The independent Belize was born on September 21st. 1981, but the argument that the nation of Belize was born on September 10, 1798 is coming into increasing currency.

Yesterday, The Institute for Social and Cultural Research along with NICH launched a booklet titled: St. George's Caye: The Birthplace of a Nation. The compilers say the booklet which is a compilation of some of the works of Belize's best researchers was borne out of the need for proper resource material on Belize's History. Nigel Encalada, Director for Social and Cultural Research tells us more:

Nigel Encalada, Director - Instutute of Social & Cultural Research
"The book includes 3 papers, the first paper is one that looks at the decision that was made on June 1, 1797 to stay and defend the settlement, it was not an easy decision but a crucial decision and that led to a year later the battle of St. George's Caye with the successful defense of the settlement. The second paper then deals with that the battle of St. George's Caye done by Belize's most foremost researcher on the battle of St. George's Caye Mr. Francis Humfreys who is a principal at Ecumenical school. So that paper is there and it is up to date, it looks at all the information that he has gathered about the story leading up to the battle of St. George's Caye. And the short period thereafter. The third paper looks at the archaeology of St. George's Caye base on work that has been ongoing for the last 2 years with Dr. Jaime Awe and James Garbutt at St. George's Caye. The book has approximately 40 pages and it includes about 4 pages of maps, tables, diagrams, sketches, maps to try and give it the visual appeal especially as it relates, obviously there are no photos that date back to that time but we manage to get old maps. The sketches of the battleships that were used, the gun flats, the HMS Merlin and the flagship of the Spanish fleet and so it's meant to draw your attention. Start with the pictures and then do the reading."

The forty page compilation research based booklet will be distributed to primary, secondary and tertiary institutions country-wide. If you wish to get a copy for yourself they will also be on sale at the House of Culture and The Museum of Belize.

Channel 7