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Marty Offline OP
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George Price Day 2023 is ONE week away!

To honour the legacy of the man we call the Father of our Nation, we're excited to announce the launch of the 'Let Belize Live: Speeches from the Premier' Exhibition which will feature 12 speeches from the Rt. Hon. George Price during his time as Premier from 1964 to 1981.

This initiative is being made possible through the efforts of the team at the Institute for Social & Cultural Research ISCR NICH at the National Institute of Culture and History in collaboration with the Belize Archives and Records Service, the Belize National Library Service and Information System, The George Price Centre and the University of Belize.

Join us this Friday, 13th January 2023 for the official launch and stay tuned for more to come!

Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology

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The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) through the Institute for Social and Cultural Research, in collaboration with the Belize Archives and Records Service, the Belize National Library Service and Information System, the George Price Centre for Peace and Development and the University of Belize, is pleased to announce the launch of the 'Let Belize Live: Speeches from the Premier' Exhibit. With the goal to inspire national pride, patriotism and nation building, this exhibit is being held in honour of the Father of the Nation, the Rt. Hon. George Price. The exhibition features 12 speeches made during his time as Premier of Belize from 1964 to 1981. The exhibition was formally opened this morning at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development.

NICH and its partners invite the public to visit the exhibition which will be open for visitation on Monday, January 16, 2023, between 9 AM and 3 PM. The exhibition will remain on display until September 30, 2023. Walk-in visitation can be done on Tuesdays and Thursdays and visitation by appointment on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Appointments can be made by calling the George Price Centre at 822-1054.

Official transcripts of the featured speeches are also available for viewing at

Photos from the event can be viewed here:

Launch of the 'Let Belize Live'

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Treasure Throve Of Price Notes Uncovered

That opportunity to speak with the Education Minister happened today at a very special event. A treasure trove of unpublished speaking notes and written ideas from National Hero George Price have recently been discovered.

These were written during his time when he was known as a rising political force and the Premier of Belize, which was heading from Self-government to Independence.

And, just in time for the George Price Day Holiday weekend, the Ministry of Education published the first piece of literature based on Premier Price's unpublished ideas.

Our news team traveled to Belmopan to attend the ceremonial unveiling, and Daniel Ortiz has that story:

This morning, The George Price Center for Peace and Development was festive and celebratory about a brand-new publication connected to its namesake. This new piece of literature, an exhibit booklet, is titled "Let Belize Live: Speeches of the Premier."

It is a collection of thoughts and ideas that National Hero George Price put together during his time as the leader of Belize in the period between Self-government and Independence.

You may consider them as written notes, speeches, and public presentations he gave on his national tours to inspire all Belizeans to pursue self-determination as one people. They could be considered as some of his "Cliff notes" scribblings on nation-building, so to speak.

Francis Fonseca - Minister of Education, Culture
"The booklet of speeches presented today is volume 1 and includes 12 selected speeches during Price's tenure as premiere of Belize and covers the period 1964-1981. The themes of the speeches range from national day addresses to social, cultural, economic and political issues. I want to thank specifically Mr. Rolando Cocom from the ISCR of NICH, Mr. Kevin Montero, the director of the archives department, the George Price Center, of course, Mr. Delmer Tzib, history professor/lecturer at UB and Carlos Quiroz of the Ministry of Education who really formed the core team that have made this day possible. So I want to thank them for their hard work."

Henry Charles Usher - Minister of Public Service, Constitutional & Political Reform, and Religious Affairs
"When Minister Fonseca told me that the archive department have found some speeches that he had given that were not published, it was an exciting moment, because it's like finding a missing painting from one of the masters or finding a song from one of the greats. This is what this means for Belize. When I think about George Price, I think about 2 things; visionary leader and teacher. he was a visionary leader, he was a visionary teacher and his teachings transcend generations."

Education Minister Francis Fonseca said this is volume one of a series of literature connected to George Price that will be produced. That's because a team of intellectuals went on a fact-finding mission about the Father of the Nation. Almost accidentally, they discovered what the minister describes as "40 boxes" of Mr. Price's musings and ideas.

Francis Fonseca - Minister of Education, Culture
"It's really the team at the archives department. Over the last 2 years I've been talking to them about doing an exhibit on George Price and putting together some of his speeches. So I ask them to do an extensive search of available documents and I was shocked and absolutely thrilled when they told me they had uncovered 40 boxes of material related to George Price that had previously not been made public. I was absolutely thrilled. Immediately I told them listen let's get to work, let's bring in other people, let's bring in NICH, let's bring in the institute for research, let's get in touch with UB - all the various partners, the library service. So we brought everyone together and we as they said we got some history students from UB to help us with the research and collating and going through these speeches, these boxes. Absolutely incredible event just by luck these boxes were stuck in some corner and they uncovered them - incredible for all these years we have not seen these. Its an exciting effort, we are very proud of it and this is the first volume. Obviously, this is just 12 speeches. Imagine we have 40 boxes of material."

"Has there been any sort of visual or audio versions of any of these documents?"

Francis Fonseca - Minister of Education, Culture
"Very limited video, they are looking at some to see what they can recover and then there are some audio, very limited. If you know George Price, he wrote on anything available to him, so there are speeches on envelopes, on the back of pieces of paper - all sorts of things."

"Tell us about anything that has passed your desk or that you've seen from the 40 boxes as the minister describes it that caught your attention immediately - anything that surprised you, anything like that?"

Henry Charles Usher
"I haven't seen those boxes. I was only appraised of it earlier this week. Minister Fonseca told me about this treasure that they have found and I said wow, please give me an opportunity to go through those. As I said in my remarks it's like finding a masterpiece from one of the masters or finding a lost song from one of the great songwriters singers of the past, so it's something that I'm looking forward to going through to read some of these speeches, some of them that had not been published before and certainly it's an opportunity to continue to learn from him."

Francis Fonseca - Minister of Education, Culture
"The objective is to share all of it with the Belizean people, especially our young people, our students so that they can have a better understanding and appreciation of the life that this great man lead."

And when Minister Fonseca insisted that all the materials from those 40 boxes connected to George Price would be published, I had to ask whether or not he was being serious or not.

"The Boxes aren't all filled with flowers and daises and things that bring pride. Are there any of the controversial topics that dominated that time and will those be published, because he also had controversies in his political career."

Francis Fonseca - Minister of Education, Culture
"Absolutely, we are still going through them and I haven't seen everything myself, but yes there are speeches he gave about for example as you've said the heads of agreement. So there are many other that some may deem controversial topics. It's a widespread, it covers many different areas and we will share everything with the Belizean people, because that's what's necessary and that's what's right. When we talk about national heroes its not just about everything that's good and perfect about them, we also want to show people that they were humans, they were people with flaws and weaknesses as well. We certainly hope to offer everything to the Belizean people."

According to the producers of this booklet, the intention is that it will be available in libraries all over the country.

Premier Price In His Prime

And while the UDP tussle in Belmopan...let's just say that brand of petty party politics not what George Price had in mind when he said "nation building is a task for giants."

As we get ready to celebrate George Price's Birthday with a national holiday on Monday - we look back at a story we did in September - focussing on the early 60's when Price was not yet the Father of the Nation. At that time, he was Premier Price in his prime, a young, outspoken anti-colonialist and strident nationalist fighting to get Belize from under the yoke of colonialism. The footage of that era was taken from a recently re-discovered Canadian film named, "Belize: End of the World" - and Jules Vasquez looked at some vintage moments:

Belize - then British Honduras - attained self government on December 31st, 1963 - and all these PUP supporters gathered outside of the building we now know as the Courthouse - but what was then the colony's Assembly chamber? They hailed the transition to self government - but inside the Chamber, the relentless Premier George Price goaded Governor Peter Stallard by talking about the next step, independence:

Premier George Price
"Cabinet ministers, members of the assembly and the people of the country are grateful to our governor His Excellency Sir Peter Stallard often referred to by me as the governor of independence."

Applause in the chamber but a stony silence on the throne from the British Governor and Chief Justice.

Outside, the crowds demonstrated their support with PUP signs and watched as the governor slid away with his security escort in tow.

Price's time to talk to them would come on the rostrum at the public meeting:

Premier George Price
"...These 13 years shouting self government now, but we should stop shouting self government now and begin to shout independence now. That is the lecture. So that is the battle cry now, self government is a fact. Its just that we have to put into effect. But then we go on, we dont stand still, we are not stagnant, we are moving, we are dynamic, we are going now to independence - the road to independence."

As this never before seen footage shows - the then 44 year old Price - 13 years into the nationalist movement - held a rapt audience of loyal followers in his hands - they seemed to hang on every word - wearing his customary guayabera their leader seemed luminous set against the night sky…a mesmerizing moment captured in stunning black and white film:

Premier George Price
"We, in building a nation will need 3 tools; a flag, the name of a country` and a national anthem. PUP - all the way. Que Viva Belice."

And while he spoke of Independence - it would be another almost two decades before it was realized - on September 21st 1981 - Price finally had the last of those three tools - a flag which was proudly hoisted, as the Union Jack came down for the last time in Belize.

The footage was captured as part of a 30 minute British documentary named, "Belize: End of the World" directed by Peter Davis and released in 1964.

Price was born on January 15th, 1919.

Channel 7

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