Special Tribute to George Price on his Birthday
January fifteenth is the birthday of the man who has been hailed as the father of Belizean Independence and the Father of the Nation. George Price died on September nineteenth, twenty eleven, just before Independence Day. But his memory has lived on, and Price is remembered for his humility, his achievements, his contributions and the legacy he left behind. While Belizeans all over the country remember this exceptional man on his birthday, executive members and supporters of the People’s United Party which was so close to his heart gathered to pay special tribute today. Here’s that story.
Carla Bradley, Reporting
Members and supporters of the P.U.P. gathered with family and friends of Father of the Nation, George Price, on the occasion of his birthday. Price was the leader of the party for four decades until he stepped aside in 1996. Today as those who were closest to him in life gathered to honour him in death, P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca said that especially now, reflecting and acting on the legacy left by Price is critical.
Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition
“This year in particular, it is important for us—as our country goes through some very difficult challenges—that we reflect on what Mister Price’s life meant and what his essential message was to the Belizean people. And that was one of national unity; that was what Mister Price always stood for. And I think more than ever our country needs that message of national unity. We need to be all working together to solve these difficult challenges that we are facing. We need less politics and more solutions to the problems we are facing. And I think that Mister Price and all of us, I am certainly a politician; we are politicians and we represent a political party. But Mister Price always knew when it was important to move beyond politics. And I think this is one of those times in our history as a country and the development of our country.”
As a further tribute to the work of George Price and his value to a grateful nation, the P.U.P. is also asking that the government declare January fifteenth a national holiday.
“His presence is felt throughout the People’s United Party so his philosophy is very strong and alive within the party. And it certainly will be as long as I am the leader of the party. In terms of January fifteenth, yes we have called on the government to declare January fifteenth, Mister Price’s birthday, as a national holiday. We think it is a fitting tribute to him and I think it is supported by the great majority of the Belizean people. But as we have said, if the government doesn’t do it; if this U.D.P. government does not do it, certainly that is something a future P.U.P. government will do.”
The George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan also held a special memorial mass followed by an exhibit at the center featuring the life of the Father of the Nation.