Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson, a Belizean National Hero, was laid to rest in 2001. He undoubtedly had a significant impact on the development of the Nation of Belize and has been so honored in 1989, when the Belizean government renamed the country’s international airport the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport. In September 2001, shortly before his death, Goldson was awarded the Order of Belize and then in 2008, he was posthumously awarded the country’s highest honour, the Order of the National Hero. Today, September 28, 2015, there was another honor for the deceased Philip Goldson; the inauguration of The Goldson House for Governance, Democracy, and Patriotism. The Goldson House is located in Belmopan at # 20 Orange Street. According to NICH Director Dianne Haylock, the Goldson House will serve as a museum to honor Goldson’s life, achievements, and contributions to the nation.
Diane Haylock, Director NICH: The Prime Minister, two years ago actually, on Independence Day announced that the Government of Belize would have purchased this house. The financial institution that held the papers for it and was looking to sell it and Prime Minister Barrow said this house is too important for it to just be out there on the market so he made it possible for the government of Belize to buy the house. The monies that we got, if it wasn’t for the kind of person that he was. I’m not sure we would have been able to get everything we got into this house with the money that government gave us. This was once the home of Mister Goldson and that we would want to retain, some of its original architectural features. We were able to retain the outer walls and we have installed the interior walls to reflect the original layout of the house. The house has 6 spaces in which we have installed with the technical assistances of McNab design, a semi-permanent exhibition. Space 1 features a chronology of the life of Mister Goldson and it attempts to place his life experiences in its proper historical content. In space 2, we have given emphasis to Mister Goldson’s contribution as a writer and a journalist, and we especially feature his contribution to the anti-colonial movement, and to freedom of speech through the recollection through his imprisonment. You will recall that along with Lee Richardson and PM Barrow mentioned it in his presentation, Mister Goldson spent time in jail because of his views about Belize’s eventual achievement of Independence. In the 3rd space we personalize Mister Goldson and feature him in photos including his family. It also contains an important narrative about his philosophical and faith based approach to life and work. 5 Highlights the origin and span of Mister Goldson’s political life and is built around the theme of his contribution to pioneering and defending Belize’s democracy and it’s political institution.
Keynote remarks at the inauguration were delivered by Hon. Dean Borrow, Prime Minister of Belize. He gave a few instances of what made Philip Goldson a hero.
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: In 1962 when these talks with Guatemala first started, Britain and Guatemala. Belizean leaders were in that year for the first time were invited to participate. But Philip, the uncompromising defender of Belizean rights, was excluded from that delegation and that was when on his own he went to Puerto Rico where the conference was being held, and demanded admittance to the meeting. When he was refused, he staged a one man picket in front of the building where the talks were being held. Now, as I said on that other occasion, it is one thing to decent and break the law in your own country, quite another to do so in a foreign land, alone, unaided, unfamiliar with the language and laws of the place without any money to secure the services for an attorney should you be thrown in jail. As you so well-known early in life, when he was already beginning to have difficulties with Glaucoma, a glaucoma that would eventually take away his sight completely, Philip went to study law. Of course, he was successful. Was there anything that Philip was not successful at? And even after he was completely blind, that was when he became an elected minister in the UDP government and did all those that are recounted in terms of the family court, the department of women’s affairs, disability services division.
Upon its official opening, the Goldson House will serve as an educational space for students, teachers, and the public at large to visit and learn of Goldson’s legacy to Belize.
House For A Hero
3 weeks ago, the National Celebrations Commission held an event in memory of National Hero Philip Goldson, the super patriot who was a founding member of both the PUP and the UDP. As a follow up to that, the Institute of Social and Cultural Research today opened the Goldson House, a museum to honor the Great Man's memory and contribution.
In his keynote speech, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that this opening was convenient for his official announcement of the next elections. So, we asked him to comment on the memory of the man himself. Here's what he had to say:
"It appears that his political opponent Rt. Hon. George Price, has a position that is etched, can't be forgotten, but while Mr. Goldson was right there with him in the echelons, he appears to the younger generation such as myself to be someone forgotten. Whose responsibility for that you would say?"
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"Well I think it's the responsibility of all of us not to forget. Of course there is stuff that authorities can do. We should be sure for example that in our schools the history of both national heroes is taught. Something like this now that we are doing under the auspices of NICH, this will no doubt help again to assist with research, with historical memory, but ultimately Philip Goldson's life was so extraordinary. He was such an exemplar that I think it will host all of us as country, as a people, as a nation, as a sovereign democracy to do whatever is required to preserve on an institutional basis the memory of Philip Goldson to have this permanent record and to encourage people in fact to so generously from this permanent record, but all of us to ensure that Philip and his absolutely phenomenal life and legacy are very much preserved."
The Goldson House should serve as an educational - and those wishing to make reservations can call 822-3307.
Goldson, A Hero’s Home
Last night, we gave you a brief look into the ceremonial opening of the Goldson House, to chronicle the life and Legacy of National Hero Phillip Goldson. That event was held yesterday evening in Belmopan, and our news team arrived back in Belize City after the news was finished.
So, tonight, we take you back to the Goldson house, to show you just how it looks. Daniel Ortiz has that story:
Daniel Ortiz reporting
Orange Street, Belmopan, was taken over for the evening. A tent was erected, and where vehicles would have normally passed, chairs were laid out for all the guests who showed up for this very important ceremony.
Prominent amongst the other attendants were the Head of State, the Head of Government, the Tourism and Culture Minister, the NICH representatives, and the family and friends of the late Philip Goldson.
They were there to officially open the National Hero's Belmopan Home, the place where he resided late in his life, which had been transformed into a museum in his honor.
Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism and Culture
"It has been the greatest honor to have my ministry through our National Institute of Culture and History leads the efforts in transforming the Goldson residence here in Orange Street Belmopan to a historic a landmark that highlights the exemplary contributions alive of our national hero. Welcome all of you to this momentous event as we celebrate the Defender of Our Democracy, our Belizean national hero Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson."
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"When this dedication was first planned and earlier date has been fixed and then as it turned out, we were obliged to have a house of representatives meeting on that day and so Diane Haylock agreed to postponed the ceremony. She asked me what date in September would be convenient and I told her the 28th September. She didn't know then, but of course I knew full well that this was going to be the day on which I would announce the holding of Belize's next general elections and I thought that it would be absolutely fitting if I could do that on a day that would also be set aside for the honoring of our national hero Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson."
So, what exactly is in this now national monument set aside to his life and legacy?
Diane Haylock - President, NICH
"The house has 6 spaces in which we have installed with the technical assistance of McNab Designs, a semi-permanent exhibition. Space one features a chronology of the life of Mr. Goldson and it attempts to place his life and experiences in its proper historical content. In space 2 we have given emphasis to Mr. Goldson's contribution as a writer and a journalist and we especially feature his contribution to the anti-colonial movement and to freedom of speech through the recollection of his imprisonment. In the 3rd space, we personalized Mr. Goldson and feature him in photos including his family. It also contains an important narrative about his philosophical and faith-based approached to life
and work. In the 4th space, we have setup an audio visual room which will feature a variety of interviews, recording done by his family, friends and close associates regarding his life and work. It also features memorabilia, each of which provides us with a glimpse of who he was. Space 5 highlights the origin and span of Mr. Goldson political life and is built around the theme of his contribution to pioneering and defending Belize's democracy and its political institutions and the last space is where we focus on a few of his many contributions generally to Belize."
And what of his political ideals of service to country above all?
"Are the younger generation of politicians somewhat betraying that memory or going away from that memory when they tow the line of political parties?"
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"Let me just say that there is only one Philip Goldson and so the fact that latter day politicians do not replicate his example is not strange. While modern day politicians would do well to emulate him as much as possible, it should not surprise any of us that contemporary politicians will fall short. It's simply impossible to measure up to Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson."
The Goldson House is located at #20 Orange Street, Belmopan City. The majority of the architectural features it had when Goldson was living there has been preserved as part of this museum.
Goldson House of Governance, Democracy, and PatriotismClick photos for more pictures!
National Hero Philip Goldson has been posthumously honored with the creation of the Goldson House of Governance, Democracy and Patriotism. The inauguration was Monday, and it is located on Orange Street in Belmopan. Galen University was there to participate and get some great pictures of the event.
The inauguration of the Goldson House of Governance, Democracy and Patriotism took place on Monday, September 28, 2015 in Belmopan City. This House will serve as a museum dedicated to the life of a Belizean National Hero, Philip S.W. Goldson's, achievements and contributions to our nation. Galen University was represented by Ms. Sherry Gibbs (Dean of Arts and Science), Mr. Wilfredo Galvez (Faculty of Business & Entrepreneurship) and students from our Faculty of Arts and Science. Those in attendance got the opportunity to be a part of a historical event honoring one of Belize's National Heroes.
Philip Goldson’s home becomes Museum
Belize’s national hero Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson (1923 – 2001), whose lifetime of service – over 60 years – helped shape Belizean democracy and independence, has been honored with one more tribute, having his home in Belmopan turned into a museum.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow joined Governor General Sir Colville Young and Executive Director Diane Haylock of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and other dignitaries in opening Goldson House to the public as a museum, on Monday, September 28.
The Institute of Social and Cultural Research prepared the many displays inside the home, which chronicle Goldson’s life and times through photographs of him with his wife and children, certificates and other documents – such as when he was called to the Bar in London, from his early days working for the British Honduras Civil Service to his career as a journalist and lawyer and his career in politics.
The many charts chronicle his political career and the many parties he formed: first – the Peoples United Party with George Price; then the National Party, the Honduras Independence Party, then the National Independence Party (NIP), the United Democratic Party (UDP) and later breaking off to form the National Alliance for Belizean Rights (NABR).
There is also an audio-visual room with a large flat-screen television, where visitors may view many recorded interviews and statements by the late great leader.
Goldson was a very principeled man, a man of courage who stuck to his beliefs even in the face of prosecution by the British, who imprisoned him and Leigh Richardson for sedition.
Goldson stuck to his guns no matter what, and he continued to write for the Belize Billboard from his jail cell, his articles written on toilet paper were smuggled out and published.
He served eight months of the one-year sentence and was hailed as a national hero upon his release.
He was elected to the Legislative Council in 1956, where he did much for Belize’s social development. He was also the first Opposition leader of the NIP in the first Legislative Assembly elected in 1965, after Belize achieved internal self-government in 1964.
Goldson is also remembered for his work in rebuilding Corozal Town after it was destroyed by Hurricane Janet in 1956. This reconstruction also brought about major social reforms; as 90 per cent of the town’s residents had been renting from the former owner of the land, William Schofield.
Goldson’s plan for the redesign of the town also allowed for homeowners to gain title and ownership of their land, either through direct purchase, by payment on an installment plan or by paying an annual rental fee.
Goldson also fought for Belize’s territorial integrity against the threat of Guatemala’s unfounded claim, and was the first Belizean leader to address the United Nations on this issue, in an hour-long speech in 1967.
He was instrumental in leading the Belizean electorate’s rejection of the 17 Webster’s proposals in 1968, and his firm beliefs led him to lead a faction away from the UDP to form the NABR, when he disagreed with the party leadership on the Maritime Areas Bill, which he felt did not adequately secure Belizeans’ right to Belize’s territorial seas.
Goldson lost his sight to glaucoma in 1978, but not even the loss of his sight could deter him from continuing to serve his people.
He was re-elected to the House of Representatives in 1979, and again in 1984 in the UDP’s first victory at the polls and he served as Minister of Social Services. He had Labor added to his portfolio in 1986. He was re-elected to office in 1993, and again served as a Minister in Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel’s UDP administration from 1993-1998.