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Joined: Oct 1999
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While a series of royal visits have been made to the Jewel; the most recent call on Belize was in March of this year when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Katherine, arrived to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee during a tour of the Caribbean. There were also visits by other members of the royal family since Belize got its independence back in 1981, but on two occasions Queen Elizabeth herself made an appearance. Those visits were in 1985 and 1994 and tonight we speak with some Belizeans who share their experiences during those visits.

Sylvia Waight, Resident, Southern Foreshore

"It's very sad for the commonwealth and for Belize. Well she's gone home to Jesus. We are grateful to the monarchy, the UK, for the system of government that they left us. We live in a monarchical democracy."

Duane Moody, Reporting

Sylvia Waight may not have been in the country on both visits by Queen Elizabeth the Second, but says she is grateful for the system of education that the country has benefited from.� But unlike Waight, there were many Belizeans - government officials, diplomats and ordinary people - who had the honor of greeting and, in some cases, performing and dining with the queen. Back in 1985, at age twenty-two, Josephine Flowers, now the Vice Principal of Edward P. Yorke High School, had the privilege of dancing for the queen.

Josephine Flowers, Remembering Queen Elizabeth II

"Not only was it an honor. To be chosen, they took some from every company and then we got to be a part o the blood bank wedding which was the first time a production like that was done in Belize. Bob Reneau was the person and I have never been in any of the creative dance thing with Mister Bob Reneau. And then to know not only that we got so up close and personal with the queen, but it was their reaction to our dance also. We had like Althea Sealy, Ivodia Palma; we had well Rosita is no longer with us, Joycelyn McKoy…it was a lot. I was in the Creole section so we did a number, balancing basket on our knee and doing everything else that you could think about."

In the last visit, Flowers, as a teacher, took her students by Pallotti High School to witness the queen's procession. Also lining the streets of Belize City in 85' and 94' was Jean Reyes, a scout guider.� Remembering the royal visits like it was yesterday, she shares the excitement of meeting the queen, calling it an expensive experience.

Jean Reyes, Remembering Queen Elizabeth II

"I can recall where the flag monument is - the monument wasn't there at the time - but they had all the barricades and everything and all of our brownies, guides, rangers, leaders - we were all dressed up, excited to meet the queen and I was at the forefront with the little girls so that was an experience for me. I could remember it like yesterday. It was so nice, you had to curtsy to her and all of this too because they taught us before. The little girls were well-behaved, well disciplined. They met with her, she chatted with them, she asked them about the badges on their sashes. They were really, really excited."

Duane Moody

"And then in 94, did you get that experience again?"

Jean Reyes

"Yes of course, the girls are always excited to meet with her because it is an experience of a lifetime to meet the Queen of England. It is very expensive."

For Colville Young Junior, his father served as the queen's representative in Belize for almost three decades.� He had the privilege of directing an orchestral performance for the royal visit.� He shook her hand and bowed to the queen, before sitting around the dinner table for a royal banquet. The protocols at the time included no picture taking.

Colville Young Jr., Remembering Queen Elizabeth II

"At the time I was at Pallotti in charge of the Pallotti string orchestra and we did do some kind of a performance for her. It was kinda rare that you find dignitaries coming to Belize and really meeting with the general public at large. If they do come and when they do come, you just hear about it in those days. So her coming to Belize and they actually had a banquet and those kind of stuff, really associating with the people even though you couldn't touch her - you know she was the queen - but still it made a big difference and so it was quite an event in Belize."

Fond memories aside, it is about the lasting impression that these persons take away.

Jean Reyes

"When I heard this morning that she passed away, it is like you know her."

Josephine Flowers

"Whenever you meet somebody or whenever you participate in anything involving someone, you have a deeper appreciation for what they do. We might say they don’t do anything for us, but without them, where would we have been. So I say thanks to them, we don’t have to be like them, but thanks to them for setting the pace for us."

Channel 5

Lady Esquivel Remembers The Queen

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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