Today, September twenty-ninth, marks some sixty-four years since the establishment of the People’s United Party. It’s a big moment for members and supporters of the P.U.P. as they reflect on the history of the party. And while we couldn’t be at the commemoration of the Party’s 64th Anniversary when the National Party Council met in solemn session in Belmopan yesterday, we figured what best way to highlight the first Party’s history than by speaking to those who knew and lived their legacy. Belizario Carballo recounts that he has been following the party since he was only 12 years old. He spoke of things from the devaluation of the BH dollar to adult suffrage to the leadership of Leader Emeritus and the late Rt. Hon George Cadle Price.
Beizario Carballo – Member, Order of Distinguished Service
“The people’s committee came up the very day in other words the following morning a group of people which consisted of Mr George Price and Lee Richardson and Johnny Smith, Phillip Goldson, Nicholas Pollard and other people got together at Mr Prices’ home in Belize City and formed what they called the People’ Committee and they started agitating from the very beginning for Independence because they said you know the colonialism is not helping us at all and so they continued as a committee until September of that year and then on September 29th of that year, the People’s United Party was formed so the People’s Committee became the People’s’ United Party and since that time I have been hearing about them, they started going around to the districts, they used to come here to Orange Walk, they used to have meetings at the Banquitas and that is why the Banquitas is so famous not only because lovers go there to court at nights but it was the ground of the PUP from the beginning and I can remember from across the street lived the District Commissioner who was in charge of Orange Walk, he represented the governor here in Orange Walk and many times they refused to give us permission and the people still went ahead and had their meetings in the dark and so from that time I have been around and from the very beginning the party was clamouring for Independence and they were very fix on that so that we continue to fight, my father was very much involved and that is why I was around then I can remember that one of the first achievements was adult suffrage because before that very few people could vote in Orange Walk, I recall Mr Price telling me that in 1940 elections only 13 people were able to vote in Orange Walk because the requirements were so stringent and so in 1954 we got adult suffrage where anybody who could read and write could vote and that was the first election that we really now about and we had on that elections two Georges running; Doctor George who was and we found out at that time that he was our representative before and Mr George Flowers who was labourer really from public works and they used to called them the rich and the poor George running and the poor George won, George Flowers won that election for the People’s United Party and then after the first election they started a fight because the party voted against joining the West Indies Federation which was being formed at that time and silently apparently some of our leaders were trying to join the federation; Mr Goldson, Mr Richardson, Herman Jex, they were on that side favouring the Federation and Mr Price was against it so that in 1956 it came to a head that the party expelled Richardson and Goldson and Herman Jex from the party and so Mr Price became the leader.”
Yesterday, the National Party Council met in Belmopan where a reported 300 delegates from throughout the country ratified various resolutions and conducted Party business. Most important among the resolutions, was that on the Party’s Social Justice Agenda, which reiterates their commitment to placing the needs of all Belizeans, especially the less fortunate, is at the front and centre of the Party’s Manifesto Pledges.
While, 31 senior and stalwart members of the Party were bestowed the George Price Service Award for longstanding service in the PUP, a special posthumous tribute was paid to Don Ramon Cervantes Sr., in the presence of his widow and family members.