When this newspaper first constructed the Southside model some time after the sensational assassinations of Crips and Bloods leaders in 1992, there were a couple thinkers who quickly and publicly took issue with that model. No model is perfect: what a model is, is an analytical and learning tool. We were not angry with those critics; we welcomed their challenge and were sure they would someday see as we saw.
Over the years, there have been other people, sincere Southside champions, who have criticized our Southside model, because they love the Southside, and believe the model reflects ill on their home.
It is possible that we would have been well served by citing all the areas where Belize City’s Southside is unique, historic, and of longstanding honor. All Belize’s public business used to be done on the Southside – public meetings at Battlefield Park and Courthouse Wharf, legislative councils at the Treasury Building, and Supreme Court sessions at the historic building nearby. The headquarters of the four principal banks of Belize were all established in downtown Southside, and Belize’s largest native business/industrial mogul, Barry Bowen, came from the Southside Foreshore and built his headquarters there. We could go on, but this is not the point.
A humble but dignified and classy Southside lady is being buried this Monday afternoon from the Wesley Methodist Church on Albert Street, and in paying tribute to her, we have an opportunity to laud the strength and grace and resiliency of our beloved Southside.
To the best of our knowledge, Miss Daisy Grant was a single mother. She raised five children – Patricia Bennett, Wilton Bennett (deceased), Errol Bennett, Greg Moguel, and Leslie Rogers. Rogers Stadium was just a stone’s throw from Miss Daisy’s home on Magazine Road, and she raised her children in a culture of sports – primarily softball, but also football and basketball.
Miss Daisy’s children became cornerstones of sports activities at Rogers Stadium, and they became community leaders. The eldest child, Patricia, became an educator at the university level, but is more famous as a 1974 Belizean softball “Golden Girl” and an international Hall of Famer. Errol, Greg, and Leslie are integral components of that Southside which demands respect.
As we Southside Belizeans pause to honor Miss Daisy, in our hearts we feel a thrilling hope which inspires the confidence that, as a community, we will overcome our travails. Miss Daisy fought against odds, and her children are evidence of her success, her triumph.
Rest in peace, Miss Daisy. We love you and we honor you.