden went back into the Mas Camps to feed off the energy last night and she has this final report.

Monica Bodden reporting
The carnival spirit continues throughout the city - as we made our way around town to cover the last 6 carnival mas camps.

We began on the Southside of the city at the Black Pearl Camp.

Kendra Buller- Black Pearl Junior Band
"This year Black Pearl is representing mother nature and everything that lies within. We are basically depicting the flora/fauna, the Caribbean sea and everything that mother nature gave to us we are appreciating this year."

Monica Bodden
"Tell us a little bit about the costumes."

Kendra Buller- Black Pearl Junior Band
"We have 5 different sections that we are depicting. We are the blossoming flower, we have the wild flower, we have the tropical trees and we have the animals which depict the jaguar, panther, leopard and all the animals that basically live in the rainforest and are rulers of the rainforest."

"Then we have the day and night section which sums of everything - basically they need the cycle of how day and night works - some of them are nocturnal animals. One of them needs the sun to survive; the plants and flowers. Basically that sums up our costumes."

These are just a few of the revelers for Soca Warriors Carnival Band - but that didn't stop the energy from pumping as these adults gyrated for the judges and the massive crowd.

Jason Belisle - Band Leader, Soca Warriors
"We are portraying the Creole, Maya and Garifuna. The Creole costumes are red, yellow and green. The Maya, aqua blue and we mixed it with peacock and silver. The Garifuna, we used the color from the Garifuna flag - the yellow, black and white. We just combine it and try to stray away from the cultural part of it and bring carnival in it."

"Last year before carnival was over I came up with the theme for this year. I even come up with the theme for next year already."

Monica Bodden
"How long did it take you guys to put the costumes together and so forth?"

Jason Belisle - Band Leader, Soca Warriors
"From February to now."

And then it was unto another junior band - It's their second year in carnival and Western Paradise says they are more than ready for the carnival road march. The band's 56 revelers will be depicting electricity, water and oil.

Justin Gill - Band Leader, Western Paradise
"Well this year I always try things inside and outside the box and then you are tired of seeing one setting over and over, so I decide to portray something that we all used every day and its one of our daily necessity; electricity, water and oil. Electricity, water and oil sometime it can be highly costly and sometimes it can be less costly."

Reporter
"When you say electricity, water and oil - I am going to assume that those are some of your sponsors as well."

Justin Gill - Band Leader, Western Paradise
"Yes I would like to give a big thank you to the Belize Electricity Limited. To Belize Water Services and that would be about it for those companies. I haven't gotten any response or support from the oil company, neither the fuel stations and as you can see my costumes were portraying all of them because from BNE - they distribute fuel and oil to all other stations; Shell, Texaco and Esso. I am just looking out for assistance from them."

"Things right now is going a little slow. I started from April; we are a little way, but still we need more assistance as well as we are looking for more revelers. We have a total of 56 revelers and I am trying to make that 75, so any parents who are interested to get their kids sign up, you can come over to the mas camp or they can reach me at 653-9367."

Next stop was at Pickstock Carnival Band where the hype was on full blast.

Band Leader Gareth Gill told us about their theme this year- which is -Nuh Touch Pan Mi Jungle.

Gareth Gill - Pickstock
"Who love animals knows that when you hear "no touch pan mi jungle" you know don't even touch our beautiful animals and I love animals. At times we need to protect and preserve our jungle also because we can't be killing out our animals and our trees and different things - we need to preserve them - it is like our brother and sister - friendly relationship with our animals. I just believe that it's a positive theme and Pickstock is going out there strong."

"The first group is queen fania - they are the protector of the mother maker, which is Shanta Zetina, she will portray that. We have queen florasol which is Kamar Bent and we have king jungular which is Derrick Menzies."

The temperature was steaming hot over on the north side - where we met up with Mother Nature Carnival Band. These well energized revelers made it clear in their movements that they are more than ready for the carnival road march.

Leroy Green - Band Leader, Mother Nature Creation
"Mother Nature always believes that carnival is about fantasy. What we try to do since we live in Belize we try to bring out fantasy combine with reality. Our theme this year is "Fusion" an amalgamation of reality and fantasy."

"We have three sections; one is led by queen pharaoh, she is a sorceress who lives under the sea, colors are beautiful to look at but her face is ugly. What she does is blind the sailors with her bright light, she doesn't have any arms, so arms are tentacles of fire and that goes out and it drags down the sailors under the sea. The revelers will be dress in all of these different colors. Each of the costume are like that; that's for group one."

"Then we have group two; that is led by king combo; that's myself. King combo is the exact opposite of queen pharaoh, he is the salvation. When he sees what queen pharaoh is doing, he comes up out of his seat and he shines a light that blinds queen pharaoh and pulls the sailors onto the shore to safety."

"Then we have group three led by queen Cleopatra; she is the spirit of the logwood because the logwood was the very first industry that Belize had. After a while the sailors all intermingle with the black slaves and the Belizean population was formed. She represents unity, settlement and industry. Her colors are green, gold and she represents actually that fact that settlers now live in Belize, call Belize their home and starts working towards the development of Belize."

Monica Bodden
"How do these ideas came about?"

Leroy Green - Band Leader, Mother Nature Creation
"To be totally honest they came up while I was asleep and I got up 2:30 the morning and drew what I had to draw and wrote the story because if I had not done it then I would have completely forgotten it. We are a band in believe in going on the internet or going onto a carnival book and taking out a costume because if it is called Belize carnival we believe it should have its own identity."

And they are back again! That's right, Erotic Carnival Band is once again apart of the carnival festivities - only difference is, the group is not competing in the carnival road march.

With its 90 revelers strong, they say they just want to have fun, bring energy and charisma come carnival day.

David Matus - Designer, Erotic
"Erotic's theme this year is "2012 and Beyond." We are doing the Mayan people."

Monica Bodden
"Tell us a little bit about the costumes?"

David Matus - Designer, Erotic
"The costumes this year - we have 3 different sections; we have the Mayan people which is the first section, the destruction and the last section which is the beginning. If you look at the first section we have the Mayan colors, the Mayan design is in that section. The second section; we have red and black because this is the destruction; that's when they believe that the world is coming to an end. So we decided to do something along that line. The third section is the blue and silver section which is the new beginning. This is life after we have parted from here."

Monica Bodden
"How long did it take you to actually put this whole entire idea together - this concept?"

David Matus - Designer, Erotic
"This idea was put together a long time ago because 2012 was the year that we wanted to come back. Members kept asking us to come back from 2008 and I decided that I am going to be in Belize this year, so I am going to do carnival in Belize this year with my old group Erotic Mas Band."

"Instead of having a band that is quantity we want a band that quality, so we are only catering for 90 people strong. Come carnival day our take is line up at number one. Trust me the bands will have to follow the leader on carnival day."

The pre-Carnival events peak tomorrow with the Carnival King and Queen competition which is scheduled to start at 7:30 at the MCC Grounds.

We'll have coverage of that on Monday.

Channel 7


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#445808 - 09/04/12 07:36 AM Re: Belize’s September Celebrations 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Let The Celebrations Begin

The September Celebrations were officially opened on Sunday at St. George's Caye.

That was the settlement's former capital - and of course, the staging ground for the famous - some say infamous - Battle. But whatever historical view you take - September in Belize has taken on a life of its own - so much so that the good times merry-making and pageantry often eclipses the historical significance of the observance.

And that's why at the official opening on Sunday - Chairman of Caye Caulker Johnny Watt - told the gathering to always remember history:..

Johnny Searle Jr., Chairman - St. George's Caye Comm. Council
"Sometimes we get caught up in the festivities of the September celebrations and we don't take time to really think about the reason behind the celebrations."

"Without the efforts of the Flowers Bank 14 and everyone else who decided to defend the settlement - there would likely not have been a Battle of St. George's Caye and without the Battle of St. George's Caye probably no Belize Independence Day and no reason for us to have our September celebrations that we always look forward to."

Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism "Indeed it was right here on this small island that 214 years ago a group of diverse people stood their grounds and fought against overwhelming odds to defend their homeland and for the right to pursue their own unique way of life."

"It was also here on St. George's Caye that the seed of nationhood was first planted." In his speech, Heredia also discussed the plans at the Institute of Archaeology to declare Belize's first underwater Archeological Reserve.

Heredia says it's all about sunken ships..

Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism
"We have also begun to identify several locations that include the remains of shipwrecks in the vicinity of Ambergris Caye, Radisson Point and the shallow waters around St. George's Caye. The protection of this important landmark will allow us to preserve our incredible rich and colorful past for the benefit, education and enjoyment of all Belizeans and those who came to visit our shores."

After the ceremony the Belize sailing Association held the St. George Caye Battle Regatta.


And The Winner Is....

And while that was the ceremonial opening, those who really follow September celebrations - will know that the September Season really begins when the Queen of the Bay is selected.

That happened on Saturday when The 67th Annual Queen of the Bay was held at the Birds Isle.

After more than 3 hours of competition, Yadira Argueta, the representative from Stann Creek was crowned the new queen.

2nd place was Ivory Mendez, Queen of the Bay, Corozal; 3rd was Gorlee Marin, Miss Caribbean Sea, representing Flower's House.

There was one more queen selected this weekend - and that was the King and Queen of Carnival. We were at that event - and will have a full recap in tomorrow night's newscast.

Channel 7


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#445816 - 09/04/12 08:09 AM Re: Belize’s September Celebrations 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The sequins of Carnival King & Queen winners

The MCC Grounds was ram-jammed on Saturday night for this year’s King and Queen Competition for Carnival 2012. There were more than thirty vying for the title of king and queen in both senior and junior divisions. The judge’s scorecard included points or presentation, portrayal and interviews. Hours later, a veteran took home the bragging rights and the cash as King Combo while newcomer Queen Ruby bested others in this year’s senior division. Duane Moody has more details of the competition.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

There was a kaleidoscope of colors and movement as the kings and queens of both senior and junior bands converged on the newly designed stage for the 2012 King & Queen Competition. Thirty-four king and queen competitors in total competed to take home the cash prizes and the title. The four- hour long competition started with preliminary judging and then the revelers took to the stage to bring the costumes to life.

 

Karen Vernon

Karen Vernon, Theatre Director, Institute of Creative Arts

“They actual play of the costume which was worth one hundred and twenty points which was done on stage with the audience there, they were looking for the presentation which was like the dramatic effect, the carnival spirit of the player, movement, mobility and flexibility of costume and portrayal of the costumes theme. So those were generally what they were looking for. In the junior queen competition we had Sunshine Masqueraders and their Queen was the Mayan rain Goddess. For the King, we had Jump Street Posse and that was Prince Kent. For the Senior Queen we had mahogany Masqueraders who came out for the first time as a Senior Band and their queen was Queen Ruby. And for the King competition, we had Mother Nature’s Creation’s King Combo.”

 

Duane Moody

“Tell us about how many kings and queens for the respective junior and senior bands that came out for the competition.”

 

Karen Vernon

“Okay, for the junior queen we had eight costumes; for the king we had six; senior queen we had eleven; and senior king we had nine—a total of thirty-four costumes out there that night.”

 

One of the winners in the Senior Competition was King Combo of Mother Nature’s Creations, Leroy Green.

 

Leroy Green

Leroy Green, Mother Nature’s Creation

“I feel very good to have won it again. I’ve vindicated myself because somehow I think some of the youths in Belize think that to dance a king costume, you have got to be a teenager or in your twenties which is not true. If they would travel and open their minds and go to Trinidad, they would notice that it is mature people dancing the king and queen costume. What I did that was different from them as I always do, I keep telling them to listen to what the rules say; the rules say play the costume, not dance the costume. Dancing the costume and playing the costume are two different things. Playing the costume means that you got to make the costume move like what it is depicting—not getting up there and gyrating and undulating like these guys like to do; that’s not what a king is supposed to get up there and do. Also, when you are dancing the king costume, you have to aware of where the judges are because they are the ones giving the scores. So you have to move to strategic points and see what you are doing.”

 

According to Theatre Director at the Institute of the Creative Arts, Karen Vernon, while there have been improvements in the level of the competition, there is still room for growth.

 

Karen Vernon

“For the King and Queen, some of them have, some of them are still on the same level. As I’ve said in a previous interview, I saw the costumes for the road march were definitely improved, but for the King and Queen, I think there is still some work to be done in the building of the costumes.”

 

The competition is a totally separate and the scores will not influence the winners for the Carnival Road March. Duane Moody for News Five.

 

As mentioned first place for Senior King was Mother’s Nature’s King Combo. Top Queen was first time senior band, Mahogany Masqueraders. They both took home five thousand dollars cash. While second and third place senior winners get three thousand five hundred dollars and two thousand five hundred dollars respectively. In the Junior Competition, Prince Kent of Jump Street Posse topped six others while Sunshine Masqueraders’ Maya Rain Goddess outshined the rest. In the junior category, first place winners received four thousand dollars, while second and third won three and two thousand dollars each, respectively. A highlight of this year’s celebrations is the carnival road march that’s coming up this Saturday, September eighth, which will also be live on this station.

Channel 5


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#445818 - 09/04/12 08:15 AM Re: Belize’s September Celebrations 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

A Trip to St. George's Caye, Part One: Dignitaries, Sailing and San Pedro's Proudest Mom
Yesterday I joined the San Pedro Sailing Club for a trip to very historic St. George's Caye, Belize. The team was sailing in the Battle of St. George's Caye Regatta against kids from all over the country. I have so much to say about my day visiting Belize's first capital (and SO many pictures, I snapped an overwhelming 293) so let me give you a little preview...


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#445893 - 09/05/12 07:40 AM Re: Belize’s September Celebrations 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

New Queen of the Bay chosen


Queen of the Bay

Activities in connection with the September celebrations continued this past weekend. The Queen of the Bay Pageant was staged at the Bird’s Isle. Yadira Arguetta who hails from the Stann Creek District walked off with the crown. First Runner-up was Ivoree Mendez from Corozal and second runner up was Jorlee Marin, who represented Caribbean Shores. Marin also won the title of Miss Photogenic.

LOVETV


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#445894 - 09/05/12 07:41 AM Re: Belize’s September Celebrations 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Carnival kings and queens chosen


Carnival 2012

Also on Saturday night, the carnival king and queen competition took place at the MCC Grounds. Here are the highlights of that night

LOVETV


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#445902 - 09/05/12 08:24 AM Re: Belize’s September Celebrations 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Kings And Queens On Parade

The King and Queen of Carnival competition was held on Saturday at the MCC Grounds in Belize City.

Now, the event is always hotly anticipated - because the Carnival Bands featuring the winning Kings and Queen's can go into the Road March with bragging rights and street swagger.

So who gets to brag and "swag" this year? Here are the competitors:..

Monica Bodden reporting
On Saturday night, the MCC ground's was packed to capacity as 25 competitors - 12 Kings and 13 Queens took to the stage to show off their elaborate costumes and energized moves.

The competition was fierce as these kings and queens went out in full force to represent their carnival band. They brought nothing but their best performances to the stage.

In the end there could only be 4 winners. In the junior Queen category -1st place winner went to Sunshine Masqueraders - Elisha Bernardez - portraying a Mayan Rain Goddess.

And in the Junior King Category Jump Street Posse took home the 1st place prize - with Warren Smith portraying Prince Kent.

Warren Smith - 1st place Junior, Jump Street Posse
"I feel good because this is my first year I won."

Monica Bodden
"What was the feeling like out there on the stage?"

Warren Smith
"I felt kind of nervous and then the crowd just hypes me up and I just got to do what I got to do."

Monica Bodden
"Warren, I have to ask you where did you get all that energy from?"

Warren Smith
"Well I wasn't hype before camp night, but camp night made me get that energy."

Then it was on to the senior winners - where MAHOGANY MASQUERADERS - Queen Ruby - portrayed by Kimolyn Vernon took the first place prize.

Aidian Palacio -Mahogany Masqueraders
"It was awesome, the crowd blowing the whistle yelling Mahogany, yelling Aidian, oh my God it was amazing."

Monica Bodden
"What was going through your mind being out there in this huge beautiful costume?"

Aidian Palacio
"I was like 'I got to do this, got to work this costume and show them what I have and what carnival is about.'"

King Combo - Portrayed by Leroy Green from Mother Nature Creation was crowned senior King.

Leroy Green - Mother Nature Senior King
"It was like a kind bitter lent feeling when I went up there because since last night when they call and told me about my friend Dana who has been killed I have not slept. I have not had any sleep since last night. I also feel proud of myself and proud of Mother Nature. I think I vindicated myself because somehow a lot of people in Belize believe that only teenagers should be dancing costumes and I got quite a few challenges which I did not respond to because I don't believe in responding to any challenges. I only knew that I went up there and I did my best and I think what a lot of people who go up for king and queen don't understand is not about wiggling yourself on stage. The rules say play the costume and that's what I did up there tonight, I play the costume to the best of my ability."

In the junior category, first place winners received four thousand dollars, while second and third won three and two thousand dollars each. In the senior category, first place winners received five thousand dollars, while second and third received three thousand five hundred and two thousand five hundred dollars each.

Channel 7


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#446038 - 09/07/12 09:24 AM Re: Belize’s September Celebrations 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Soundfest Will Be Slamming

This year's September Celebrations season is starting to pick up momentum, and tomorrow night, there will be 2 musical concert venues for the public to choose from.

This afternoon, the organizers for the Soundfest event dropped in to speak to us about tomorrow night's exciting line up of Belizean artists who will perform in the show.

Here's what they told us:

Tony Wright
"Soundfest is happening tomorrow evening on the island Birds Isle at 9 o'clock. We have a massive lineup - one of the greatest lineup of artist we have. We want everybody to come out because this is one of the baddest show that we will have. One of the things is that we feel so good this year is because we have some young artists who are coming in like Jah and these guys came all the way from LA to be a part of soundfest."

"We have an entire lineup; Melonie Gillett, Berne will be there, Youth Connection Band, Lucio and the new Generation, Love Vibrations and of course Radiance Thompson, she just won the father's day song competition - we are talking about top of the line artist that we will have on soundfest."

"This year we really feel hype, it's the 11th annual soundfest and so being 11 years old show something that we are getting much better as we go along."

According to the organizers, there will be transportation for public after the show in the form of dollar vans and a Ramos bus for the rural areas.

Channel 7


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#446187 - 09/09/12 08:22 AM Re: Belize’s September Celebrations 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Belize’s September Celebrations: A Cultural Explosion!

Belize’s Carnival is one of Latin America’s biggest celebrations of Caribbean heritage. From parades to keg contests, here are the top five events to see during the September Celebrations.

by Lebawit Lily Girma

“It’s September! Time for joy, time to celebrate being a Belizean!”

The woman shouted in my ear over the fanfare of steel pan music and calypso blasting along Central American Boulevard in Belize City. I watched her leave my side and leap into the street, soon engulfed by revelers in yellow feathered masks, sequined bras and fitted shorts, hips gyrating while giant trucks draped in Belize’s blue, red and white flag followed behind. I seemed to be the only one without a hat or an umbrella, but the shade from smarter—Belizean—onlookers standing behind me weakened the sun’s harsh rays.

I began swaying, tickled at this gigantic display of Caribbean heritage in Central America. Who knew Belize celebrated Carnival?

Belize Carnival

When I headed to Belize last year, I expected a world of outdoor adventure—hiking rainforests, climbing Maya sites and diving off the Belize Barrier Reef. But what I didn’t foresee was being thrown into three weeks of cultural events. It turns out September is Belize’s golden month. Starting on the first, the entire nation hops on one long party train known as the “September Celebrations” to commemorate the country’s independence from Great Britain on September 21, 1981.

From two carnivals to concerts and parades, it’s a showcase of the melting pot that is Belize—from Creole music to Mestizo foods and Mayan costumes. The September calendar, published a month in advance, is crammed with events by town and displayed on billboards across the country. It’s one big nationwide hurrah.

St Georges Caye parade

Now that September is here again, I find myself wishing I were in Belize. It’s an ideal time to visit, not least for the low-season prices and to indulge in a cultural experience unlike any other in Central America. If you find yourself in Belize during this exciting month, these are the top five events you shouldn’t miss:

1. Belize Carnival

Held in Belize City, it’s the major kick-off to the celebrations. Check the calendar for location of the Road March and arrive by 2 p.m. Wear a hat for sun protection and stay hydrated. Be ready to continue on to BTL Park for an all night outdoor concert.

Belize Carnival Parade

2. St. George’s Caye Day Parade

A national holiday held on September 10, it’s celebrated countrywide. In Belize City, head to Memorial Park to witness the official ceremony with all the pomp and circumstance, followed by a citizen’s parade and dancing in the streets all the way to the city centre.

St George's Caye Day parade

3. Sir Barry’s Belikin Bash

This free outdoor festival held at Memorial Park in Belize City includes live performances from the country’s top artists, dancing, food and beer keg contests, from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m. The two-day event launched in 2011 in honour of Sir Barry Bowen, a popular Belizean business magnate who started Belize’s beer brewing empire and passed away tragically in 2010.

Sir Barry Belikin Bash

4. Pan Yaad at the House of Culture

This lively outdoor, seaside steel pan concert with four bands from around Belize makes for a night of Caribbean musical bliss—not to mention the gorgeous backdrop of a historical mansion, a Belizean buffet and drinks. After the concert, head to Sir Barry’s Belikin Bash.

Pan Yaad steel drum band

5. Orange Walk Carnival

A Latin-inspired carnival takes over the streets of the northern town of Orange Walk on Independence Day. It’s well worth the two-hour drive from Belize City to indulge in some of the best street foods—try the three-for-50-cents tacos—and to watch the extravagant parade, from young marching bands to women in beautiful traditional Mestizo outfits.

Orange Walk Parade

Want MORE CARNIVAL? Check out our PHOTO GALLERY of Belize’s SEPTEMBER CELEBRATIONS!

SOURCE


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#446344 - 09/11/12 07:44 AM Re: Belize’s September Celebrations 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Belize Battle of St George’s Caye Celebrates Freedom

The Lodge at Chaa Creek is calling on lovers of freedom the world over to join Belizeans in celebrating the little known but immensely important Battle of St George’s Caye – a colourful 18th century skirmish that continues to reverberate in regional politics today.

Recognised as the defining moment in the creation of the present day Belize, a popular Caribbean vacation spot, the 1778 battle saw a group of mostly British settlers and African slaves defeat a Spanish invasion at St George’s Caye, a small island off the coast of present day Belize City.

Chaa Creek owner and GM Lucy Fleming compared the victory with those that led to American independence in the United States.

“It’s to Belize’s history what the battles of Concord and Lexington are to America’s; when a small group of what could be called rag tag but highly motivated patriots stood up to a larger professional army and won.

“As one of those shining moments in history when people rejected tyranny and made enormous sacrifices to create a democratic nation, I think it’s something more people should know about. It really is part of our shared global democratic heritage,” she said.

The Battle of St George’s Caye is celebrated on September 10 as a national holiday in Belize, and is considered to be the start of Belize’s famous holiday season, which runs throughout September to the New Year.

Belizean Independence Day, the young nation’s biggest holiday, is celebrated on September 21 to commemorate the former British Honduras’ amicable independence from Great Britain on that date in 1981. Today Belize is the only country in Central America with English as the official language.

September 1981 also marked the official opening of the Lodge at Chaa Creek, when Mick and Lucy Fleming opened the first guest accommodation on their farm on the banks of Belize’s Macal River. Since then Chaa Creek has evolved onto Belize’s most well-known eco resort, with signature thatch roof accommodation, a natural History centre and other attractions set within a private 365 acre private rainforest nature reserve.

“It’s been amazing to see both Belize and Chaa Creek grow so much during the last three decades, and we’re honoured to have been part of that growth. If those outnumbered patriots fighting so valiantly at St George’s Caye over 200 years ago could see what their beloved British Honduras has become, and the quality of life their descendants are enjoying, I think they would be very happy indeed,” Ms Fleming said.

“And I think that lovers of freedom all over the world will join us in recognising and saluting the battle of St George’s cayes as an example of the sacrifices brave men and women the world over have made in the name of freedom,” she added.

Source


THE "SKIRMISH"WHICH BECAME THE TENTH OF SEPTEMBER

BY: NORMAN RODRIGUEZ

I believe that many patriotic individuals would become angry with me for even mentioning the term “skirmish” when referring to the Battle of St. George’s Caye because it is probably the same word which has been the foundation for the critics’ saying that this historic battle never happened.

On the 10th, September 1798, Spain’s seventh attempt to displace the settlers and burn their settlement to the ground was met with such opposition from the Baymen that within hours, only the back sides of the ships and the inside of their sails could be seen in the distance putting an end to Spain’s attempt at invasion and giving Belize its true Independence. Whether it was the strong challenging words of Thomas Paslow, one of the dominant patriotic leaders, who called the members of the groups cowards and told them that, 1“any man who will not defend his country is not fit to reap the benefits thereof” or whether it was the Flowers Bank fourteen who silently paddled down the Belize River in that still dark June night in 1797 to cast their vote to stay and fight, but on June 1, 1797, the final vote was 65-51: history was made and the greatest feat was carved into our history.

This history has been repeated over and over since that fateful day and it has remained as the greatest act of Belizean history to this day despite efforts by many to dispel it as a small unimportant skirmish; however, it is almost entertaining to join us on the Tenth in Belize City in recent years and see those same individuals holding and waving bright Belizean flags and singing at the top of their voices those patriotic tunes of old which has survived to this day. My brothers and sisters, the Tenth is alive in Belize and I am even aware of packets of patriotic Belizeans abroad who keep the tenth alive in the traditional way. There is no doubt that Belize’s history is strong and that is a sign that Belize is growing and preparing to take its rightful place in the World.

Sadly, the real threat to Belize’s sovereignty has come right from amongst us in the form of denial of our history from those who would rather see it become a department of the enemy, but even those would be invaders have in their own recorded history the written evidence to the reality of the Battle of St. George’s Caye. Evidence of the Battle of St. George’s Caye can be found in the Archives of a number of countries including Jamaica, England, Mexico, and Cuba. One significant evidence and acknowledgment of the Battle of St. George’s Caye can be found in Yucatan’s Historian, Molina Solis on general O’Neil’s 1798 Expedition to Belize where he wrote, “2But the action that has given fame to this company and that in which the English pretended to see the birth of their rights of sovereignty to those lands, was the one that took place on the 10th day of September in St. George’s Cay”

The seventh attempt by the Spaniards to invade the settlement occurred on the 10th September, 1798 and it was the last attempt. Thereafter, the settlement prospered in peace and this is the heritage we have inherited today and our children continue to inherit everyday as new Belizeans are born. We have much to be proud of: our history, our beauty, our diversity, our natural resources which continue to be discovered, our attractions which continue to build our Tourism Industry, and so much more which make Belize so unique and a home and haven to people from so many other countries. But let us not forget that all these are not limitless and even the face of the Belizean man and woman is changing with each new generation which emerges from the womb.

One of the answers to preserving our heritage may be found in a true understanding of why we take to the streets every year on the 10th September. If it is to celebrate in true Baymen spirit, is it only to march, sing, and hail them or is it to remind us that the peace, freedom, and safety we enjoy today is because they chose to put their lives on the line and fight the enemy who wanted to take away their homes and freedom?

On behalf of the St. George’s Cay Day Society, the Loyal and Patriotic Order of Belize-Miami Chapter, PSWG, (please add your name here), and of course, yours truly, I wish every Belizean at home and abroad a Happy, Safe, and Blessed Tenth…Hip Hip Hooray!


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