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Posted 01/13/13 11:56 PM

Recording The Passing Of Mr. Godsman Ellis

It is with profound sadness that we record the January 9, 2013 passing of a pioneering Belizean, Mr. Godsman Celestino Ellis, 83.

Godsman Celestino Ellis was born in Honduras on November 9, 1929. He passed away on January 9, 2013, exactly two months after his 83rd birthday.

Although he was born in Honduras, his visionary Belizean father by birth decided it would be best to register his son in British Honduras. When Godsman Ellis was only eight months old his father returned to British Honduras where Godsman would spend the rest of his life.

He attended Sacred Heart Primary School in Dangriga up until he was ten years of age, when he was approached by an instructor named Eric Sebastian requesting for Godsman to accompany him to Xaibe Village in the Corozal District where he completed his primary education.

It was in the Corozal District that the young Godsman Ellis was afforded the opportunity to learn the Spanish language. It was also in Corozal that he discovered his appreciation for the Maya culture.

At age 16 he passed the first class teacherís examination and became a full pledge teacher at Sacred Heart Primary School in Dangriga. Godsman Ellis was raised by his grandmother who was financially unable to send him to high school; as a result Ellis decided to begin what would turn out to be a long teaching career.

He spent several years teaching at the Sacred Heart Primary School before being drafted to attend St. Johnís College in Belize City to take part in a teacherís training course. He graduated from the training course with a Cambridge Diploma and went on to attend the teacherís college in Belize City before leaving to teach in the southern village of Dolores in the Toledo District.

After graduating from St. Johnís College, he was asked to take up the post of principal, in 1951, at August Pine Ridge in the Orange Walk District.

1951 was one of the most memorable years of Godsman Celestino Ellisí life not only because he was appointed as the principal of a school but also because it was the very same year the he married to the love of his life Ms. Ethel Sampson, the woman who would remain by his side for the next 61 years of his life right up to his passing.

The marriage produced seven well rounded children, five girls and two boys.

He lived a most enjoyable and fun life, he has traveled the world, received numerous awards for his dedication and service to Belize.

In 1957 he was awarded a scholarship to study in British Colombian, Canada, where he majored in Soil Survey. A field that would cement his name in the agricultural sector of Belize for many years. He returned to Belize in 1961 and was appointed to the post of Agricultural officer stationed in Central Farm.

Then in 1961 came the devastating hurricane Hattie almost destroying British Honduras. Godsman Ellis was instrumental in organizing the farmers travelling around the country to assist in the rehabilitation process.

In 1967 the need to open an agriculture school was realized and the man to head he school was to be none other than Godsman Ellis. He remained in that position until he retired at the age of 50.

Being a visionary and a dedicated hard working individual, Ellis tried his hands at many things including Peanut butter manufacturing business. We all remember Gabella Peanut Butter factory on Carillo Avenue in Santa Elena, Cayo. However external competition made it difficult for him to survive in the industry.

His love for country led him into the Tourism industry where he shared his knowledge with visitors from across the globe as a trained professional and experienced tour guide who had dreams of making Belize the number one tourism destination in the world.

Ten years ago he travelled to Guatemala to share the natural wealth that Belize had to offer. It was then that he was involved in a serious traffic mishap. He was hospitalized for several months due to the extent of the injuries. His passion has always been to be among people, sharing his knowledge with anyone who would listen. The accident almost took away his ability to share with others. It removed some of his fire in his belly. Since that accident he was never the man he once proudly was.

At age 83, he passed away quietly in his sleep at home in San Ignacio Town, Cayo, during the night of Wednesday January 9, 2013. Funeral services will be held in Dangriga on Saturday, January 19, 2013 where the mortal remains of this inspiring Belizean will be laid to rest. Rest in Peace Sir Godsman, Rest in Eternal Peace. Your Job on Mother Earth is done!

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