Belize Celebrates 217th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye

vlcsnap-2015-09-11-22h01m12s206Speakers at Thursday’s official ceremony commemorating the 217th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye in Belize City told the audience that the patriotic story of the Settlement’s liberation from the invasion of Spain should never be forgotten. According to Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, this and every year is a “renewal of vows”, a commitment not only to remember the Baymen and their sacrifice but also to commit to living lives worthy of that sacrifice.

Darrel Bradley – Mayor Belize City

So today we gather and stand and praise and sing, honoring these Baymen. But I cannot help but feel that there should be moreto our remembrance of them; that as we stand here and look back at their sacrifice, we should in this place, on this occasion, recommit ourselves as they didto the service of this our Belizean nation. After all, this is an anniversary, and with each anniversary, there is a renewing of vows if you will, a rededication to the principle of fidelity and love of country. So today, in true remembrance, we should as a nationstrong and free, united at home and abroad, renew our vows to this our beloved Belize. We each should, through our various endeavors, work to build a more perfect Belize. To serve this nation and each other with selfless devotion, civility and fervent pride; that we should not allow ourselves o be dividedby our politics, but we should as they were, stand united by or desire to see our nation long endure.

Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia, who also chairs the September Celebrations Committee, added that history did not end with the 1797 vote as the Baymen and their slaves, prepared for war with a lack of provisions; nor with victory as the new nation began to take shape. That responsibility succeeded in generations to the present and the current administration, Heredia said.

Manuel Heredia; Tourism Minister and Chair September Celebrations

Tvlcsnap-2015-09-11-22h01m51s102he decision to stay and defend in 1797 was carried out by the smallest of margins, 14 votes to be exact. It shows that even in those days, every single vote counted. Today, we have come to know much more of the 14 Flower Bank men and their crucial role in deciding the faith of this land by the sea. Seemingly enough, the decision to stay and defend, sparked a communal interest and for almost a year, our forefathers prepared a strategic defense of our territory. This, of course, came with challenges and risks. The report retrieved from our archives showed that the Captain reported a severe shortage of supplies which pushed the settlement to the edge of famine. Yet, people persevered. Yet, they remained committed, and yet, they maintained their collective resolve. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a true patriotic story that any Belizean boy and girl should learn from. It is a message that requires no time capsule to guard its significance.

Heredia spoke of new projects designed to honor and celebrate that history.

Manuel Heredia; Tourism Minister and Chair September Celebrations

While our achievements are too many to mention, there area  few which I would like to highlight today. One such is the upcoming inauguration of the gulfing hubs in the capital City of Belmopan on September 15, 2015. This is in commemoration and celebration of  the legacy of our national hero Phillip S. W. Goldson. I am also excited to note that shortlythe National Institute of Culture and History will be launching the country’s first ever National Cultural Policy and that will also seek Parliament’s approval of a new piece of legislation that would allow for stronger protection safeguarding our national historic properties and landmarks across the country. Lastly, but surely not least, it ives me great pleasure to note that our very own Belize Archiveand Record Service will be celebrating 50 years of service to our country and to our people. We are commemorating this with the completion of a much needed renovation of the archive facilities in Belmopan early next month.

 Monisha Stuart officially surrendered her crown as Queen of the Bay to successor Fallon Cain of Stann Creek, the eighth pageant winner from that district. Following the Citizens Parade to Yarborough Green, there will be the annual Multicultural Fair hosted by the Belize City Council.

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