From 1959 to 2003 there is one man stands out head and shoulders above all others in the British Honduras and later Independent Belize that I knew.
I met many movers and shakers! I met George Price who served as First Minister and as Prime Minister. Philip Goldson the famous Opposition Leader was a good friend and helped me out with a job when I first arrived flat broke in Belize. Valentine Alamina my father-in-law taught me how engines worked and to fix them. Audberto Pariente on Caye Caulker was a natural diplomat and politician and served many years on the Managing Committee of the Northern Fisherman's Cooperative, Louise Sylvestre local area representative was an expert politician, never saw one better. Glen Godfrey ambitious but tricky. Simon Quan a stereotype Chinese Immigrant hard working and successful. Benito Quan a helpful kind warm hearted businessman. Norman Quan his brother a good friend then and still. Peter Young boatbuilder was the best of the best on Caye Caulker. Simon Young his brother an excellent boat designer. Mr. Young the lighthouse keeper on Mauger Caye-Turneffe Atoll a very kind and practical brave man. Tony Vega the founder of the Fishing Cooperative movement. Governor Thornley for an example of a British civil servant. Harry Lawrence excellent newspaper businessman and patriot. The Kuylens a typical example of entrepreneurship Belizean style.
So many people effected my life and years in British Honduras and Belize. The nation though during the early decades of my life was sparsely populated with the port and old colonial capital of Belize City with a population of only 30,000 and the whole country less than 70,000. Barter and communal assistance was the method of living in those early days of the 50's and 60's. But that changed in the 1970's as the country became mechanized and the cost of oil products force a change from barter and friendly assistance to a more cash needy life style. Materialism arose and the way of living changed with it. Things started to cost money and everything suddenly had a price, from labor to materials.
But I digress! The greatest Belizean Patriot of that period it was my pleasure to meet, successful entrepreneur and businessman, who would give you the shirt off his back was an ex-USA marine Belizean who fought in the Inchon Reservoir battle of Korea. None other than Arthur Hoare. Arthur was my role model for several decades. He ran Coordinated Dockyard of North Front Street in Belize City the port. Financed and started many people in businesses. Gave help to the early politicians with their learning curve for political parties and then became disappointed with their corruption. Helped me out so many times with unasked generosity, that I lost count. My life choice was sailing the barrier reef islands and offshore atolls and the city folk recognized that money was not the aim in such a life style. But adventure, the great outdoors and self reliance the goal. Arthur personified that port city attitude. I received assistance and generosity from quite a few people on the mainland with different day to day problems. But Arthur Hoare as an entrepreneur and Belizean patriot stands out in my mind as the most impressive individual it has ever been my privilege to meet. In Belize, or anywhere else. He stood head and shoulders above such famous people as George Price. For posterity Arthur Hoare would be my choice for the most famous patriotic person of Belize and British Honduras over the last fifty years.