To close the newscast tonight we tell you about several locations across the country, including roads, bridges and public buildings, that are being named after prominent Belizeans whose contribution to the nation’s history are noteworthy. Those persons are John Smith, a founding member of the People’s Committee which later became the People’s United Party, Clifford Betson, Sir Manuel Esquivel and Eleanor Hall. During the Independence Day ceremony, Minister of Culture and Chair of the September Celebrations Committee, Patrick Faber, shared the designations.
Patrick Faber, Minister of Culture
“In addition to the recognition of our maximum leaders, I would wish the nation to join me in saluting a few other Belizeans whose contributions have been stellar to Belize’s formation. Our recognition to them on this day will go beyond words and will hopefully be etched more permanently in history for their contributions. I begin with Belizean patriot John “Johnny” Smith who helped to form the People’s Committee back in 1950 and became the first leader of the People’s United Party and later broke ranks with them. For his contribution to Belize we today declare that the new airport link road which will be declared open later this week will be officially named the John Smith Airport Link Road. Also for his contribution to the nationalist movement, it is now proposed that the Chetumal Street Bridge that connects the north side and south side of Belize City be called the Clifford Betson Bridge. The new home of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, here in the city of Belmopan, shall hereafter be known as Leigh Richardson Building in honor of his stellar contributions in our struggle to nationhood. As work now progresses on the Coastal Road that connects the Belize and Stann Creek districts, it is more than fitting that the name of our former prime minister Sir Manuel Esquivel be attached hereafter in recognition for his contribution to Belize. And last but not least, ‘lest we’re accused of not seeking equality Mrs. Kim, to honour our women, the new government administration building that is being constructed at the southern foot of the newly named Clifford Betson Bridge will be named in honour of devout retired public servant, Mrs. Eleanor Hall for her many years of stellar service to Belize.”