Another book on Belizean History has been added to the vast collection of existing works that celebrate and narrate Belize’s social, cultural and
economic shifts since the days of Colonialism.
But American writer Ted Cox takes a turn from the traditional topics discussed in Belizean History by highlighting the history of sports in Belize. His
book is entitled “When British Honduras Became Belize: A Peace Corps Memoir: 1971 -1973” and Cox is on a countrywide tour to market his book. Now,
history, let alone Belizean History, is a problematic topic and even more so when a non-Belizean is involved. But Cox says he simply wanted to
contribute to Belize’s History by documenting his experiences as a peace corps volunteer in Belize.
Ted Cox, Writer
"Years ago when I was in Belize, I just liked taking pictures, I had a darkroom. So I had taken hundreds of pictures and they were pretty much just put
in a scrapped book. Also at the time I kept a work log and letters home to my mom, saved all those letters, so I got them back. So all of this stuff is
just sitting and I knew about 4 years ago. If I didn't do something with it, about another 10 - 15 years, I'm going to be too old to deal with it and
it would have been lost. There was a chronicle period that was actually lost. There was things I pointed out in sports and the early form of a sports
council. We didn't have a sports council, but I was kind of stepping into those shoes in just one sport. That was not going to be written by anybody
Giovanni Pinelo - Research & Education Officer, NICH
"When British Honduras became Belize is an interesting text. It brings out quite the historical back drop of Belize in the early 1970's. Again, it's
from the perspective of a peace corp volunteer. But the focus in general, particularly is on athletics, the building up of athleticism in Belize when
there appear to be a slump. In having an overview of the text and the various events that went on, there are key citizens in Belize that we often times
neglect to mention when it comes to sporting events.”
The book will be available in libraries and book stores countrywide.
Ted W. Cox talks about his new book: When British Honduras Became Belize
Ex Peace Corps Volunteer, 67-year-old Ted W. Cox has written a book on his experiences while serving in Belize. The book, titled “When British Honduras Became Belize: A Peace Corps Memoir 1971-1973”, explains the inception and development of Track and Field in Belize. Cox is officially presenting the book through a countrywide tour hosted by the Belize National Library and the Institute for Social and Cultural Research. As part of the tour, Cox visited San Pedro on Tuesday, October 14th.
Originally from Eugene, Oregon, Cox served as a Peace Corp Volunteer from 1969 to 1973, working in Sierra Leone and Belize. In the book, Cox tells about the skills he acquired in Sierra Leone and how he implemented them in Belize. He came to Belize tasked with the development of Track and Field.
The book also contains several photos that documents Cox’s time in Belize. “The pictures in the book document everything for the first Track and Field Clinic hosted at MCC Grounds in Belize City, to various field days that were held across the country. Something special happened in those two years for secondary schools. There was a dream in the heart of Track and Fielders to have a National Track Meet. So we organized the first regional competitions where the champions of each region competed in a National Competition much like what is done today,” said Cox.
Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun
Former Peace Corps Volunteer Launches Memoir About British Honduras
Ted Cox is a former volunteer of the U.S. Peace Corp. He lived in Belize back in the seventies, but maintained contact with Belize over the years. Cox has now put together a publication of the Jewel during the colonial period. That book, “When British Honduras Became Belize: A Peace Corp Memoir 1971 – 1973,” was launched today with the support of the National Institute of Culture and History. News Fives Isani Cayetano was on hand at the Leo Bradley Library for the event.
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
A historical account of a pre-independent Belize, as seen through the eyes of former U.S. Peace Corps volunteer Ted Cox, was launched this morning at the Leo Bradley Library. The book titled, When British Honduras Became Belize: A Peace Corp Memoir 1971 – 1973 dates back to forty years ago. But, it wasn’t until around 2011 that Cox decided to commit the photos and fond memories of his two-year stay to writing.
Ted Cox, Author
“I decided to, about three years ago; work on putting the information together. I reached out to reacquaint old Belizean friends, told them what I was working on, interviewed them, got my pictures organized, got the work, the letters and started reading them, putting them down in the computer chronologically to make sense and then I knew I was on to something. It took about a year and a half to get it into a book which, any person writing a book it’s a matter of writing and re-editing, writing, re-editing, you re-write maybe fifteen or twenty times and during those re-writes I kept reaching out to people that would help me critique and try to mould into, you know, as best as I could into a true picture. Forty years, you know, memories change, you come up with maybe new stories in your head and I wanted to avoid that as much as possible and stick to the written word and to collaborate which I did.”
The publication is endorsed by the Institute for Social and Cultural Research, copies of which have been donated to the National Library Service for public perusal. According to Cox, he had to return to a frame of mind that preceded modern Belize in order to detail his experience as a Peace Corps in the early seventies.
“To do this book I had my head back for many years ago and I was talking and everything I referred to was what was actually going on forty years ago and I really, other than watching the news, it was a little bit about current Belize. All of my head was in the past so I could try to just get that perspective as clear as I could and not be influenced by other things that have happened since then. So I have to say that my mind main focus was to try to present a picture as close as I could to what I recall back then and that I had verified with friends.”
When British Honduras Became Belize: A Peace Corp Memoir 1971 – 1973 is also available for purchase locally. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.